OutdoorChief.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate this site earns from qualifying purchases.
Ice fishing can be a tricky business. If you’re at a spot and nothing seems to be happening the frustrations (and the cold) can easily set in.
Sure, you may pull out the ice fishing sonar to see what action there is; there’s options to maybe change holes or fish at a deeper depth. However, it is all too easy to blame the lack of catch on the fish.
How many times have you cursed them for ‘just not biting today’?
A potentially good day’s fishing then ends up being called short, gear is packed away and you figure better luck next time.
Well with the following tips I am hoping that this outcome will be a thing of the past. These simple steps will ensure that you have a few more techniques to try out before concluding that it’s time to throw in the towel.
Never estimate the power of the finesse plastic lures for ice fishing.
If it seems that the Bluegills and other panfish have grown bored of the live bait, (trust me this can happen) a 1/80 round head jig with a sliver of plastic hooked on it may well peak their interest instead.
The quiver of the lure has a good chance of enticing them, (assuming they are there in the first place), with minimum effort from you.
Finesse plastic jigs can also be used as search jigs and are perfectly at home in the crystal clear waters of the average ice fishing hole.
Let’s face it, if the live bait doesn’t seem to be working, what have you got to lose by trying the lure?
2. Jig not working? Shake it up with a size change
Ok so you’re tried the jig instead of bait and things a still pretty slow.
You can opt to change the color of course, however I generally find great success by changing the size.
It is worth experimenting with both smaller or larger jigs than the one you started out with.
This tip can be even used if the fish are biting. If a certain sized jig has netted you some average sized bluegills, why not up the anti by trying a larger sized teardrop to see if anything bigger is swimming around down there.
And finally, it doesn’t hurt to shake it up with a small size 12, Teardrop jig. There’s every chance that fish that couldn’t be snagged on the larger jigs will be lured on the smaller rig.
No point in leaving any stone unturned so to speak.
3. Don’t forget to look into the hole
It’s amazing how many of us fail to really look into the ice fishing hole. Why is that?
There’s no telling what you might learn by actually watching the fish as the respond to your baits or jig.
Crappies and perch are especially responsive to horizontal style jigs.
9. Opt for the superline
If you’re fishing with pound test or lighter monofilament line you could be missing the indication that something has bitten. This is because these types of line have so much elasticity, especially at depth.
My recommended tip for fishing in deep water is to opt for the super line. When ice fishing you could do far worse than the PowerPro superline.
With the diameter of one-pound test monofilament this bad-boy line features the strength of eight-pound test line. More than sturdy enough for you to detect bites over long distances.
10. Never underestimate a bit of chumming
My final tip may well help when all else seems to be failing (and is especially helpful when competing): try a bit of chumming.
Armed with a few crushed wax worms, spikes, or minnows, chuck them down the hole.
Not only will this excite the local population of fish and bring them closer, it will also get them into a bit of a feeding frenzy, ready for your line.