5 Ice Fishing Tips To Catch More Fish

Some basic principles of fishing should be kept in mind regardless of what fish you want to catch or the time of year. Here are five tips for more ice fishing success.

5 Ice Fishing Tips To Catch More Fish

Presentation while ice fishing for walleye, northern pike, perch, crappie and other types of fish needs to change for the different types of fish when you're heading out on hard water.

Different species of fish respond to different presentations. Walleyes like spoons, panfish like tiny jigs and pike like natural baits. If you’re targeting something specific, you should employ a technique that that specie is most likely to respond to.

Some basic principles of fishing should be kept in mind regardless of what fish you want to catch or the time of year. Here are five tips for more ice fishing success.

The Right Area

The most important consideration is finding the areas where the fish are most likely to bite your bait. Some community holes will hold lots of fish, but fishing pressure makes those fish very selective. And, after awhile, those community holes get fished down. Take some time to search out other areas away from the fishing pressure: Those fish will be more likely to bite your bait, making them easier to catch.

Above, Not Below

Once you find the fish, you want to keep your bait above them for a couple of reasons. First of all, fish see up better than they see down. If your bait is above them, they’re more likely to see it, which makes them more likely to eat it.

Don't Spook Them

The other reason for keeping your bait above the fish is to possibly prevent spooking the other fish around them. If you see fish on the sonar, drop your bait but stop it when it’s still three or four feet above the fish. Active fish will come up and take the bait.

Catch the active ones first. If they quit rising to the bait, then allow it to get closer to them. If you drop it into the group of fish right away and catch a couple, the rest of the school might spook. Make the active ones move away from the school to prevent spooking. I use a Vexilar FLX-28 in the zoom mode much of the time. This unit enables me to “zoom” in on a particular zone, so the definition is really good, and I’m able to position my bait exactly where I want it to be.

Don't Be Stubborn

Another important thing to keep in mind for more ice-fishing success for any specie: If they’re not responding to what you’re doing, do something else. If you chase panfish when you’re ice-fishing, you probably know how productive some of the different baits in the Bro’s Bug Collection can be.

These baits were designed for ice-fishing. They’re small and each has its own distinctive quality. The differences may not be that much, but the fish can tell the difference and at times will favor one over the other.

Move Around

As the ice-fishing season proceeds, don’t sit on one hole too long. I know lots of ice-anglers that move constantly. If they’re on a big structure, they’ll put an auger, sonar, and anything else they need into a portable shelter and just keep popping holes until they find the fish. The Otter Pro Cottage is perfect for this plan of attack. It can seat two anglers, but I like plenty of room, so I use this unit even when fishing alone.

Now is when you need to be ice-fishing. If you employ the tactics above, you’ll catch more fish more often when you go ice-fishing.

Source: Content provided by Northland Tackle and Bob Jensen. To see new and old episodes of Fishing the Midwest television, fishing articles, and fishing video tips, visit fishingthemidwest.com.


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