Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Saturday, January 28th, 2023

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Commander, driller, and two good sticks

By James Lindner

Angling Buzz


Building on our discussion last time about how we’re using the latest electronics for ice fishing, today we toss out an idea for forming a new type of ice-fishing squad that could take efficiency and effectiveness to a whole new level.


We envision a team of at least four rotating at specialized roles (more anglers and hole drillers can be added). Every team member ideally will be well-versed in using a digital contour map and 360-degree sonar.


All should be pretty good anglers, and drilling pre-skimmed holes is required. Meet those requirements and you are on the team.


Here’s how it will work: Choose a lake and examine the map to identify key areas. That way, when you hit the ice, you go right to the first spot rather than standing around looking at each other wondering where to go.


Use a digital contour map to outline a structure or basin area. If there’s no snow on the ice, a chisel or auger works for marking the outline. At this point, the dedicated driller(s) punch the first set of holes, including one in the middle of the area, in which the Mega 360 system will operate. Next, the most skilled 360-degree sonar operator takes command of that system and lets everybody know what’s down there in the way of structure, cover, and fish in all directions.


The “360 commander” directs the hole driller to punch new holes ahead of moving fish or over fishy-looking areas that should be checked out.


While things continue to evolve between the commander and hole driller(s), the anglers, armed with rods and vertical sonar units, move in and start fishing promising holes. 


The commander continues to monitor fish movements and provide useful information to the anglers. At this point, you can choose to allow the hole driller(s) to fish for a while if they’re not needed to stay ahead of moving fish.


Throughout the day, rotate roles so everybody gets plenty of fishing time, hole-drilling action, and 360 sonar commanding. Teamwork pays great dividends compared to a scenario where everybody is trying to fish.


This approach has the potential to pile another layer of fun on a sport that continues to grow and evolve. We have already learned a lot about fish behavior and movement using 360 on the ice.


Now let it point us to catchable fish in all directions.

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