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Anyone ice fish with a plain hook and waxy?

  • tim hurley
    Participant
    Posts: 4280
    #2163667

    On last weeks episode of IDO Konner K. knew they were on fish and he also knew the bite slowed waaaay down, so he switched to a plain hook & a split shot. They suck it in once, spit it out then they give you a bite you can hook set on. Working with a camera I have seen fish do this.
    When KK did this switch we got no specifics-no lures to sell with this, just sayin’
    Anyway, has anyone tried this? Always good to hear strategies for when fish are negative which in reality is MOST of the time

    icefanatic11
    Participant
    Birnamwood, WI
    Posts: 554
    #2163680

    Hi there Tim, I’ve been doing this for years honestly, although not exactly as KK did it. Typically I run a very small slip bobber rig with the very small split shot way up the line (like 15 inches at least) and about the smallest bobber I can find set so that the faintest action submerges it. I only use this when fishing stationary for slabs or gills in a shack, and typically also at night.

    The main reason I started this was through watching crappies react on the livescope one night. I had same mini slip bobber rig on in my shack with a crappie minnow. The crappies would swoop in and investigate my jig as well as the minnow but wouldn’t commit. Each time my crappie minnow would sense they were about to become dinner and dance all over the hole, tried clipping the fin to slow them down even, no luck. Finally after getting pissed off enough I swallowed my pride (I almost never use live bait anymore) and asked my partner if he had any old waxies or spikes left in his bibs from a few weeks ago. He did, they were barely alive, but I swear to you we went through his whole tin of waxies that night and that was the only thing we caught slabs on. Tried micro plastics, small spoons deadsticked with minnow head, nothing. We kept 15 crappies between us that night. Ever since, if we are fishing in a shack one of us has the waxies slip rig on unless we determine they prefer the minnows by a large margin.

    Now this is a fairly small sample size as I really only use this tactic on three or four lakes, and I’ve only tried it a couple of times during the daytime. But at this point I believe in it and I’m willing to try it almost anywhere on the ice when they are super negative. Will say though, I’ve found that slightly lively waxies are better than the barely alive option.

    And if you are wondering why I don’t just deadstick that same offering, the answer is I’ve tried, and on the lakes we have used it, the bite is so finesse that they drop it with even the most flimsy of noodle rods, I even tried using the ole 15 dollar ht ice blues which are essentially backboneless and that didn’t work. I have adapted this tactic a couple of times to use under tipdowns outside but with very mixed results. Seems to me like if they are willing to submerge a tipdown offering, I am typically able to catch them on the micro plastics while jigging.

    It definitely warrants further discussion and experimentation, and I’d love to hear others thoughts as well.

    tim hurley
    Participant
    Posts: 4280
    #2164022

    GREAT post Ice, would love to hear what others think. Sometimes having strategies for when the bite is off can really save the day. You Tube and magazine stuff will always sell lures but sometimes the fish want bait and a hook, & details matter with that approach.

    eyeguy507
    Participant
    SE MN
    Posts: 3218
    #2164036

    I should try that too, nice write up! problem is when i find really negative fish, i just move until i find more cooperative ones? last winter i found an absolute pile of crappies and they would only congregate under patches of snow. anywhere there was ice exposed, they wanted nothing to do with eating so i just bounced around holes i drilled in snow drifts. usually i don’t leave fish to find fish knowing that they will probably come back through but i may have an excuse not to move now? these marks were all fish in the 9-10″ range but did get some whites in the 12-13 range later at dusk.

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    tim hurley
    Participant
    Posts: 4280
    #2164057

    Moving to find biters is a great strategy and what I usually do-sometimes you are on a small lake or basin, everything is set up, spread out, you are an hour from prime time, you are with other people, you know reality, you are not going to move. Good to know how to scratch out some bites in that situation, especially good when its mid-January. I keep hearing too from people who have 3k for electronics that moving around on the ice scares the fish so they do not bite.

    icefanatic11
    Participant
    Birnamwood, WI
    Posts: 554
    #2164103

    To leave fish to find fish, the age old question that has haunted many a fisherman with could’ve beens and should’ve beens. I typically fall in the look for cooperative fish mindset as well, but sometimes, as Tim mentioned, moving just isn’t in the cards, so experiment away as I must. I am a very ardent believer in not leaving quality sized crappies, too many times, I’ve had slow periods in the day, but if you grind on them, you can always pluck a few more especially during those golden hours.

    If the fish are small, I’ve got no problem running and gunning, but catching that first nice slab and then confirming a school is near with the marcum or the livescope probably keeps me chasing that school in that area more than I should. IMO there are two hidden benefits to chasing, even though it may scare fish away. One, you get a hella good work out dragging gear, augers, etc. through the snow. Number two, you cover more water, I call this “putting on the stumbling shoes.” On a few different occasions while chasing slabs with the new 3K electronics -yep, I’m one of those guys- the fish we were pursuing led us to a couple of very productive locations that we otherwise would have not discovered. And while that certainly doesn’t happen all the time, it’s happened enough to give me confidence to chase. . .for now. The trade-off obviously is I probably go home with fewer fish on those days, but gaining information isn’t an awful consequence for a few less fish.

