Ice still 'iffy'
Ice is dangerous and, before I get into anything else, I want to mention a couple things that you need to keep in mind. First and foremost is safety.
1. Don't forget to use the buddy system when going out on ice that you are unfamiliar with.
2. Wear your spikes around your neck at all times.
3. Wear a PFD if you are unsure of any ice.
4. Carry a rope and throwable cushion with you in case someone needs help.
With all the safety gear secured then you can get down to business.
To be successful on the ice there are many things that come into play, but the one thing that has been a huge player in my success is to remain mobile.
Don't be afraid to drill hole after hole and keep moving with the fish. It is important that you work all possible areas thoroughly and remain on the move while the fish are also moving.
Pair down your gear to the minimum and use a good sled or shelter like the Clam Scout flip style shelters. The shelter allows you to carry your gear as well as offers an opportunity to get out of the wind or direct sunlight.
Using a hand auger with a drill attachment allows you to drill multiple holes with little effort and keeps you on the move.
Having a good Vexilar flasher will also increase your odds at locating fish, structure, and depth changes. It is an important tool that will allow you to eliminate a lot of "dead" water and find the fish that are active. Drill a hole and check it with the flasher. If you don't find what you are looking for then move on.
Staying mobile will keep you on the fish and you will be able to be more successful in your next outing.
Watch for my next column where I get a bit more into detail about staying on the move.
Good Luck and Stay on top!