I recently had the privilege of attending the 11th Annual Mobridge Ice Fishing Tournament and associated festivities on January 13th…
First ice is nearly here-and that can only mean one thing…ice fishing! The first forays into hard water, in my eyes anyway; stirs up something deep in the soul akin to a religious experience. There is a direct correlation, as after all, we are mere mortals are indeed walking on water.
BOLD IS BETTER THAN BASHFUL when it comes to the use of livebait to tempt big walleyes. I use a straightforward system that relies on large, lively chubs presented below tip-ups to tempt big fish. Big walleyes are finely tuned feeding machines that do their best to fill their bellies quickly, which is why they find it hard to resist a big chub. Retro system? Yes, but it works, especially when you fine tune the process.
What I relate here has been extracted from years of experience on expansive reservoirs such as those on the Missouri River—most notably Oahe—but applies on any large waterway with long stretches of relatively shallow structure, breaking sharply into deep water.
We’ve all been in situations where we’ve solved the walleye location puzzle, but are struggling to get them to bite. Might be postspawn fish on a point or shoreline break. Fish refuse standard presentations and even favorite rigging wrinkles. But there they are on sonar.
Perch location during early season is dependent on where they’re going to spawn. A few primary patters are prevalent in most lakes and reservoirs. Perch run into marshes and sloughs often connected to the main lake via narrow tubes areas, or through a tube area into a shallower, darker lake connected to a clearer one. These areas can be as narrow as a culvert or a bridge area.