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Sonar vs. Underwater Cameras



So you've found yourself “hooked” on ice fishing. Good for you. If you are well prepared and vigilant to conditions, ice fishing is a great family activity and fun way to put fresh fish on the table. Whether sitting on a bucket exposed to the elements, inside a homemade hut, manufactured flip-over, or ultra-portable pop-up hub, your tackle and gear options are great and varied. Like open water trolling, ice fishing demands the use of specialized equipment due to the harshness of the environment and behavior of the target fish. Safe ice and safety gear aside, nothing is more important to the modern ice angler than knowing if there are fish below your setup.

Unless you fish crystal clear, typically shallow waters, you just don't know what is under the ice without the use of electronics, specifically sonar and underwater cameras. When the itch to get serious about ice fishing add-ons takes over your financial thoughts, the argument turns to what technology is better? $300 - $600 is not a typical impulse purchase, so it's important to make the smartest purchase possible. You can always save for the option you don't choose, as long as you fill your most important needs first. Typically the big names in the game offer the best equipment in both performance and durability. The question remains the same. Camera or sonar? FishUSA.com is here to help More...



New Rapala Salmon & Steelhead Gear!

When fishermen hear the name Rapala, they think of original floaters, husky jerks, and jigging raps. Most anglers are unaware that Rapala also manufacturers an extensive line of fishing rods and reels.

FishUSA.com has always been a well known retailer in the salmon and steelhead market. This fall FishUSA will be offering a variety of spinning rods, casting rods, float roads, and center pin reels from Rapala. FishUSA.com is committed to offering anglers with the best gear at a low price, and it was a no brainer for us to offer these products for the salmon and steelhead community.

The FishUSA.com staff had the opportunity to “play” with the new Rapala rods and reels. We’re blown away with the quality and the features that are present on this gear, and we highly recommend these rods and reels to the novice angler or seasoned pro.

For more information regarding these products, please visit www.FishUSA.com or call us at 800.922.1219.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Doug Straub
FishUSA.com Staff

Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk Lures - Now Also Available in FishUSA.com Custom Colors!!!

With an oversized deep diving lip and wide-range of fish attracting colors, Rapala’s Down Deep Husky Jerk has become a favorite lure of the Great Lakes angler. The Deep Husky Jerk is hand-tuned and tank-tested to swim perfectly right out of the package and performs well when running fast and deep. The lures neutral buoyancy allows lure to suspend in the strike zone while the tuned internal rattle chamber creates a loud, rhythmic attraction. The premium black nickel VMC treble hooks are sticky sharp and durable, and will take the abuse of anything that swims.

Try the Down Deep Husky Jerk next time you are targeting big water walleye, salmon, trout, bass, and pike. FishUSA.com offers these lures in 8 natural colors, 7 glass finishes, and 5 FishUSA.com custom colors. These custom color schemes have been meticulously chosen by our own Great Lakes tournament anglers and charter captains. More...

Walleye Prep Work


In a normal year I would be panicking that my new boat hasn’t arrived and in a mad rush to get it all rigged, instead I’m fishing over nearly two feet of ice. For those that don’t ice fish or need a little break from the weather, March is a perfect time to make sure you have yourself and gear ready when the weather breaks. For me this is an extremely important process, since many of these tasks can take enough time that you don’t want to undertake them all at once or when the fish are biting.

Checking planer board release pads - Pads can get worn or cut up and can do serious More...


Lindy 360 Ice Jig

The Lindy 360 Ice Jig utilizes a revolutionary concept to create a rotating jig. Featuring a body that rotates on an internal axle, this jig produces an impressive amount of movement, flash, vibration, and water displacement. These factors are often critical to producing strikes. Once the jig is underwater, the body taps against More...

Rattle Bait Walleyes


As a full time professional angler I am often told I think outside the box. Ironically this large amount of time that we spend fishing also makes us rely on things that we know work and often cuts down on experimentation if we let it. Rattle baits through the ice for walleyes and even pike, crappies and perch has been a very successful tactic for several years. Nearly every manufacture now has a bait that can be used for the hard water.

Last winter myself and several of the Ice Team and Clam National Pro Team huddled around a custom built tank that was designed specifically to test new lures. We looked like a bunch of kids in a candy store. We all wanted a rattle style lure because of their effectiveness at not only catching aggressive fish, but for their ability to draw fish in to your hole. Their effectiveness on large Canadian Shield lakes and lake Winnipeg in particular was known, but most felt that they would work on other bodies of water across the US. After about 20 versions were sorted through you now have what Clam calls the Psycho Shad. This lure, unlike most that were open water lipless cranks, was designed More...


Ice Fishing Plastics

For several years now manufacturers such as Berkley, Custom Jigs and Spins, Nothland, Lindy and Little Atom have been producing micro-sized plastic baits designed specifically for the ice fishing angler. This past season we saw new bait releases from Clam, VMC and Trigger X. These baits are not simply a fad, they are here to stay because they work great. Sure, there are times when natural bait is all the fish are keying in on. Many anglers still start the day off jigging a live minnow or waxie, but for times when the bite is off, the appeal of More...

Between the Hatches


Have you ever seen somebody on the stream with their fly rod held high? Do you wonder what they are doing in the middle of the stream? They are performing the art of high sticking also known as short line nymphing. This type of fishing will often out produce other techniques. Some of my best days on the streams occur when I am high sticking. It is a great skill to learn for use when there is no hatch present.

The preferred rod for high sticking is a 9ft long rod with a fast action. A fast action provides greater feel as the line moves along the bottom. The longer length rod allows you to keep as much line off the water as possible as this will cause drag. People have been known to use rods as long as 12 feet in order to obtain a longer reach and More...


New Berkley Trilene Transoptic Monofilament Line

Berkley has always been a leader in fishing line technology and this year’s offering is no different.

Trilene Transoptic features a proprietary transition technology which is activated by UV light. Transoptic changes from clear to gold in sunlight and overcast conditions. UV light begins to filter out the farther down the water column it goes, causing this line to return to its clear color after a few feet of water depth. This color changing line is the perfect answer More...

Selecting an Inline Planer Board

Inline planer boards were invented years ago, but their popularity has blossomed over the past decade. While most popular on “big water” they have found use nearly anywhere anglers troll. As their popularity grew, many manufacturers started producing them, and now there are plenty of models for the angler to choose from.

Inline boards are designed to take the trolled lure to the side of the boat where the lure can be presented to fish that have not been spooked by the boat. Planer boards also allow anglers to troll many more lines without tangling. While most inline planer boards are very versatile, some are particularly useful in certain situations.

For fishing inland lakes with fairly light lures for smaller fish; mini boards such as the Church TX-12 are excellent. They do not pull as hard as the larger boards and allow the angler to use lighter rods as well. Although these boards More...