Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Apologies! ...and mods!

Extremely sorry about the lack of updates within the past few days. I'm on call for work, and this just happened to be a weekend that we were doing a server migration for a customer out in Spring Park, which ended up taking roughly 20 hours over the course of Saturday and Sunday (Plus another 4 on Monday..). Which also led into a 10 hour day on Monday, and a 11 hour day on Tuesday because of various issues we never got to over the weekend.

But, enough excuses. In the midst of all this working, I managed to get a few hours to myself to make some modifications to the portable fish house, as well as purchased a new GPS/Sonar. Oh, I also plan on getting on the ice on Wednesday, provided everything's held up alright over these warm days (I'm pretty confident it has, I've seen fisherman on Gray's everyday from Friday until Tuesday).

The unit I picked up is the Humminbird 385ci GPS/Fishfinder Ice Combo. I was lucky enough to snag the last one from the Gander Mountain store closing sale (5% off all ice fishing stuff, 20% off electronics, 10% off shelters, 30% off fishing stuff, 30% off everything in store unless marked otherwise, etc.) and despite being listed as $450.00 on their website, it was only $400.00 in store, and there was a orange sticker on it that brought it down to $350.00. That, plus the 20% off, gave me a $450.00 unit for just under $300.00 after tax, not too bad. Can't exactly give you a review of it yet, as I haven't gotten to use it, but my reasoning for picking it up (despite the sale) was a review from another guy who told me that he'd used the normal circular flasher dial his whole life, and since switching to a vertical display, he vows he'll never go back. Other reasons were to have a bow mount fishfinder in the boat, to have a GPS so I don't have to constantly steal my Dad's, so I have an extra flasher if I decide to bring a buddy out (still have my Ice-35), and because I figure even if I dislike the vertical display, I always have a flasher-mode. Like I said, no review yet, but look for it in the next couple days after I get out on the ice.

On to the portable modifications...

As you can pretty obviously see, I'm still using a rather old portable (It's next on the upgrade list), I believe ~12 years old. We've since replaced the tent and done a few upgrades, though.

A lot of people modify their portables and make them look a lot nicer. Me? Not so much. I'm for function over aesthetics. The modifications we've made are all quite simple, and the number one consideration going into each of them was weight.

The chairs that came with this unit eventually broke, so we took a bench press bench and used the two cushions to make a couple new sliding seats, I'm hoping to add a couple folding backrests this year.

The center console is simply a piece of wood about 16" wide and just long enough to go from the front of the sled to the back. All it is, is a hole for the bucket and a square-shaped hole for the cooler we most commonly use. Depending on the day (If we plan on being out a long time or not so much), the cooler slot is also used for our minnow bucket which has a very similar size thus allowing a nice snug fit to avoid any sloshes and spills during transport.

The "shelf" on the front was just added this weekend. It folds up for travel (Secured simply with the blue bungee cord you can see in the second picture), and down for use. All it is, or will be, is a couple cup holders, and a small place to temporarily place jigs/weights/depth finders/whatever.

The two red rod holders are simply these, cut down to size, and mounted with a simple bracket. They can move front/back, but are sturdy enough to hold your rod without tilting on it's own.

I also picked up a Fish Trap Organizer, and some Red Rope Christmas Lights. I see tons of new lighting options all over the place, but I've yet to see anyone who offers red (Aside from Chrstmas lights). Why'd I go with red? Well, many night walleye fisherman probably already know, but for the rest of you, it's simple enough. With the red light, you don't have to allow nearly as much time for your eyes to adjust to the darkness as you would if you're sitting in a fish trap with nothing but those bright-white LED lights. Typically, as the night comes, I'm moving less often, so it's not necessarily a game changer, but it's something I highly prefer over the white lights. The Organizer I picked up for pretty obvious reasons, to organize stuff. Simply a place to put my jig boxes and any other loose tackle. The selling point for me though, was the addition of the plastic hooks on the bottom of the organizer allowing you to hang up your coat, gloves, etc.

Aside from those few things, not much has changed, but that's not to say that the experience on the ice in this house hasn't changed. Simple upgrades like these (Cup holders, more space to place things aside from in the sled itself/on the ice, etc) make everything that much easier. We've all been in the situation where in the process of untangling your line, you accidentally kick over your pop then knock something down a hole, then drop the rod, and so on, when it rains it pours. It's small little mods like these that can help alleviate those frustrating situations. It's also nice to know that your rods and bait bucket aren't flying around loose in your sled somewhere while you're driving the ATV from spot to spot. Again, small things like these that just make everything else go that much smoother.

I've still got this itch that I haven't scratched quite yet, so here's to a slow work day and a full day on the ice! See you out there!

No comments:

Post a Comment