Tip-downs for ice fishing by John Morris

Everyone can catch more panfish through the ice, but ice anglers find a routine of doing it on the ice. Here they catch many fish and eventually the catch slows down or stops altogether. Thus, they must change depth, colors or holes for some time which does not last long. They therefore need to practice several techniques to stand up to the cold conditions with ice fishing. Do not forget appropriate clothing especially ice fishing boots and wool-blend boot socks among others.

Vertical to Horizontal
In this technique, the style of one’s ice jig matters just as its color do. Anglers prefer to use a tear-dropped shaped jig that is hanging vertically in the water, and when fish stop biting the vertical jig you then need to switch to the horizontal. Crappies and perch have been found to bit better on the horizontal jig.

Bounce the Bottom
A brilliant way to catch more jumbo perch is to allow the jig to bounce off the bottom of the lake. This is because perch feed mostly within a few inches of the bottom, thus by enabling the jig to bounce off at the bottom, the small shadow of debris and sound created will attract fish that are distant.

This technique can also be used for bluegills. During the action, one is advised to allow the jig to hit bottom to increase the productivity. But to use this approach, one needs a spring bobber. The jig should just be allowed to rest barely on the underside of the lake, and enough weight of the jig should be on the spring bobber to hold it away down thus when the fish takes the bait, it will undoubtedly rise with the jig and cause the spring bobber to go up.

Change Sizes
When the quantity of the catch goes down, instead of changing the colors, one can try to alter the size of the jig. This tip is helpful for both changing from a smaller to a larger jig and from a larger one to small. Most of the people prefer a red jig to others and of the chartreuse size of ten Teardrop by jammin’ jigs. After one has had enough catch can quickly switch from one size to another.

For instance switching from the size of 10 Teardrop to the size six but maintaining the same color can help to catch few big bluegills. Then finally one can change to small size 12 Teardrop that will enable to catch the fish that does not match the above mention two.

Bait to plastic
One can choose to give a live bait break and use a finesse plastic lure. Contrary to the expectation, bluegills and pan fish eventually tire of live bait. And when this happens it is advisable to switch to a tiny 1/80 round head jig that is probably hooked with a silver plastic on it. These finesse plastic jigs are excellent and do perform great in clear water.

Keep moving
Mobility is key to fishing no matter where you are, so one should keep on moving. Nowadays it easy to pick up and try it elsewhere basing on the fact that we have portable huts. So once you feel you have had a good catch it is advisable you keep on moving and trying luck in other places.

Be one with your Lure
One should be able to feel the weight of the jig so that whenever there is extra weight, it will implicate that a fish is on the bait. If one cannot feel the weight of the lure itself, it has different implications too, either it is too light for your rig or the depth you are fishing in.

For instance, many ice anglers think that they can fish a 1/16-ounce jig or even small spoon on 10 to 12-pound test for pan fish. In reality, this cannot happen. For panfish, a four-pound test is the standard one, or one may consider even two- or one-pound test sometimes is better preferable when one is dealing with finicky panfish in shallow and clear water.

Fish the prime times
Fishing at prime times is a good practice because most of the fish are at the peak of their activity mostly during early morning and in the afternoon. Therefore, one can fish during these periods but especially early in the morning can be more productive.


Read more from John Morris at www.fishinghugger.com

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