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V-12 Merlin

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About V-12 Merlin

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    HSOShow.com Family
  • Birthday 04/12/1966

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  • Location:
    SE MN
  1. V-12 Merlin

    Tips and Tricks for my new Marcum Camera

    I've had a Marcum camera for many years and have found it extremely educational. When I take new anglers on the ice, they love watching the fish. Never had the camera spook a fish. I used a Marcum battery-powered panner to rotate the camera, and that helps identify my lure. However, you also have to be pretty confidant with the depth of your jig, so that it will show up on the camera. I've found the camera of limited value during the summer, because it's constantly moving up and down, and a little side to side. Even if I can find my jig, it's not for long. What I use the camera for during soft water season is to identify bottom structure and get a general idea what's down there. During hard water season, I use it primarily to see bites before they happen. Not only do I know exactly what's near or looking at my jig, but I can see when they're actually going after it. I have pulled the hook away from fish that were obviously too small, and also been able to set the hook on a bite before I could feel it. I love my flasher, but I have out-fished buddies with my camera.
  2. V-12 Merlin

    Electric Auger question

    Congrats! Great find! Should work very well for what you want to do.
  3. V-12 Merlin

    Reel?

    I like the inline reels. Santa left me a geared reel this year, and I haven't tried it yet, so I'm not sure about those. However, for depths less than 20 feet, I think a straight 1:1 inline reel is perfect. I tried the Black Betty, but spent more time untangling the line than actual fishing. After getting rid of that, I've been using reels from Frabill and Clam - both have been excellent. Again, the 1:1 retrieve isn't the greatest thing to have when you need to get down below 20-ish feet, but I've used them down to 45 feet and they do work (just takes longer to unspool line). Overall, very happy with inline reels so far and I'd recommend them.
  4. V-12 Merlin

    Camera vs Flasher

    I have both. I'm not going to blindly tell you to go with a flasher, like most people would. Instead, I'll share my experience and let you decide. I've been ice fishing for about 10 years, and never more than a few times per winter. So, I still consider myself a noob. I started out ice fishing with nothing, and that was a terrible, boring, cold experience. I went through the same question - should I buy a flasher or a camera? My concern was that the flasher didn't tell you what was down there or what the fish were interested in. I've seen guys mark fish, but were unable to catch them, and couldn't explain why. I wanted to know why the fish weren't biting. Therefore, I bought a camera. Using the camera by itself while fishing alone, my luck was very similar to having nothing - I didn't see any fish, and didn't catch any fish. HOWEVER, when fishing with a buddy who had a flasher, we could mark the fish AND actually SEE them. Using this strategy, I can out fish anyone with a flasher, because I hook the fish. I've learned a lot about fish behavior while using my camera, and can be very productive when I'm out with other people. Unfortunately, if I'm out by myself, and only have the camera, it does me no good - may as well leave it home. A couple of years ago, I bought a FL-18. Now, I mark my own fish AND see them. I can fish with others or by myself, and am equally productive. If I were to do it all over, I'd reverse my purchases. But, I'm not giving up my camera. The camera doesn't work well in direct sunlight, it's another battery for me to maintain, it's more weight in the sled, and it's tricky to set up (trying to find my jig is always tough). But, it's worth it to me, because I can see what kind of fish are down there and hook the fish I want to catch (or pull the jig away from tiny perch when I want to). I bought an electric panner last year to help me pan around to find my jig. As far as the camera spooking fish, I have a Marcum camera. The camera body itself doesn't look like fish - it looks like a camera. I've had fish swim by and bump it, and I've had fish look right at it nose-to-nose. They're not spooked, trust me. Perch, sunnies, crappies, northern, bass - None of them are ever spooked. Oh, and I have the trolling motor ducer for my FL-18 and it totally rocks! I can put a boat-load of anglers on fish all summer long, and drill holes over the fish all winter long, too. Again, the camera is of limited value in the summer, because it doesn't do well in direct sunlight. The newer (color) cameras are probably much better in that regard, but I generally don't use my camera in the summer, other than to help identify submerged structure.
  5. V-12 Merlin

    Best auger

    I have a StrikeMaster electric auger that works fairly well. It's a little slow and the number of holes per charge is limited. However, it's quiet, never needs to be started and works well when I'm fishing solo. Just got back from a fishing trip with a bunch of guys and we drilled all of our holes with a propane auger. After seeing a propane auger in action, I'll never buy gas. The difference in starting and idling was impressive. Power and speed were good, and we ran the whole weekend on a single tank of propane. No bad gas to worry about next fall, either.
  6. V-12 Merlin

    Aqua Vu Micro "Minnesota Rig"

