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A Simple Approach to Ice Fishing

 

A simple tip to catch fish is size down, slow down and if need be, go natural. Sooner rather than later, you will start having success. That's been my approach and it's served me well. This holds true for pike, walleye, trout, perch&you name it. But, let's look at how this method applies when coming into the ice-fishing season.



The one component, slow down, will inherently be built in for the simple fact that, other than jigging, the presentation will be stationary or near stationary below an ice-fishing hole. The 'going natural' component is the best approach for everything that swims, save for the whitefish. The lake whitefish for some reason often prefer wireworms, flies or other small lures over maggots, mealworms and minnows. Pike, however, are suckers for frozen herring, smelts or my absolute favorite bait&anchovies. Walleye fall prey to the medium and large sized frozen minnows tipped on one eighth to one quarter ounce jigs. Some people call these frozen minnows Parker's minnows. Trout and perch go batty over trout worms, dew worms, maggots and meal worms. The big perch love meal worms. That covers the bait component.



The last consideration I mentioned was sizing down. Where I use a quarter ounce jig in the summer, I'll size it down to an eighth ounce come winter. When I jig for walleye, I'll do away with the steel leaders and tie direct to either four or six pound Fireline. The thin diameter line does not spook fish and I feel I catch more because of it. Likewise, when it comes to trout or whitefish, I buy tippet material and tie on three feet of thinner tippet to the end of my main line. I like to use the Rio Powerflex tippet material. For finicky fish, I'll move to 5X tippet tied to my six pound main line. If the fish aren't too fussy, I'll use 4X, which ironically tests out at 6.4 lb strength. While the breaking strength is stronger, the line is actually thinner.



Sizing down is also a consideration when it comes to bait. Often times I'll use a half or even a third of a trout worm thread on a smaller size 8 bait hook. The same goes for pike. I have often caught pike on half and three quarter pound bait fish on tip ups, but I've caught far more using 5-inch anchovies. It seems when winter comes, the less is more theory really comes to the forefront. So there it is, size down, slow down and go natural. Do that and there will be more fish biting the end of your line.


Previous Fishing Tips & Facts

(1) Selecting the right fly

(2) Road Trips

(3) The Roll cast

(4) Fly-fishing for Pike

(5) Walleye Tip

(6) Mountain Lakers

(7) Hints For Dry Fly Success

(8) Survival Strategies For The Silly Season

(9) Local Advise

(10) It's A Pink Year

(11) Ice Fishin Safety

(12) Third World Travel

(13) Casting Angles

(14) The Rocky Mountain Whitefish Rig

(15) Using Sinking Leaders

(16) The Pike Fisherman's Vest

(17) Walleye Tips

(18) Trophies Are In The Eye Of The Beholder

(19) The Right Tool For The Job

(20) Respect The Weather - Expect The Weather

(21) Approach

(22) Gearing Up For Ice Perch

(23) Do It Yourself Excersions

(24) Shots

(25) Atlantic Salmon Fishing Techniques

(26) Fishing Etiquette In Crowded Conditions

(27) Swinging Caddis Flies

(28) Selecting a Fishing Rod

(29) Pike Angling Retrieves

(30) Detecting The Strike

(31) Unmatch The Hatch

(32) Off The Grid Air Travel

(33) Practise

(34) How Deep Are They Biting?

(35) Netting and Landing Your Fish

(36) Texas Travel Tips

(37) Quick Tips for Triggering Strikes

(38) Be the Last Man Standing

(39) Water Temperature & Trout

(40) Visiting Reindeer Lake

(41) Stillwater Stratagems

(42) Those Crazy Cohos!

(43) Leaders & Tippets

(44) Big Water Strategies

(45) Small Stream Stealth

(46) DO I GET UP EARLY?

(47) ACCESSIBLE PLACES TO FISH

(48) Travelling Angler Tips

(49) Choosing The Right Fly

(50) They come out at Night - Our Friends that is

(51) Fishing at Night

(52) Having Troubles Catching fish?

(53) Having Troubles Finding Fish?

