Ice Fishing Aided By New Products
Inside the Outdoors, February 19, 2010

I had the pleasure recently of talking to Dan Gapen, Sr., owner and CEO of the Gapen Company, manufacturer of some of the most unique fishing lures on the market today, especially designed for ice fishing. In the course of our conversation, it didn’t take long for us to discuss the subject at hand. He was quick to announce that his company had two lures that would work fantastically for the sport – the Flicker, and a new product, the Red Ball. Not familiar with either of the two, I felt compelled to look and read about the latter.

What was found in the catalog I received were pictures of spoons with large hooks on the back. What made this one different than others I had fished with and sold formerly in my store was a round ball similar to the size of a salmon egg slid onto the hook. But this wasn’t any little ball.

According to Gapen, “We found that fish love the smell and taste of anise. So, we heavily scented these red balls with anise oil, a natural attractant for all game fish.” Made of tin, this environmentally safe gold or silver lure is good year ‘round, and has proved its worth on perch, rock bass, walleye, bass, trout, pike and lake trout. It is available in 1/32 and 1/8 ¼ ounce weights.

“The real trick to fishing this lure,” explained Gapen, “is to jig it vertically initially under the ice and then hold it steady, not allowing movement to the lure.” He continued, “Allow the fish to come up and sniff the egg. The fish will smell the anise and proceed to take the bait. If, after 30 seconds, no strike is felt, anglers should twitch the Red Ball two or three times and then hold your rod perfectly still once again. Once you get the fish’s attention, you just may get the fish!” he concluded.

The Flicker introduces a new concept in jigging. It is a flatter lure than we are used to fishing. What is unique is that a red treble hook is attached to the front of the lure rather than at the back. All finishes are holographic which adds to their attractiveness. There are four imitations in six weight classes: shad, sucker, mud minnow and perch, ranging from 1/32 to 2 ounces.

I’d recommend for any angler to email this company and procure a catalog. It may be one of the most fascinating pieces of fishing reference manuals you’ll ever possess. Its email address is Tell them I recommended you to them!

The second company I wish to talk about today is TTI-Blakemore. It seems it also is bent toward using red hooks on its rigs on lures for ice fishing. Gapen told me he used red hooks because “they represent a bloodied bait, making it far more attractive to game fish.” This must be Blakemore’s philosophy as well.

Two of the new products are the Stacker rigs, and the Slab Daddy for crappie, perch and deep water. Each has a colored leadhead, chenille tied around its center with a colored feather coming out the back, possibly chartreuse. The rig is tied so one can put a minnow half way down on the red hook and then on the bottom is attached a little lure with a silver hook. It will give the impression to the fish that two minnows are hanging out together. This lure is also great for jigging during one’s ice fishing adventures.

Also new from this company are packaged red stand out hooks, and the Road Runner Crappie Thunder, a valuable jigging lure for fishing through the crusty surfaces.

One of my favorite trout and crappie lures, the Trout Magnet, is a great jigging lure for catching fish. A matter of fact, Latrobe’s master angler Steve Gordon trolls with these lures and always gets fish 100% of the time. That ought to tell you something. The manufacturer, Leland Lures, has developed some new products for 2010 that are worth noting. If by chance you don’t want to buy a number of the packages containing two jig heads and seven bodies, there’s the new Trout Magnet Bait Box, a 372 piece kit with 30 jig heads, 330 bodies and 12 E-Z Trout Floats. You can also purchase trout magnets or jig heads now in bags or packs of 50 each. Also new, which you may want to try are their Trout Worms in colors mealworm, orange, pink, mint green, chartreuse, and bubblegum.

Learn all what Leland Lures has to offer you by visiting its website at It may be your ticket to happiness!

- Paul J. Volkmann
You can contact me by email