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TOPNOTCH INNOVATIONS

 

 

Ice Fishing Tip #1:

Haven't gotten many bites with the ol' up-and-down jigging motion? The fish may have gotten bored with your technique. Try gripping the line with your thumb and forefinger, rolling it back and forth. This will cause the jig to twirl in the same motion, and attract a dance partner in the process. Another option is to move the jig around the edge of the hole evenly, without changing depth.

 

Ice Fishing Tip #2:

It seems unlikely that a fish would ever prefer plastic to actual, live bait, but bluegill and panfish will grow to do just that. Give your bait a vacation and try a 1/80 round-head jig with a small sliver of plastic attached. The action on these lures will bring your target swimming.

 

Ice Fishing Tip #3:

Bigger is better. Or at least if you've been using a small jig all day. If you're facing a slowdown in interest after a long while with one size jig, switch to the opposite. This works from big to small or vice-versa. Give the fish a change in direction to keep their interest.

 

 

Ice Fishing Tip #4:

Are you in the business of catching perch? Few techniques are as effective as bouncing your jig off the bottom of the lake. These fish eat off the bottom, so an eager jig kicking up detritus and making noise will be sure to bring a hungry fish swimming. Even if you're not a perch wrangler, this can inspire bites from otherwise uninterested bluegill as well.

 

Ice Fishing Tip #5:

If the fish aren't biting, it's not necessarily because they're picky eaters. Sometimes they just need to pushed in the right direction. "Chumming" is the act of scattering extra bait freely on the water to create a glut of food around your hole, which will encourage your prey to come searching. And once the crappie get eating, they're unlikely to stop before ending up on your hook.

 

Ice Fishing Tip #6:

Much like Indiana Jones, some fish realize that coming into the light has dire consequences. Therefore it's helpful to prevent light from entering the water through your hole, an obvious red flag for a wise bluegill. Take ice shavings from around your hole and create a floating curtain on the surface, thick enough to block light but thin enough to sink your line through.