Tommy Skarlis and Chip Leer Chat - 11/13/02

Tommy Skarlis - Hi Everybody!
Warren MN - Hi Mr. Skarlis, Mr. Leer!
Chip Leer - Hello Everyone, Lets talk fishing!!
lund - A good time of year for fishing is now.
curt quesnell - Maybe we should come to attention...Tommy and Chip from the On Ice Tour!!
curt quesnell - Thanks for being here!
Tommy Skarlis - Thanks for having us.
Chip Leer - We're glad to be here! 
curt quesnell - Maybe some folks don't know what the On Ice Tour is?
Gu - I don't know.
Tommy Skarlis - On Ice Tour is an extensive effort to get people excited about ice fishing.
Chilly Willy - What do you think of the new glow larva guys?
Chip Leer - If someone was looking to LOW, one of my old homes it is a great place to be. If you're looking for a place try, call LOW Tourism. 1-800-382-fish, amazed I still can remember that.
Tommy Skarlis - I have not used them yet but they look cool, and I know that Glow really works for us!
curt quesnell - All of the regulars are excited about ice fishing already, you reach out to new people right?
Tommy Skarlis - We reach out to everybody from beginner to advanced.
Chilly Willy - I think they will be a hot deal if the supply meets the demands this winter.
lund - And do you promote the social aspects of ice fishing?
curt quesnell - And, among other things, you hit the road.
Chip Leer - We travel everywhere there is ice or sometimes just the possibility of it. We love the sport and want to share our excitement for catching fish through the ice.
jtc - Will your schedule be posted soon guys?
lund - Chip, we reach out by also promoting a specific species-there are also some great trout waters out there!
curt quesnell - What has been your coverage range? How far west and how far east?
Chip Leer - You ask about the social aspects of ice fishing, well that's the advantage of ice fishing, you are not limited to the number of people you can take in your boat. Tommy and I regularly ice fish with big groups of 10, 15, and even 20 people. Now that's fun.
Chip Leer - Is there anyone here who has never ice fished?
Tommy Skarlis - From Montana to Ohio, we plan on going to New York this year too!
lund - And you're also mobile, you can pace yourself or run over to see what's going on at another guys hole.
Ineke - Lund we have a blast fishing trout on Superior, North of Nipegon last spring. We caught trout easily over 40 inches! Through the ice!!!
Chip Leer - Ineke, that's not fair, your spoiled!
lund - And that takes a skill you don't use in the summer Ineke.
curt quesnell - The bigger the group the better, on ice.
Ineke - Chip, I know. I was taught by the Best.
lund - Ah, but the key is keeping warm. Then the fun can continue....
Ineke - Lund, tell me about it!!!
curt quesnell - I'll bet that's a big message from the On Ice Tour.
Ineke - Lund we were fishing, in March, in 6 feet of water. in an icehouse that was 6 feet by 4 feet!!
Chip Leer - Curt, your right. With large groups you can find fish faster. We wrote a great article, in our first ice annual about attacking a body of water as team. Basically about splitting up and taking assigned tasks to locate fish, and find what they are biting on. Then share your information, and everyone catches fish!
lund - Curt, I think people are catching on about the warmth thing, just look at how many are now wearing survival suits.
lund - Chip, do you have a web site?
Ineke - Lund it was great skill, to not end up in the 2 x 4 foot hole cut through the ice!!
Chip Leer - Yes we do, our website is 
lund - 2x4? Foot hole????
lund - Thanks Chip.
Gu - We don't get the ice many of you Northerners are lucky enough to enjoy, but we are die hard, dedicated ice fishermen. We even formed a group of 20 or so from an Ohio fishing website and had hats made, "GFO Ice Team HARDWATER HARDCORE"
curt quesnell - I think Lund went to check the site.....
Chip Leer - Our website is fun, each week we put up fishing tips we learn from everyone. And of course the hot places to visit or new ice fishing adventures for you to try.
Lund - I book marked the site Chip.
Warren MN - Is there a "real" walleye ice fishing tournament held anywhere?
curt quesnell - Gu Ohio, have you been to Lake of the Woods before?
Gu - No, that's why I'm looking to go to Lake of the Woods, or SOMEWHERE with some decent ice fishing opportunities!
Chip Leer - As for a "real" ice tournament, the closest thing maybe Ice Teams, however not really. I do know that there are people working on starting some. Its a tuff task to accomplish with weather, houses etc. Trust me that if there is one we will list it on our site or am sure Walleye Central will have the info.
Gu - I get to fish Erie 50+ times a year(soft water). The ice conditions are always so iffy on Lake Erie.
Tommy Skarlis - There are no serious, walleye only, ice tourneys that I know of. Does anyone else know of one?
Lund - Gu, there can be some good ice fishing to be found within those marinas though.
curt quesnell - You will enjoy Lake of the Woods. It is real Ice Fishin' for sure!!
