For those of us fortunate enough to live in an area where our lakes freeze, we have the ability to enjoy the great outdoors during the winter & do some ice fishing.
General Tips to Put you on to More Fish
If you are using live bait when ice fishing, then it becomes very important to keep your bait fresh. It is too easy to just leave your old bait on there, after all, if you’re not in a hut & fishing out in the cold, who wants to take their warm hands out of their comfortable gloves & get them cold & wet? Well, I do and you should also.
Keep you bait fresh, otherwise, it becomes water logged and stale…very un-appealing to fish.
Also, there’s a mix between “dead-sticking” or constantly moving your bait. If you are constantly moving your bait, you will catch the aggressive fish, but they tend to be smaller fish. If you are “dead-sticking” (i.e just leaving your bait still) it will produce bites, but may also spook fish in to be leery of the “dead bait”.
The Best Approach if you are Using Live Bait
Keeping your bait fresh, moving it regularly – but allowing for long pauses in between moves – will definitely put you on to more fish and bigger fish as well. The combination of “dead-sticking” and moving your fresh bait, is too irresistible to fish. A general rule would be to jiggle your bait a few times, then wait for 30 seconds and then jiggle it again.
“Run & Gun” Approach – or Stay the Course
If your hole is not producing any fish and hasn’t for a long period of time (i.e. a few hours), than you have a decision to make. Do I stay here or should I move?
If you have the option to move, then you should. Some anglers actually take the “run & gun” approach. They drill a hole & start fishing. If they do not catch anything within a half hour, they move to another spot and try again. They will do this all day if they have to and it is very effective.
Mind you, if you have a hand auger, it can be very tiresome!
Sometimes your hole will be right over a school of fish and you will have action all day. Other times, the fish will come and go, as they travel around. When you stay the course and use the same hole all day, you definitely want to take advantage of the time when the fish come around.
Use the “best approach” noted above, and it can help make the difference between a slow day of ice fishing – and a great day of ice fishing!
Until next time, good luck and good fishin’!
PS: There’s something else which you might like if you enjoy ice fishing, maybe you like Ice Fishing for Perch.