Mobility for Success|
Kevin Dahlke (kevin)
BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors
Ice fishing is one of those sports that don't take a lot of equipment to be able to enjoy a day of fishing out on the ice. Only the bare basics are needed to get started and that entails an auger, scoop, electronic flasher, rod/reel combo and some baits. Compared to summer fishing, winter fishing allows you to carry everything with you in the car.
Ice fishing also makes it easier to take the kids along so that they can enjoy a productive day of fishing as well. If the fish are not biting very well they will be able to enjoy themselves out on the ice doing some ice skating, exploring or just playing in the snow. Ice fishing is a sport that the whole family can participate in and have a great day out in the outdoors.
If you are out to catch numbers of fish or a meal while you are out there, mobility is the name of the game to being successful. You may get lucky and drill those first holes over a school of fish but more chances than that you are going to have to keep on the move to stay on the fish. Ice fishing is similar to summer fishing where you dont keep the boat in one place; you are always on the move.
Winter fishing is very similar to summer fishing as the fish are always relating to something and that is no different in the winter. If it is points, humps or certain weed lines, the fish are still using these features in the winter as well. If you have favorite places that you fish in the summer, these areas should be looked at first when you hit the ice.
Points are a prime area that an ice angler should concentrate on but there will still need to be some work to find the fish. The fish may be located on the top, down the side or even off the side in deeper water. This is where the mobility factor comes into play and being mobile and searching fish out will make for a successful day. Too many anglers drill a few holes and sit and wait for the fish to come to them and then wonder why they arent catching anything. By moving around the underwater point or other structure searching, fish will be found but some work will be involved in doing this.
Generally I will start on the deep side of the point and punch a number of holes searching for active fish. If after a number of holes and there isnt any activity there start moving up the side of the point. As we move up the side the water is getting shallower and may come across a certain depth that the fish are relating to. If not move on top of the point in the shallow water and there may be weeds there as well that is attracting fish to the point top.
By varying the depths with a number of holes, we are able to work a variety of water column levels. By working these varying water columns this is giving us a better opportunity at success in finding fish. Some days drilling twelve holes may be enough to work an area but then there are days that sixty holes will be more of the norm to finding success.
Once all of these holes have been made then the fun part of fishing begins. Just like summer fishing when we are always on the move, having numbers of holes in varying depths opens many doors to a successful day. As we work shallow to deep and vice versus, a pattern will start to form and a depth will be found that the fish are relating to on that particular day.
Baits are the choice of the angler but the varying weather patterns and conditions are going to dictate where the fish are relating to the point. Pressure systems and cloud cover also play into fish positioning themselves around the location and by having many holes punched; this gives you an advantage on finding them quickly and efficiently. This adds to creating a successful day on the ice as opposed to fishing only a few holes and not being productive.
The name of the game for success on the ice is being mobile and searching varying depths. You do this in the summer while fishing from the boat, why not put a little work into it and do the same in the winter on the ice. Fish are always on the move and the angler that does the same will be the productive one out on the ice.
Mobility is the key to success and putting fish onto the ice. A normal day for me could entail fishing up to 60 holes and some of them more than others but as you fish them you find out which ones are the most productive. Dont let a little hard work take away the opportunity to ice some fish and having a great day on the ice. Keep those ice blades sharp and get ready to catch some fish because being mobile will bring success.
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