PUT OUT THE COOKIES. Or the deer jerky! While all will be calm and bright when Santa Claus comes tonight, we’ve got a few early gifts coming your way in the form of sonar tips in our Outdoors Roundup.
Featured Photo: LIT UP. The red and green of a Vexilar over a school of crappies takes on a festive feeling this time of year. Simonson Photo.
WEATHER (Bismarck Forecast):
Today: Tue 12/24 – Easy Eve – Hi 27, Lo 21, Wind L&V
Tomorrow: Wed 12/25 – Merry Christmas! – Hi 27, Lo 19, Wind L&V
SOLUNAR (Bismarck Times):
Moonrise Moonset Overhead Underfoot
6:44AM 3:57PM 11:23AM 11:51PM
Moon Phase: Waning Crescent (3% Full)
EDGE HOUR: 4:00-5:00PM. Moonset and sunset begin to align, making the last sixty minutes of light your Edge Hour on this calm and temperate Christmas Eve.
WET PREVIEW. For a quick check of depth through the ice when arriving at an area and scouting things out, use a squirt bottle to put a splash of water on the surface of clean ice. Stick the sonar transducer in the small puddle and turn the gain up to get an idea of the depth below. Remember to subtract the approximate ice thickness, especially in late season!
SWIRL IT. By giving an ice transducer a quick spin around the hole in a move dubbed “the swirl,” it fires beams off at crazy angles under the ice. Sometimes these beams put up flickers on the screen representing fish off to the side of the hole. When marked, move your presentation to their level and see if they come in.
MAKING GAINS. Use the gain feature on a sonar unit to strengthen signals or lessen them to make your lure appear smaller than the fish that are coming in to visit it, or to block out (or heighten) structure such as tree limbs, rocks or matted weeds it might be picking up. It’s a fine-tuning process, but knowing what’s what can help with the action.