Tommy Skarlis - Lake Erie can have unbelievable fishing action when they do have Ice!!!
Chip Leer - Lake of the Woods is a great place to ice fish, and learn ice fishing. Besides that, the opportunities abound on smaller lakes nearby. Lakes such as Red Lake for crappies, Regina Bay for trout etc. There is no better place to cut your teeth as an ice fisherman.
curt quesnell - Chip when you lived on Lake of the Woods, did you stay all winter?
Chip Leer - Yes, I lived on Oak Island and guided for ice fishing.
curt quesnell - Did you use portable or a permanent house out of Oak Island?
Lund - Well, I'm outta here folks....
Chip Leer - Thanks for stopping by Lund!
curt quesnell - Good-bye Lund, love your boats!!!
Gu - Chip, is there one part of Lake of the Woods you would recommend over another, or is it all good?
Tommy Skarlis - Take Care Lund, if you get a chance, drop us a line and tell us what you think of the website.
Chip Leer - What type of fish will you be looking for on Lake of the Woods?
Gu - I don't know, I spend 100% of my ice fishing time now chasing walleye and saugeye, what other opportunities are available? How about lake trout?
big m - Crappies...
Chip Leer - Gu, for walleyes fish the South end. In the Baudette, Warroad area or the Northwest Angle (my old ice). As for crappies and trout, without a doubt the Sioux Narrows area! And for pike, it's Buffalo Bay (Manitoba), out of Warroad.
Tommy Skarlis - Has anyone heard of anybody getting out on the Ice Yet?
curt quesnell - Tommy, how did you make the swing to ice fishing from summer touring Walleye Pro?
Gu - It doesn't have to be Lake of the Woods, I'll go anywhere for a week of ice fishing. If you had to pick, what would be your top 3 destinations for a trip?
jtc - Tommy or Chip, I am thinking of going for some lake trout, where would you suggest starting out in Minnesota?
Tommy Skarlis - I was an Ice man long before I was a Walleye Guy.
curt quesnell - Is there good ice to be had in Iowa?
Chip Leer - Now that's tuff. Lake of The Woods, of course. Devils Lake or Northern MN, Walker, Brainerd, Grand Rapids area. There are hundreds of lakes to choose from. There are so many choices it is a tuff decision.
Tommy Skarlis - Iowa's Ice can be Awesome, lately it's been an every other year thing. This year is looking like a normal year in so much as there looks like there will be good ice everywhere!
Chip Leer - As for trout in MN., the boundary waters, by Dog Sled is prime trout country. Or there are lots of smaller lakes, stocked with rainbow trout by the DNR. These are fish that bite just about anything you throw!
curt quesnell - Two unusually warm winters in a row, how important is good early ice for the industry fellas?
Gu - Chip, you said Grand Rapids, Michigan?
Tommy Skarlis - Early ice certainly doesn't hurt, but even with the tough ice years, the industry has been healthy due to the overwhelming enthusiasm from ice anglers!
Chip Leer - I've been there too, and fishing was great. I am just mentioning Grand Rapids, Minnesota, because it's out my backdoor and know it well. So that would include lakes such as Winnibibosh and Leech.
Tommy Skarlis - The one thing that most people don't take into account, is that in mild winters we have more favorable temperatures and can enjoy so many more days (and nights) on the Ice.
Dan(oh) - There is not much ice fishing here in Ohio, Lake Erie is far too dangerous!
Tommy Skarlis - I grew up in Iowa, so I am used to driving a long way for a hot Bite!
Chip Leer - For walleyes, we should be on the ice within the week and at International Falls, MN. it was near zero F last night. We could be fishing in days!!!!
curt quesnell - South Dakota has been great, the high water has fish populations up and biting !
Gu - Tommy, I haven't viewed your website yet, but I will now. Do you ever organize fishing trips? 
Chip Leer - There are some great ice opportunities in South Dakota Curt. Few places target ice anglers West of the Waubay area.
curt quesnell - I haven't fished South Dakota, but reports from those glacial lakes have been good!!
Dan(oh) - Is Devils Lake already froze over?
Chip Leer - Yes, I believe Devils is frozen or skimmed.
curt quesnell - Some of the bays on Lake of the Woods have been iced over for close to 3 weeks, not much near fish though....
Gu - Thanks guys, I think I'll go check out your website and provide a link to it from our Ohio fishing site. 
curt quesnell - See you this winter Gu!
Chip Leer - Thank you Gu, have a great ice season!
Tommy Skarlis - E-mail us at 
Chip Leer - Ode, are you ready and pumped for ice fishing?
Ode - Your right, can't wait for the water to stiffen a bit, any ice in the North?
curt quesnell - It was cold last night but we got about 4 inches of snow today.
Tommy Skarlis - We have skim ice here, on the small Ponds, around Walker Minnesota. 
Chip Leer - Does anyone here have a favorite early ice walleye technique that may be unique?