(54) Stay Skinny To Catch Fish

(55) Tips For Fishing With Kids

(56) The Wonderful Woolly Bugger

(57) Wading Safely

(58) Double Your Fun

(59) More About The Red River

(60) Rookie Rod Buying Tips

(61) Hook Sharpening

(62) Going Light

(63) Hopper - Dropper Rigs

(64) Tips For Buying A Pontoon Boat

(65) Fishing Tips and Facts for Sturgeon

(66) Three Flies to Live by

(67) Reading Rise Forms

(68) Tips and Facts for Early Season Success

(69) A Fly for All Seasons

(70) Ice Shelters – Seeing is Believing

(71) Effective approaches to working small streams

(72) Unburdening the Travelling Angler

(73) 5 Flies for Anyones Fly Box

(74) Road Trips

(75) Dry Flies for High & Dirty Water

(76) Tips For Dealing With Biting Bass

(77) Summertime and the Fishin’ Ain’t Easy

(78) Depth and Light

(79) Rigging Large Dry Flies

(80) Best Rod for Spring Angling

(81) Stream Etiquette for Floaters

(82) Tackling Whites Through the Ice

(83) Angling Tips for Finding Books

(84) Winter Smart Open Water Angling

(85) Fall Primer for Pike

(86) Packing Tips

(87) Tips and Tackle for the High Country

(88) Hunt them Shallow

(89) Polarized Sunglasses
The smart anglers’ advantage.

(90) Fishing Tips for Early Season Flyrodding

(91) Know Your Knots

(92) Alternative Thoughts about Ice Fishing

(93) Tips for Mexican Bonefishing

(94) Techniques for Tantalizing Grayling

(95) Understanding Fly Leaders & Tippets

(96) Catfish on the Fly

(97) Get Your Backswimmer On

(98) Reading the Sonar

(99) Insect Identification Made Easy

(100) The Sinker and Floating Plug

(101) GADGETS & GIZMOS for "OLD GUYS"

(102) Fishing Drop Offs

(103) Stay On Fish

(104) Landing The Big One

(105) Fighting Fish on a Fly Rod

(106) North Saskatchewan River - Be River Aware

(107) Backswimmer Pothole Trout Frenzy

(108) Hunt for Suspended Fish

(109) Reading Your Waters Before You Cast

(110) Setting Up Your Bait Casting Reel

(111) Fishing Journals

(112) First Casts of the Season are at a River Near You

(113) The Crazy Whitefish Days of Last Ice

(114) The Bait of Choice

(115) Shallow Water Jumbo Perch

(116) Getting Started on the Ice

(117) Plan an Ice Fishing Getaway

(118) Brookie Season

(119) River Fishing is Heating Up

(120) Become a Better Angler

(121) The Forgotten Pike

(122) Get Out Your Plugs and Spoons

(123) Slip Bobber is King in Spring

(124) See You at the Show

(125) Red Hot Whitefish

(126) Staging Walleye

(127) The Lure of Lake Whitefish

(128) Great Rainbow Fishing At First Ice

(129) A Simple Approach to Ice Fishing

(130) Big Pike Combo Approaches

(131) Gearing up for Fall Whitefish

(132) River of Gold

(133) Bottom Bounce Your Way to Success

(134) Small Stream Fun

(135) Consider the Spawn and Water Temperature
for Early Season Fish

(136) I Believe - The Glow in Glow Jigs

(137) Tricks to Improve Your Ice Fishing

(138) Trout Fishing is Red Hot

(139) Dealing With Fishing Pressure

(140) All I Want For Christmas

(141) Staying Warm on the Ice

(142) Hunting Big Browns in Lakes

(143) Where Did All Those Walleye Go?

(144) Keep an Eye on the Weather, Fury of a Storm

(145) Great and Affordable Fishing on the West Coast

(146) Lake Whites in the Summer? You Bet

(147) Prime Time for Lakers

(148) A Slip Bobber is so Much More

(149) Ice Fishing for Pike and Walleye

(150) Catching a Big Pike

(151) Purchasing a Rod

(152) Catching Rainbows through the Ice

(153) Gearing up for the Snow and Ice

(154) Gearing Up For Pike

(155) Getting the Most out of Your Fly Fishing Set Up

(156) The Bottom’s Up in Fishing

(157) Fish Where They’re Biting

(158) Three Standard Walleye Presentations

(159) Two Early Season Presentations for Pothole Trout

(160) Tackle Tips for Catch and Release Fishing

(161) Keeping Your Head Above Water

(162) HEALTHY BAIT CATCHES FISH!

(163) Beginner Baitcasting Tips