Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lowrance Elite-5 Gold

Since I bought my boat at the end of 2008, I have found my stock fishfinder located at the console to be a little sub-standard and lacking in quality. It is a monochrome Lowrance X67c model. I recently purchased a new Lowrance Elite-5 Gold color fishfinder/chartplotter form Radioworld at the Fishing Show and I can't wait to install it and try it out this summer.

The new color Elite-5 Gold fishfinder/chartplotter brings high performance and high color to on-the-water enjoyment in every way, and without a high price. You enjoy incredible precision and functionality, in addition to a spectacular new view.

This bundle includes a custom 2GB Navionics Gold micro SD card with Gold coastal/offshore coverage of US and Canadian waters along with coverage of the Great Lakes, Alaska, Hawaii, the Bahamas and over 125 major Canadian lakes.

The brilliant 5 in./12.7 cm, 480x480 pixel SolarMAX™ 256-color TFT display has unmatched screen brightness, contrast, resolution and viewing detail at wider angles and in bright sunlight. Adjustable screen and keypad backlight improves usability and visibility day or night.

The 500W RMS sounder reaches depth of 1,000'/305 m with its dual-frequency 83/200 kHz Skimmer® transom-mount transducer with internal temp sensor and up to 120˚ of wider sonar coverage. Unique TrackBack™ feature offers immediate scroll-back to review multiple pages of fishfinder history.

The internal 16-channel GPS antenna provides great WAAS+EGNOS+MSAS precision for navigation. And an external antenna option is also available for customized applications. A waterproof microSD memory card slot is fully compatible with Fishing Hot Spots® Pro USA, LakeMaster®, and Navionics® mapcards in the micro SD format for U.S. anglers. Built-in memory allows for up to 3,000 waypoints, 100 routes/100 waypoints per route and 100 retraceable plot trails/up to 10,000 points per trail.

All of this, packaged with easy-to-use menus with Advanced Mode to expand features selection. An all-new case/mounting design provides for easy one-hand tilt/swivel view adjustment, removal and re-install - even fits same cut-out for previous 5 in./7 cm models for in-dash installations. And a new uniplug 1/4-turn connectors are compatible with earlier Lowrance uniplug installations to simplify upgrades to any new Elite model.


When you are looking for a soft plastic that produces Smallies, not only in numbers but also in size, I recommend using Slammers made by Mark Kulik of Strikezone Tournament Baits. These baits are hand poured and salt impregnated. They come in a variety of colours and mimmick everthing from minnows to gobies and leeches.

One thing I can say with confidence is that SLAMMERS work like no other bait. With some patience, these baits put quality fish in your livewell . If you have never tried theses baits, I highly recommend them. They have produced Smallies like no other bait I have ever tried. Colour seems to be key. Here are a few caught summer of 2010.

New for 2011 this year, Mark has added to his product line and added Mini Slammers, Leeches, Shiver Shads and Swammers, a swimbait version of the Slammer. He now also has baits out in bubblegum colour which works great when using Senkos for Largies. Can't wait to try the bubblegum colour Slammers out on the Smallies as soft water season is approaching fast.

Strikezone Tours

I ended the 2010 fishing season on a high. A few days prior to the 2010 bass season closing, I got the chance of a lifetime to get out with Mark Kulik, owner of Strikezone Tournament Baits, to hunt some Lake Simcoe Smallies. Every once in a while in life, people ask you to desrcibe an event with one word, but I truly can't as there would be way to many to sum up this once in a lifetime experience, it really was priceless.

I was excited leading up to our outing as Mark told me he has never been skunked before and he said he didn't plan on starting on our outing. This excited me as there have been numerous times I have gone out on Rice and been skunked so knowing that we were going to catch fish made me more excited. He also said we would probably catch between 20 and 30 Smallies so I was like a kid waiting for Santa the night before Christmas.

I met Mark at the launch and right away we started chatting about what we were in for. We screamed across the lake at an incredible rate of speed and it was exciting, as I have never been in a bass boat before. It wasn't until later on that I realized it wasn't all fun and games as I was getting a dermabrasion in the face as it snowed a few times during our outing and the snowy ice pellets felt like getting needles in the face but boy was it worth it.

As for Mark, all I can say is that he is an incredible angler and a great person. He is down to earth and he obviously is someone that gives back to a sport that has made him grow. He was a great teacher and told me many things that I hope will improve my fishing ability next season and for many years to come. Learning little tricks, subtleties and general fishing practices from him was priceless.

Soon after we got to our first spot we put our lines in and it was only a few minutes after that, that I hooked into the first fish of the day. A solid way to start. As soon as the fight was on, I knew it was a good one and when I finally got it to the boat and Mark put the net on it, I was all smiles as I saw it.

The rest of the day was simply amazing. We hads spells were we caught 2 or 3 or 4 fish then it was quiet for a short time and then it picked up and we caught a few again and so on and so on. During the day I was dropshotting Slammers and also some of Marks new baits that are due to be out for next year. All I can say about these new baits is that they work. They put big fish and numbers in the boat, enough said.

I was also lucky enough to use Marks gear for the day. I am a Shimano guy and I know some of you are probably rolling your eyes, so to try out his St. Croix rods was a real treat. I was also lucky enough to use some of his brand new SIMAX rods that he is now sponsored by and they are really great. I found them to be very sensitive and extremely lightweight.

It was a great day and I lost track of how many fish we caught but I would say easily between 25 and 30. They averaged around 4.5 lbs and the biggest ones came in just over 6 lbs, a new PB for me. It truly was a day I will never forget. Most of them came between 15-40 FOW.

In conclusion I would once again like to thank Mark for an unforgetable day and I would also like to thank Tai and Kawartha Anglers for everything they have given me.