Click on the image to vote for this site.
Want to join The Top 1000 Fishing Sites, click here!
Want to view the list, click here!
Hard Water ‘Eyes
By Colin Crawford
Walleyes are without a doubt the most sought after game fish in the
Midwest in the summer. Now’s a good time too. Walleyes are
often considered to be schoolers, but under the ice they seem to disperse
into loose associations. Pinpointing them is often difficult, but
catching one is like finding a piece of the puzzle. Show me a lake with
an hourglass figure and a few good walleyes, and
I’ll show you fish. The key is in the narrows of the lake.
Perhaps it’s the current, or maybe the bottlenecking effect. Needless
to say the narrows are a walleye attractor second to none. Points
with a good extension into deep water are a close second. Bays nearby
are also worth plying. With three distinct target areas to choose from.
I like to pick a lake with a narrows, a major point extending out into
the main body and adjoining bays sandwiched in between. It doesn’t
matter what the target species is, a combination of these structural elements
is going to attract some fish during ice up.
I am not one of those ice fisherman that will sit and sit waiting for
a bite, in fact, one might say that I am really aggressive when it comes
to ice fishing. Oh, it is true that fish are sluggish in the winter
and you often need to tease them into hitting. Perch, walleye, northern
pike, bluegill, crappie, and trout are attracted to movement. They
respond to it automatically. In the warm months, trollers and casters
tend to catch more than stillfisherman. In the winter, about the
movement you can create is a vertical hop or jig, but that is better
than letting your bait hang there like so much wet laundry. Panfisherman
especially like to wiggle those tiny ice flies and teardrops tipped with
grubs or waxworms. Originally, most panfishing was done with light
lines and small bobbers. Anglers bounced the bobber up and down on
the water, then waited for the fish to bite. Many of these fisherman
could tell you that they often times they have been bit
and couldn’t of detected even the slightest nibble. Always adjust your
ice fishing presentation to the fish. For instance if you have all the
right conditions for a good bite (fish showing on the sonar, stable weather,
and rumors that fish are biting) use a technique that will work on aggressive
Crappie minnows fished near the bottom provide some of the finest mid-winter
perch fishing to be found anywhere. On good days, fish from 11 to
13 inches can be caught two at a time, as fast as the angler can get rebaited
and back to the bottom. The typical "perch rig" two #6 snelled hooks attached
to the line 8 and 16 inches above a 1/2 ounce bell sinker, works well.
Some anglers use
tiny spinner blades and beads on their hooks to serve as additional
attractors. Hooking a crappie minnow either through the lips or behind
the dorsal fin works equally as well. The perch aren't fussy sometimes
striking bare hooks. Light spinning tackle and #4 test
Cold Weather line completes the tackle required to catch these delicious
Your lure selection might also have to change. Right now on many
glow/blue Fire-Eye minnows are hot. If that color isn't productive
on to other colors. The style and shape of the
Fire-Eye minnow allows it to flutter as it falls. This will simulate
a wounded minnow and turn
those inactive fish into active ones. Another type of lure that suspends
the rate of fall is the
Airplane jig and the Jigging .
These types of jigs have a swimming action and they dart as they fall.
This will give the fish an impression that minnows are darting and swimming
towards them and escaping from them and it will trigger a response from
those finicky walleyes. Remember to be conscience of the size of your bait.
The old adage that the "larger the bait, the larger the fish," will hold
true, but if the fish turn off, try a smaller size and you might be surprised.
Of course at this time of year it is hard to troll to find active fish,
but in a sense you can apply the methods that you use in the summertime.
Drill holes from the shallowest portion of the structure you are fishing
and then continue to drill holes at various depths as
the structure drops off into deeper water. Then instead of "trolling"
along the structure you can use tip-ups to cover from the deepest to the
shallowest point. Tip-ups enable you to cover more water than you
could with a minnow and float. A flag can be seen from several hundred
feet away. Most states allow you to use two lines and if you have
a number of fishing buddies with you, you can cover the structure at various
depths and in effect troll the edge of the structure. Want more information
on fishing in the Phelps, Wisconsin area. Stop
by Guide’s Choice Pro Shop in Eagle River, WI 54521, and we will lend
ear and a helping hand.
Walleyes Inc. website is maintained
Tyler Fishing the In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Circuit, Masters
Walleye Circuit and the Team Walleye Circuit. All rights reserved.Copyright
Please visit these site sponsors
R-A.M Mounting Systems,
Mercury Marine, Bedford
Sales and Hamby's Beaching Bumpers,
Marine products, Panther