You just never know where your next piece of fishing information is going to come from.
An excellent case in point came recently when I happened to be talking to Dave Lefebre of Erie, Pa. An interview had been arranged through the Rapala folks to call and talk to him about ice fishing. Of course, if you know anything about bass fishing, Lefebre is one of the elites – a pro bass dude. I was surprised when Lefebre’s name came up as my go-to hard-water person.
“When I’m not chasing bass I’m a crappie guy,” says Lefebre, who also participates in Major League Fishing events. “I also enjoy giant bluegills and get into some of the major perch fishing on Lake Erie.”
One of the waters he likes to target on hard water is Chautauqua Lake – according to Lefebre, it’s an easier lake to find crappies. He’ll concentrate his efforts on the north end around Mayville or the south end around Celeron, seeking out the old grass beds from the previous season.
“My most important tool is my electronics,” Lefebre said. “My personal preference is the Marcum LX5. It doesn’t have to be an expensive unit. My primary focus is to find holes in the grass, finding the open, sandy spots that the crappies will gather at. One time I drove to a lake for ice fishing over an hour away, and when I realized my unit was still hooked up on a charger back in the garage, I just turned around and went home. That’s how important the electronics are for me.”
His standard fishing line is the Sufix Ice Magic line in 2-pound test.
“It’s both abrasion-resistant when it rubs against the ice and the knot strength is key to success. The smaller in diameter the line is, the more important the knot strength is. This line also doesn’t bead up as bad from cold weather as some of the other lines,” he said.
Lefebre is a jig guy and one of his favorites is the Rippin’ Rap. A Slab Rap is another personal fav, boasting a thinner profile. A Jigging Rap and some of the Tungsten Probe jigs will all catch fish, according to this bass guy.
“I’ll start out with natural colors with blue, black and silver. Pink and chartreuse are favorite crappie colors, too. I’m also a fan of soft plastics like TriggerX and Maki Plastics for getting fish to hit. They work,” he said, adding that he likes to mix things up, especially when the action starts to slow.
In addition to being a bass pro, he’s also a TV show host. He is currently in the second season of “Erie Extreme,” a cross between a reality show and a fishing program.
“We wanted to do something different and we came up with this format. It seems to be working,” he said.
If you are in the Buffalo market of Western New York, check out FOX 29, WUTV on Sunday morning at 7.
The show is based on viewer requests. Sometimes they catch fish, sometimes they don’t. However, they always have some sort of educational tip to help you become a better angler. Because it’s reality and anything can happen when the camera is rolling, sometimes you will learn what not to do. It’s an entertaining show. And you just might learn something. Or not.