7 Ice Fishing Techniques: Changing Strategies to Surprise Cold Fish

7 Ice Fishing Techniques: Changing Strategies to Surprise Cold Fish

Are you one of the rare folks who enjoy weekend ice fishing? Or do you give up as soon as nothing happens? Next time you find yourself becoming impatient with the catch, pull one of the following 7 tricks out of your sleeve. Surprise those fish with finely nuanced changes in strategy. Your ingenuity will certainly make the trek more fun!

That’s right. You can multiply your day’s catch by adjusting a few little things. For example, catch ‘em with stronger line, a twist of the line or keep it still. Use a different size or shape or material for your jig. Change out the lighting or spike the water with extra bait. Also, peer down the ice hole to see fish maneuvers with your own eyes.

Ice Fishing Amenities or Not

To be able to fish on iced waters, ice fishers bore a hole in the ice. On lakes, anglers are right out in the open and others set up enclosures. An enclosure may be rudimentary or quite comfortable. Fancier ones may feature heaters, bunks, kitchens, and other amenities. For sure, anglers without all the extras may call it a day too soon. But even comfortably situated fishers may go home before achieving the best possible haul.
So here are seven tricks to jumpstart any cold, icy fishing adventures.

7 Ice Fishing Tricks

For starters, try these resources or techniques to jumpstart a slowed down time on the ice. If you like, call them tricks. Pull ideas out of your hat when it seems no more fish will bite.

Ice Fishing Trick #1

Create a sense of abundance. Toss loose bait into the water before your line. The extra food just might bring out the cold, hungry fish. Called chumming, just drop a handful of crushed wax worms or minnows down the hole.

Ice Fishing Tricks #2

Change the style, color, shape, or size of the jig and the lighting.

  • When fish stop biting a vertical jig, attract perch and crappies by changing to something horizontal like the Jammin’ Jig Bobber Fry. Or vice a versa.
  • Switch live bait to plastic. For example, make the bait quiver and shake with Finesse plastic lures.
  • Change the size of your lure. Go from size 10 to 6, or back to size 12 of the Teardrop jig. The variety of sizes will attract a greater assortment of fish, too.
  • Block the light. Cover the hole in the ice with ice shavings and use a glow-in-the-dark jig.

Ice Fishing Trick #3

Hold still. Are you using a spring bobber rod? Since you can’t really hold your rod still, put it down on the ice or set the rod in a rod stand.

Ice Fishing Trick #4

Add drama. Get the attention of the fish by changing the motion of your fishing line. When the water is shallow, you can stir your up-and-down jigging around the circumference of the hole.

In deeper waters make it twirl. Do this by holding the line between your thumb and finger and rolling it. This causes a spin.

Ice Fishing Trick #5

Use a super taut line. In deep waters, use a Power Pro line that does not stretch. You’ll be able to feel any bites from farther away. A stretchy line makes it difficult to discern whether a fish has taken the bait.

Ice Fishing Trick #6

Make commotion on lake bottom. Using a spring bobber, bounce the bottom to make sounds and stir up sediment. Follow this by resting the jig on the bottom. Perch will likely swim over to check out the scene; they hang out within inches of the bottom.

Ice Fishing Trick #7

Be smarter than fish. Look down the hole to see and study the fish. You’ll see how they react to your creative solutions as you change out your baits and techniques. Fish will respond differently. A species may hesitate at the bait before inhaling it and another grabs more quickly.

Because anglers cannot detect the bite with their fixed float or spring bobber, the fish can quickly spit out the bait. However, a watching angler will notice the bite and set the hook before the fish rejects it. In deep water, use the most visible jigs to see the action.

Thanks to Steve Ryan and other experts, you’ve now got a warm hat of surprises to make your next ice fishing trip worth the effort.

Ice Fishing Properties for Sale

To learn about a fishing property or ranch in the Rocky Mountains, call Harrigan Land Company at 303-908-1101.
Serving Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, and the surrounding areas.

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Harrigan Land

Harrigan Land Company provides a personal and comprehensive service to buyers and sellers, with unsurpassed knowledge of fishing and hunting ranches in the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Oklahoma and Wyoming.

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