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HOW TO ICE FISH??
Posted: 22 January 2013 11:00 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Ok, so I have been ice fishing about 3 times in my life, all when I was a kid and have never caught a fish through the ice. I am going with a friend this weekend who is also very inexperienced with ice fishing. I do consider myself a decent open water fisherman but im not sure how much of that carries over into ice fishing. I know you first make sure ice is safe enough for fishing, i know you drill a hole or 4 and drop your line in but thats about it. I notice most ice fishing lures are tiny and shiny, but what really are some tried and true lures that are not a bad option to tie on to catch panfish/walleye/bass etc? Also, what are some techniques as far as jigging and what not? Also, what parts of the lake should be targeted? Are most fish deep this time of year? I could really use some pointers from you guys on this as I really want to pull a fish throught the ice. The lake im going to is a really good bass, bluegill and crappie lake during the spring and summer. Should i drill where i catch them in the spring and summer? I dont have one of those fish flashers since i dont go enough to justify spending the money on one but is that the secret to success? Thanks for your help! Im sure you guys have a wealth of knowledge on this.

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Posted: 22 January 2013 11:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Thin line, an ice fly tipped with a wax worm.  Use a small bobber to adjust depth.

That’s the easy part, now you have to find them.

If you know the lake, go to some of your moderately deeper brush piles and drop into them.  Start near the bottom all around the pile and move up depth of the fly if no success.  Sometimes they like an occasional bump/move on the lure…

If you fish from bottom up to 3 or for feet down with no success around the pile…find a new pile.  Try deeper and ,ore shallow piles as well.

That’s what we do anyway…

Good luck!

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Posted: 22 January 2013 01:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Good advice ffrom Oz. I would agree that I wouldn’t spend a lot of time in a hole unless of course it is producing fish. I would agree that I would find the botom and then start at 2-4 inches off moving upward until I find what works. pink and or green ice jigs tipped with a wax worm work well for gills and crappie at times. I may add that a small minnow willl produce fish any time of year. Typically any action you may add shold be subtle in most cases however experiment to find what they want. When I fish I drill one whole work the different depths and move if there isn’t fish feeding. Usually if you find a fish there are more present. Ice fishing can be a blast as you mentoned safety first and good luck! You fishing public access or private?

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Posted: 22 January 2013 02:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thanks for the tips so far guys! I am fishing a private lake that belongs to a HOA. Its not very well known but man the HOA has done a fantastic job with managing the lake. Just goes to show how good some things can be if you take pride in them and do things the right way. Theres not a better bass lake that ive fished in the area public or private (excluding little pot hole ponds chucked full of lunkers) Ive also read that 90 minutes surronding sun up and sun down can be most productive for crappie and mid day for gills…we are just going to be going out around 230 and fish until dark hopefully should catch some of the mid day action along with the sunset action (changing light conditions plays a big part apparently)

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Posted: 22 January 2013 03:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Something I think I will add not much about catching the fish but resist the temptation to bang your auger against the ice after drilling holes as this could wroll the edges over on the blades… Augers work great when blades are sharp wroll those edges and a lot more work is involved. I don’t use any tent or shack just take my bucket and times I take a lantern to light and sit in the bucket, the added warmth can help. GOOD LUCK! I move way too much to pull a shack around at least until I find a bite.

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Posted: 22 January 2013 04:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Then let me add, the better you know the lake, the betteryour success.  If you know the piles and the depths, you can find the fish.  Be patient the first time or two out.  You’ll find em!

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Posted: 23 January 2013 10:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I don’t care for the tiny ice fishing poles I was taught with.  I take my ultra lite and sit back from the hole a little.

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Posted: 26 January 2013 11:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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a few thoughts and tricks to help you if you are going to fish without any electronics. Be fore you tie your jig on the a slip float stop knot on your line. If you have one take a small clip on weight so you can check depth accurately hook the weight to your jig drop it down slow moving the slip knot up your line. When you touch bottom set the knot at the top edge of the ice hole now you can reel up remove the weight bait your jig and drop back down and fish the bottom of the water column a little better 3” then 6” etc. once you find fish if they’re 12” off bottom just move the slip knot down 12” then every time you drop back in you’ll know your at the right depth when the knot is at the top of the ice hole.  You spend more time fishing than guessing that way. I fish with out a float I watch the line some times the bite is so lite you just see the line move to the side of the hole and you also need to watch for the up bite when fishing that close to the bottom most fish come up on the bait from the bottom and you will see the line go slack. Hook set is nice easy upward pressure if you set the hook like when open water fishing you will most of the time rip a lip and lose a fish.
When you go out try to find structure that you fished in open water, if you can find weeds even if they are going away drill about 6 holes around the outer edge of them leave the area for about 15 minutes and do the same in another spot or two. Then quietly go back to your first spot. If you start taking fish only pull a couple from a hole and move to the next hole around your circle and keep doing the same till you fish around it. by fishing this way you don’t pound the same spot and spook the fish away(Ido the same open water fishing for Crappie and Gils). one trip around and move to your next spot. Most of the time you can be on fish for hours if they are there without having to move.
Last but not least don’t be afraid to load up the jig with waxies or spikes 3 or 4 works well. If you can find Mousies they are great bait there really hard to find this year iF you do find them Put one on tail first and then one with the tail hanging off the hook this gives them great action and looks like a bigger meal to the fish.
  Hope this Helps Let me know how you do. Good Luck and remember be Safe out there, check the ice close this year.

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Posted: 28 January 2013 11:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Excellent point about the weighted clip used to find the bottom, valuable tool that makes it easier. When I was younger we had another name for those clips…lol

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