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Thread: Ice fishing

  1. #1
    Senior Member Lyterx's Avatar
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    Ice fishing

    I see that a few members have mentioned ice fishing and have seen a few pictures. I was wondering how many other members ice fish, what kind of equipment you use and what have some of your best ice fishing days netted you?

    Been at it a few years now without a whole lot of success. I fish mainly tip ups and last year a buddy lent me a marcum showdown 2.0. I caught more fish using that than I did in the last few years. I would love to find the jumbo perch, but have only pulled a few dinks up. Only enough for a sandwich, but a real good one!

    John

  2. #2
    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    I use a Vexilar and an Eskimo power auger. I can generally have a rough idea where the fish will hold on the type of lake, mesotrophic, oligotrophic, etc., based primarily on the depths I know will most likely hold adequate oxygen. I then combine that with a topographic lake map and determine search areas. I may bore as many as a 100 holes quickly looking with the Vexilar for fish. Once I find fish, I fish them to determine size, etc. I can generally determine what type of fish I'm looking at before dropping a line based on their location in the water column. I fish a tight line with a spring on the end of my rod. I generally do quite well and my freezer is usually well stocked. I fish a variety of ice flies I tie myself on nymph hooks using mostly cactus chennile or larva lace. I weight these with a lead wire underbody to get the performance I want in the water. Obviously with the Vexilar I can see my bait as well as the fish and I can see the fish approach the bait. If I see, for instance bluegills holding on the bottom, I will generally lower to them and then try to coax one to rise with the bait by jigging it and raising it slowly. My experience is if I can get a fish to rise he will generally take the bait. Once a fish moves up in the water column, I know he is interested and generally these fish are reluctant to see a bait escape. I generally tip my bait with spikes and then dip them in a bottle of grocery store anise oil.

    Can't help you with locating fish since I don't know where you are located.
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    Senior Member Dryden-Tdub's Avatar
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    Borneo.

    What a concise and well articulated answer. You should be a lawyer. Or writer for In-Fisherman


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    Senior Member GaryL's Avatar
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    I am an equipment junkie with ice fishing. 2 man Clam pop up shanty, Mr Buddy heater, Hand and power Strikemaster augers and five sets of tip ups from the Cadillac Jack Traps, Heritage Lakers, and two sets of the disc types for shallower lakes. I have had both electronic flashers and fish finders and even had an Aqua View underwater TV camera. Sold all the electronics and batteries because I needed a mule to drag all this crap through feet of snow. Sleds and ATVs are not allowed here.

    I fish tip ups mostly but I do have two jigging rods with Black Betty in line reels. I only target trout and they are notoriously finicky around here with jigs but they do go for live bait fish.

    This has been the first winter in a long time that I have not spent many days on the ice. Ice formed late here and then once it did form we have had nothing short of bitter cold and very windy days when I refuse to venture out. 25 degrees and light or no winds is when I will fish and I think we have had 2 of those days in the past month, both on weekends when the zoo animals are on the ice. I usually like to go on Mon.-Fri. when I can pick up all the trash left by the scumbags who call themselves Sportsman.

    GaryL
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  6. #5
    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    Or writer for In-Fisherman
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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    You guys are hard core die hards. My ice fishing consists of removing fish-sticks from the freezer.
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  8. #7
    Senior Member Lyterx's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Borneo;172544]I use a Vexilar and an Eskimo power auger. I can generally have a rough idea where the fish will hold on the type of lake, mesotrophic, oligotrophic, etc., based primarily on the depths I know will most likely hold adequate oxygen. I then combine that with a topographic lake map and determine search areas. I may bore as many as a 100 holes quickly looking with the Vexilar for fish. Once I find fish, I fish them to determine size, etc. I can generally determine what type of fish I'm looking at before dropping a line based on their location in the water column. I fish a tight line with a spring on the end of my rod. I generally do quite well and my freezer is usually well stocked. I fish a variety of ice flies I tie myself on nymph hooks using mostly cactus chennile or larva lace. I weight these with a lead wire underbody to get the performance I want in the water. Obviously with the Vexilar I can see my bait as well as the fish and I can see the fish approach the bait. If I see, for instance bluegills holding on the bottom, I will generally lower to them and then try to coax one to rise with the bait by jigging it and raising it slowly. My experience is if I can get a fish to rise he will generally take the bait. Once a fish moves up in the water column, I know he is interested and generally these fish are reluctant to see a bait escape. I generally tip my bait with spikes and then dip them in a bottle of grocery store anise oil.

    Can't help you with locating fish since I don't know where you are located.[/QUOTE

    I did bore lots of holes last year and used the show down to look for fish. Found fish and caught fish where I never did before. I live in Etters, PA and go out to Gifford Pinchot state park, it can be tough to fish even in the summer. It is close to home and only a 15 minute drive. I will be heading there on Saturday time permitting. Thanks for the awesome reply.
    1991 TW200

  9. #8
    Senior Member Lyterx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryL View Post
    I am an equipment junkie with ice fishing. 2 man Clam pop up shanty, Mr Buddy heater, Hand and power Strikemaster augers and five sets of tip ups from the Cadillac Jack Traps, Heritage Lakers, and two sets of the disc types for shallower lakes. I have had both electronic flashers and fish finders and even had an Aqua View underwater TV camera. Sold all the electronics and batteries because I needed a mule to drag all this crap through feet of snow. Sleds and ATVs are not allowed here.

    I fish tip ups mostly but I do have two jigging rods with Black Betty in line reels. I only target trout and they are notoriously finicky around here with jigs but they do go for live bait fish.

    This has been the first winter in a long time that I have not spent many days on the ice. Ice formed late here and then once it did form we have had nothing short of bitter cold and very windy days when I refuse to venture out. 25 degrees and light or no winds is when I will fish and I think we have had 2 of those days in the past month, both on weekends when the zoo animals are on the ice. I usually like to go on Mon.-Fri. when I can pick up all the trash left by the scumbags who call themselves Sportsman.

    GaryL
    I have been looking at the clam shelter for way too long and hope to have one next fall. My stikemaster mag 2000 is a real bear sometimes. Have a set of the disk type tip ups, the lakes are not too deep around here. Also I have been seeing more guys using the inline reels and being happy with them. Are you happy with yours?

    As for the weather, I live in central PA and it has been a bitter cold winter down here. Nothing like what you have been getting up your way.....The scum bags are everywhere leaving trash.
    1991 TW200

  10. #9
    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    Clam shelter...Meh. I don't have one, but if I'm gonna dream Ice Shelter, I'm gonna dream large.

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  11. #10
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Nice Borneo, but doesn't it make those bluegills pretty pricey by the fish? I'll think of you freezing on the lake while I'm eating sushi tonight in a warm restaurant.

    ...I know, where is the adventure in that? Well, I have a better chance of taking the Mrs. out to a restaurant than out onto a frozen lake. Brazillians don't do ice, only in their drinks.
    Last edited by Fred; 02-24-2015 at 01:36 PM.
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