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90 Per Cent of the Fish


There’s an old expression that goes "90 per cent of the fish inhabit 10 per cent of the water." The reason it’s often repeated is because it’s largely true. This trusted angling adage is particularly true during the hard water season. Sure there are times when fish are suspended in the water column - or even cruising right under the bottom of the ice. All rules have their exceptions, but for consistent ice fishing success the place to be is tight to the bottom. By this I mean suspending the bait, lure, spinner or fly within a foot or so above the dance floor of the lake, pond or reservoir you’re angling on. In a shallow water set up where the bottom is visible down the hole finding the right depth is relatively easy.

This Pigeon Lake pike fell for a frozen minnow and jig fished inches off the bottom

This Pigeon Lake pike fell for a frozen minnow and jig fished inches off the bottom

An ice angling structure like a tent, shanty or simply a tarp draped over your head eliminates the glare and allows the angler to look into the fishes’ watery world. In deeper or discoloured water the technique of determining depth is to allow the lure to free-spool off your rod until the line goes slack. Then tighten reel. When the line is taunt again you’re likely in the zone. Although in a waterbody with a vegetated bottom you may have to raise your terminal tackle a crank or two more to clear the cabbage and prevent the hooks from being fouled. The bait or lure must be visible for the fish - whether it be walleye, pike, perch, trout, whitefish or burbot - to find it.

A great way to solve the mystery and clear the down-hole confusion is to employ an underwater camera system. Sometimes it’s not necessarily the most exciting cable TV out there. But it sure can be effective.

Previous Fishing Tips & Facts

(1) Fish imitating flies are prime for trout

(2) Float Fishing Hoppers

(3) Setting the Hook

(4) Backcountry Fishing

(5) Rigging Foams and Boxes

(6) Securing Shiners

(7) Precision Mending

(8) The JawJacker - A fish catching machine

(9) Optimal performance boundaries

(10) 90 Per Cent of the Fish

(11) Heavy Line for the Big Fish

(12) Go Small and go Natural

(13) Fishing the Foam Line

(14) Trip Planning Tips

(15) The Seven-Year Twitch

(16) What is that Shiny Silver Fish

(17) The Art of Mending

(18) A well-stocked Fly Box

(19) Weight Forward vs. Double Taper Fly Lines

(20) The Evening Walleye Shift

(21) On the Fly

(22) Memories Aren't Made of This

(23) Selecting the right fly

(24) Road Trips

(25) The Roll cast

(26) Fly-fishing for Pike

(27) Walleye Tip

(28) Mountain Lakers

(29) Hints For Dry Fly Success

(30) Survival Strategies For The Silly Season

(31) Local Advise

(32) It's A Pink Year

(33) Ice Fishin Safety

(34) Third World Travel

(35) Casting Angles

(36) The Rocky Mountain Whitefish Rig

(37) Using Sinking Leaders

(38) The Pike Fisherman's Vest

(39) Walleye Tips

(40) Trophies Are In The Eye Of The Beholder

(41) The Right Tool For The Job

(42) Respect The Weather - Expect The Weather

(43) Approach

(44) Gearing Up For Ice Perch

(45) Do It Yourself Excersions

(46) Shots

(47) Atlantic Salmon Fishing Techniques

(48) Fishing Etiquette In Crowded Conditions

(49) Swinging Caddis Flies

(50) Selecting a Fishing Rod

(51) Pike Angling Retrieves

(52) Detecting The Strike

(53) Unmatch The Hatch

(54) Off The Grid Air Travel

(55) Practise

(56) How Deep Are They Biting?

(57) Netting and Landing Your Fish

(58) Texas Travel Tips

(59) Quick Tips for Triggering Strikes

(60) Be the Last Man Standing

(61) Water Temperature & Trout

(62) Visiting Reindeer Lake

(63) Stillwater Stratagems

(64) Those Crazy Cohos!

(65) Leaders & Tippets

(66) Big Water Strategies

(67) Small Stream Stealth



(70) Travelling Angler Tips

(71) Choosing The Right Fly

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

(73) Fishing at Night

(74) Having Troubles Catching fish?

(75) Having Troubles Finding Fish?