Chip Leer - Is there anyone here who has never ice fished?
Tommy Skarlis - Has any body heard of any hot new Ice Lures?
Chip Leer - I have, and I bought some and am not going to share with you Tommy!! (Ha ha, JK)
curt quesnell - I am using jigging spoons almost 100 percent now, 2 years ago it was never. Is this happening everywhere?
Warren MN - I've got a question about portable ice houses, if time later.
Tommy Skarlis - Jigging spoons have definitely gained popularity especially now with more Rattlin models out on the market.
Chip Leer - Curt I think we all are as the introduction of rattles into them has increased their effectiveness. That and super glow colors, has created sort of a re-birth of an old favorite!
Warren MN - I see all the portables with canvas, is there a reason for not using some thing like Thinsulate, is the price a reason why?
curt quesnell - Without a Vexilar, I probably wouldn't use spoons at all. What a combination!
Tommy Skarlis - Thinsulate would probably make them somewhat expensive, especially for an ice house to have enough heat retaining insulation. Not to mention the weight factor.
Ode - The combination of Vexilar and Aqua-Vu underwater camera make indication and identification simple.
curt quesnell - Most portables have heaters that keep them plenty warm.
Chip Leer - Electronics are great Curt, as we have mentioned many times before, for someone getting into the sport. That one piece of equipment will DOUBLE YOUR CATCH!! A Flasher like a Vexilar. Now Aqua Vu has "Depth Vu" as well so cameras have changed for the better as well!
Warren MN - Ok, I was looking at some way to take the heater factor out of an ice house.
curt quesnell - You talk of Thinsulate, fabric or tarp or what?
Tommy Skarlis - When you find that answer, I want to know it, but we can envision that some day. Somebody will come up with the effect you are searching for!
Chip Leer - As for portables, well they must be just that Portable. Soft canvas that breaths will not sweat, is lightweight and a person of moderate strength can lift it in and out of a vehicle. Lighter, faster and more mobile = more fish.
curt quesnell - The Aqua vu camera is now complete, the lighting, the DIRECTION indicator onscreen, even!!
Chip Leer - Isn't the direction indicator an asset? Drop camera, see fish, drill a hole that direction......
curt quesnell - There are linings in some of the newer houses, aren't there?
Ode - Sorry, I have to go. I have 2 computers in pieces, and I am trying to keep just one going. I will try to check back later.
Tommy Skarlis - Good luck ODE!
Warren MN - I'm thinking more in the snowmobile line of portable, 6X8 or 8X8.
Chip Leer - Hello to any new arrivals we are talking ice fishing, have you been out yet?
bogie - Not yet in Illinois.
Chip Leer - Bogie, do you like ice fishing or have you ever tried?
bogie - I have only been doing it for 25 years! I mainly pan fish.
Chip Leer - This chat stuff is sort of like an ice house with a revolving door!!
Chip Leer - Glad to have you here bogie, obviously you like ice fishing as much as we do.
Warren MN - I was wanting the full size house room without the full size pain that goes with it
curt quesnell - Tell us about ice fishing in ILL. Do you use Shanties or Fish houses?
bogie - Portable shanties.
curt quesnell - Warren, they have them now too!
Warren MN - All I've been seeing is the clam styles, around here.
curt quesnell - Bogie, are these home-built or store bought?
Chip Leer - Your in Luck Warren MN, there are new portables this year that "pack small and fish big" the new Clam 1060 is a prime example. 4x6 closed 10x6 to fish! It sets up in less than 3 minutes!
Warren MN - Now your talking my kind of house!!!
curt quesnell - That's the baby you want Warren, but there are some BIG ones out there, still very portable.
Chip Leer - I believe you can find a link to houses such as that through our website 
Warren MN - Thanks.
Warren MN - I'd rather take a house off every night than to have to go back after a 12" snow fall!!
Chip Leer - Happy to help. Keep fishing. 
Chip Leer - Does anyone else have more ice questions/comments?
Warren MN - The best part about ice fishing these days is that there are now products available, to fit everyone's style of ice fishing. That wasn't the case a few years ago. Enjoy the growth of this great sport!!
Tommy Skarlis - Well guys, It looks as though it's time to go. If anyone has any specific questions, they can e-mail us at:  or you can go to the website, 
Warren MN - Thanks for coming guys!
curt quesnell - It time for my beauty nap, 'night everybody! Wow that was a quick hour!1
Tommy Skarlis - Thanks everybody! Goodnight!
bogie - Bye guys thanks a lot!
Dan(oh) - G'night!!

Chatmans Note: Due to unforeseen events I was unable to get into the chat on this night. Tommy and Chip took it all in stride and put out on heck of a great chat. I'd really like to thank Tommy and Chip for being great guys and continuing on with the show! And special thanks to one of our regulars, Curt Quesnell, for acting as moderator at the spur of the moment. You guys are the best!