Presenting your ice offering properly

First let's chat about bobbers. A bobber is great because it allows us to immediately check the mood of the fish. The size of your bobber, which is a strike indicator and depth setter, is big factor.

Generally speaking, I see ice anglers using too big of a bobber. Fish will feel that drag resistance. They'll blow out the bait and lure so fast you'll never know you had a bite. That's why you want to avoid 6-pound-test line for bluegills.

Ice-buster bobbers are great because you can trim the bobber, to customize drag-resistance. You shorten it with a knife or scissors.

Start small and go up from there. If we have neutral fish, plan on minimum jigging actions, with maybe a slow lift-and-drop jig. With more aggressive fish, maybe use a more aggressive drop. It all depends on the mood of the fish, which can change quickly.

Here's a tip for using a split-shot and bobber setup: We've been told to place it 12 to 18 inches above the hook. Now, if using a minnow, it will have a lot of freedom and will move in a big circle. That's fine with aggressive walleyes, crappies, and perch. But if you're not getting bites, that minnow may be moving too much, because lethargic fish aren't interested in chasing it. Here's the solution:

A split-shot five inches above the bait anchors that minnow more, so try this during a less-aggressive bite. Now, if they are aggressive, switch to a jigging spoon. That's much more productive then letting that minnow run. The best of both worlds here in Minnesota? You can use two lines, so do both! The minnow may attract fish, then the jigging spoon seals the deal!

Categories: Blog Content, Ice Fishing, Terry Tuma

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