    Cool idea!
  7. V-12 Merlin

    Tips for getting sled started

    Uhhhh…… maybe a little bit is okay, but I'd avoid doing that more than once. Basically, you're injecting UNlubricated fuel into the cylinders of a 2-cycle engine. The other thing that does is put off resolving the actual problem, which could be carburetor jetting. For a snowmobile that was running good when it was about freezing and won't even start when it's cold, I would check the fuel. I once talked with an engineer from one of the snowmobile manufacturers who told me that he took a small jar of summer gas and set it outside on a cold winter day. Once acclimated to the temperature, he lit a match and threw it in the jar. The match went out. That's the difference between good gas and bad gas when it comes to running engines in cold weather. Other possible causes of rough running for 2-cycle snowmobile engines would be carb jetting, carbs that need to be cleaned, an airbox with a mouse nest in it or bad plugs. If it was running fine and now it's not, you can rule out jetting, but everything else is a suspect - and I'd assume they ALL are causing the problem. One other thing people have touched on, and that's the factory (or current) jetting. Most factory jetting is intended to cover situations where you're riding in weather that's too cold (in other words, the carbs are set up a little too rich). Most backyard mechanics tend to go a little too far the other way. I'd rather be running too rich during weather like this, than a little lean. It's a good idea to either make sure yourself or have a qualified and trusted mechanic check and make sure the jets are the correct size for the weather you're riding in. Shop manuals will tell you the correct jet size, and the jets themselves are marked (you'll have to take the carbs apart to see them, normally).
  8. V-12 Merlin

    Navionics app (Android & iOS)?

    That's a good tip. I bought the Navionics app this fall and am anxious to try it. I figured for the money, it was worth a try. One thing I was wondering is if the iPhone "GPS" uses the cell towers for triangulation to get the phone's location. If it does, then the accuracy could vary widely, depending on cell reception and tower location. On the other hand, actual GPS receivers use satellites for triangulation, and the accuracy would be more dependent on the quality of the receiver, rather than location of the satellites. That may explain why some people seem to have rather poor luck getting the depths right when using a cell phone, compared to a GPS receiver. I also think the different map companies can have some lakes mapped better than others, which probably accounts for the other main reason.
  9. V-12 Merlin

    Vexilar Fishphone

    Looks like a really cool idea.
  10. V-12 Merlin

    Underwater camera

    Here's a good example of how I use my camera:
  11. V-12 Merlin

    New Skid House with Graphics

    Awesome graphics! That's really cool!
  12. V-12 Merlin

    Electric Augers

    I have the StrikeMaster and am quite happy with it. I don't generally drill a lot of holes per trip. Not being able to drill a ton of holes is the biggest limitation with using an electric, and it wasn't a factor for me. There were two things that helped me make a decision: 1 - The StrikeMaster uses the same battery that my camera and flasher use. It can also use a car battery and can take a charge from a car's power outlet if I get desperate. 2 - It was cheaper than the Ion. From a stricly performance-oriented perspective, the Ion blows it away. But, the purchase price and cost of replacement batteries was a sacrifice I wasn't willing to make. They are a little on the slow side. I also noticed that if I put too much pressure in it, that it will catch - that's probably more due to blade design than being electric, but maybe the slow rpm's accentuate it.
  13. V-12 Merlin

    Underwater camera

    I have an older Cabelas brand monochrome camera that was made by Marcum, I think. While I've used it for software fishing, it's much better on the ice. I've always used it looking across (not down), but after seeing previous posters mention that, I need to try it. I bought one of the hole covers by Marcum that allow me to hold the camera at a specific depth. If I'm fishing near the bottom, I usually line up 3 holes: Hole 1 - where the camera goes Hole 2 - where my line goes Hole 3 - set off about 2-4 feet and this is where a buddy can fish from So, in other words, I line it up so that I can see 2 jigs at the same time, and can give advice to someone else, in addition to watching my own line. Visibility goes WAY down after dark, and I think that's mainly because the light picks up all the particles in the water (and including all the little tiny invertebrates swimming around) - kind of a snowstorm effect. I use it at night, but it's much more difficult and I can only see one line. Overall, I've learned a huge amount about fish behavior by watching the camera, and can also see what kind of fish are down there. I've actually pulled a jig away from fish that I didn't want to catch! It also helps me decide whether to switch presentations or how I'm jigging. If I fish with a partner, I usually let them run the flasher and then I strictly focus on the camera. They help me locate the fish, but I help them catch the fish! Overall, I've really enjoyed my camera and wouldn't mind getting an upgrade one of these years. My catching has improved significantly since I got it.
  14. V-12 Merlin

    Caught 40" Musky icefishing

    That's awesome! Congrats!!! I suppose it would be no different than catching northerns on a panfish jig, though maybe a little less common. Seems like if a northern sees even a tiny jig, they'll eat it.
  15. V-12 Merlin

    Lady's of strikemaster

    http://www.mnbound.com/outdoor-journal/2011/2/12/meet-the-ladies-of-strikemaster.html
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