(76) Stay Skinny To Catch Fish

(77) Tips For Fishing With Kids

(78) The Wonderful Woolly Bugger

(79) Wading Safely

(80) Double Your Fun

(81) More About The Red River

(82) Rookie Rod Buying Tips

(83) Hook Sharpening

(84) Going Light

(85) Hopper - Dropper Rigs

(86) Tips For Buying A Pontoon Boat

(87) Fishing Tips and Facts for Sturgeon

(88) Three Flies to Live by

(89) Reading Rise Forms

(90) Tips and Facts for Early Season Success

(91) A Fly for All Seasons

(92) Ice Shelters – Seeing is Believing

(93) Effective approaches to working small streams

(94) Unburdening the Travelling Angler

(95) 5 Flies for Anyones Fly Box

(96) Road Trips

(97) Dry Flies for High & Dirty Water

(98) Tips For Dealing With Biting Bass

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

(100) Depth and Light

(101) Rigging Large Dry Flies

(102) Best Rod for Spring Angling

(103) Stream Etiquette for Floaters

(104) Tackling Whites Through the Ice

(105) Angling Tips for Finding Books

(106) Winter Smart Open Water Angling

(107) Fall Primer for Pike

(108) Packing Tips

(109) Tips and Tackle for the High Country

(110) Hunt them Shallow

(111) Polarized Sunglasses
The smart anglers’ advantage.

(112) Fishing Tips for Early Season Flyrodding

(113) Know Your Knots

(114) Alternative Thoughts about Ice Fishing

(115) Tips for Mexican Bonefishing

(116) Techniques for Tantalizing Grayling

(117) Understanding Fly Leaders & Tippets

(118) Catfish on the Fly

(119) Get Your Backswimmer On

(120) Reading the Sonar

(121) Insect Identification Made Easy

(122) The Sinker and Floating Plug


(124) Fishing Drop Offs

(125) Stay On Fish

(126) Landing The Big One

(127) Fighting Fish on a Fly Rod

(128) North Saskatchewan River - Be River Aware

(129) Backswimmer Pothole Trout Frenzy

(130) Hunt for Suspended Fish

(131) Reading Your Waters Before You Cast

(132) Setting Up Your Bait Casting Reel

(133) Fishing Journals

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

(135) The Crazy Whitefish Days of Last Ice

(136) The Bait of Choice

(137) Shallow Water Jumbo Perch

(138) Getting Started on the Ice

(139) Plan an Ice Fishing Getaway

(140) Brookie Season

(141) River Fishing is Heating Up

(142) Become a Better Angler

(143) The Forgotten Pike

(144) Get Out Your Plugs and Spoons

(145) Slip Bobber is King in Spring

(146) See You at the Show

(147) Red Hot Whitefish

(148) Staging Walleye

(149) The Lure of Lake Whitefish

(150) Great Rainbow Fishing At First Ice

(151) A Simple Approach to Ice Fishing

(152) Big Pike Combo Approaches

(153) Gearing up for Fall Whitefish

(154) River of Gold

(155) Bottom Bounce Your Way to Success

(156) Small Stream Fun

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

(158) I Believe - The Glow in Glow Jigs

(159) Tricks to Improve Your Ice Fishing

(160) Trout Fishing is Red Hot

(161) Dealing With Fishing Pressure

(162) All I Want for Christmas: Fishing Gift Ideas

(163) Staying Warm on the Ice

(164) Hunting Big Browns in Lakes

(165) Where Did All Those Walleye Go?

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

(167) Great and Affordable Fishing on the West Coast

(168) Lake Whites in the Summer? You Bet

(169) Prime Time for Lakers

(170) A Slip Bobber is so Much More

(171) Ice Fishing for Pike and Walleye

(172) Catching a Big Pike

(173) Purchasing a Rod

(174) Catching Rainbows through the Ice

(175) Gearing up for the Snow and Ice

(176) Gearing Up For Pike

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

(178) The Bottom’s Up in Fishing

(179) Fish Where They’re Biting

(180) Three Standard Walleye Presentations

(181) Two Early Season Presentations for Pothole Trout

(182) Tackle Tips for Catch and Release Fishing

(183) Keeping Your Head Above Water


(185) Beginner Baitcasting Tips