If you haven’ been closely following the rapid advancements taking place in modern Ice Fishing, you owe it to yourself to check out just what has been happening. And if you have, you are most likely just as impressed and thankful for it as I am. A couple of words have been bantered around quite a bit concerning the drastic changes we have seen developing over the last 20 years and have continued to grow at an ever increasing pace the last ten years to flat out phenomenal change the last 5 years.
First ice brings months of anticipation — better yet, anxiety — even long before the first leaf slowly tumbles down in early fall. But as good as early ice-fishing always is here in the Dakotas, I can honestly say that the urgency of what awaits us as we drift from the common doldrums of midwinter into the late- to last-ice periods can easily override even the best days that we have enjoyed to date.
In last month’s article, I outlined some basic guidelines for selecting a good rod and reel combination for live bait rigging Walleye’s. I will now get down to the business end of things and give you some options concerning terminal tackle. While I am sure you may be partial to what you’re currently using, if you will keep an open mind, I would like to share some of my ideas with you.
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.
Many of our thoughts are now turning to the Open Water Season. This means reviewing our Tackle and Equipment needs.
There hasn’t been anything particularly noteworthy in the Terminal Tackle department for sometime. Maybe a new twist here and there and some flashy new colors; that in general do a better job of getting us to open our wallets then they do a fish opening their mouths. Nonetheless, it is still great fun acquiring the newest offerings. After all, any true fisherman is just a kid at heart.
By this I respectively am referring to Ice, Chubs, and Oversized Predators. Late ice is great ice, this most of us are keenly aware of. And, it goes hand in hand with fishing big chubs for the heftiest fish any body of water has to offer. I generally target walleye’s, but you will also undoubtedly encounter some huge pike as well. This system works equally well for both, just need to beef up your leaders if you target the slimy ones.
By skinny, I am referring to depth of water. The contradicting term fat, corresponds to the oversized mature fish you will often find in the form of dominant predators, such as Pike, Bass, and Walleye’s-in Northern latitudes. Just enough water to float a fish, will keep them perfectly content-and even more so-when there is a security blanket of ice directly above them.
I’m not talking about the quality of the ice itself but the about your opportunity to enjoy some of the best fishing of the hard water season. Once the calendar roles around to late February or early March a lot of the enthusiasm for ice fishing has waned. Just as you begin to notice less and less anglers out, all species of fish activity will be increasing proportionally
The advent of the all-terrain vehicle and its accessories has changed the face of ice fishing. We are living in an era where mechanization and technology continue to escalate at an amazing pace, and it seems nearly impossible to keep up with everything being presented to us.
It’s official-winter is now upon us. Time to think positive, as the days will start getting longer and best of all we have ice! Deer season is over, the ducks have followed the retired folks south, and you should have shot your fill of pheasants by now. As a sportsman there is but one pursuit to focus on and that is of course, ice fishing.
Every year during the Hardwater Season, the most frequent question posed to me is; “Should I spend my money on a Vexilar or an Aqua Vue.” For those of you just entering the Electronic Age of Ice Fishing, this can be a daunting dilemma. I’ll outline some of my thoughts on the subject to help make your decision making process a bit easier. The information may also help those who are looking for a well appreciated gift, fulfilling a need for the avid ice angler in their family.
The subject matter I write about has always had a strong focus on education, whether it be about fish location and behavior or in presentations and the associated lures used to elicit a positive response. I would like to continue on with that theme and implore some of you (probably the majority of you) to self-educate yourselves.