    I will say based on my purely circumstantial and non-professional hours on the hard water, especially after the early ice period, the fish start to respond more negatively to the sounding of the forward facing sonar tech. For reference I’ve had a panoptix for 4 years now and a livescope for 2. So the data points are not numerous, but the ice fishing journal doesn’t lie. I see a lot more entries during the middle to late ice period when I reflect back where I make comments like, “man we just could not catch up with them today,” or “we really struggled to corral them this trip.”

    One final note, I remember in my teens reading and watching the preeminent ice fisherman of the period Bro, In-fisherman, Lindner, Genz, who all espoused the idea that crappies and basin fish in particular do not move far fast. I thought that to be true until I started with the forward facing sonar, I now firmly believe that crappies in general are much more willing to expend valuable energy roaming larger areas of the lake to find more nutritious and larger quantities of food. As a point of reference, my fishing partner and I used a fitbit one day to track how much distance we covered following a school of panfish mostly crappies in one day, it came out to a whopping two miles. Now granted it was not in a straight line, and there was some overlap from time to time. But we started the step counter in the fitbit once we found the school in the first hole and just watched the number climb through the day. From that point forward, I’ve mostly written off the lethargic winter, crappie don’t move long distances theory. Other instances have not been as extreme but there have been more than a few days I’m guessing we travel over a mile after one school of fish.

    Sorry for the long winded post. Also, great tactic on the drilling in snow piles, that is one of my superstitions as well, if I have an auger in hand and have a choice, I always choose the snow, I feel like I catch more, and not to mention, it makes for much nicer padding for my old baseball catcher knees.

    Gregg Gunter
    Participant
    Posts: 366
    #2164134

    Yep drilling through snow works. It’s like structure, the fish stay in the shade below. Plus it’s quieter and less slippery under your feet.

    James Holst
    Keymaster
    SE Minnesota
    Posts: 18801
    #2164284

    so he switched to a plain hook & a split shot.

    No he didn’t. What you saw was a VMC jig below a swivel.

    If you ever have any questions about anything you see in a show don’t hesitate to ask. I promise I’ll answer honestly.

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    tim hurley
    Participant
    Posts: 4280
    #2164322

    Bit embarassed until I checked the video again, where he says: he is using a ‘plain hook, and a couple of waxies’ guess he took the plastic off but in the visual you cannot see the jig head. You brought the weight down on your jig because the bite was off, thought maybe KK went to zero & a split shot.

    icefanatic11
    Participant
    Birnamwood, WI
    Posts: 554
    #2164329

    Haha, thanks for the clarification James and Konnor. Don’t feel bad Tim, I assumed the same thing you did. I guess I fish like a 6 year old sometimes then. . . doah

    James Holst
    Keymaster
    SE Minnesota
    Posts: 18801
    #2164331

    Bit embarassed until I checked the video again, where he says: he is using a ‘plain hook, and a couple of waxies’ guess he took the plastic off but in the visual you cannot see the jig head. You brought the weight down on your jig because the bite was off, thought maybe KK went to zero & a split shot.

    All good, Tim. I hope your next bite is a good one!

    Dan
    Participant
    Southeast MN
    Posts: 2558
    #2164334

    “haha no haven’t done that since I was 6”

    rotflol rotflol

    tim hurley
    Participant
    Posts: 4280
    #2164363

    ‘Fish like a 6 year old Crappie Club’ Could be a thing.
    Thanks James!

    James Holst
    Keymaster
    SE Minnesota
    Posts: 18801
    #2164409

    ‘Fish like a 6 year old Crappie Club’ Could be a thing.
    Thanks James!

    Dance like nobody’s watching and fish like a 6 year old! I think the world would be a better place! waytogo

    KPE
    Participant
    River Falls, WI
    Posts: 940
    #2164414

    I should try that too, nice write up! problem is when i find really negative fish, i just move until i find more cooperative ones? last winter i found an absolute pile of crappies and they would only congregate under patches of snow. anywhere there was ice exposed, they wanted nothing to do with eating so i just bounced around holes i drilled in snow drifts. usually i don’t leave fish to find fish knowing that they will probably come back through but i may have an excuse not to move now? these marks were all fish in the 9-10″ range but did get some whites in the 12-13 range later at dusk.

    Eyeguy, how do you get your Helix 7 to look like that? LOL mine is an absolute joke on the ice. When using the “flasher mode” it’s 100% noise no matter if it’s the only electronic on the entire lake and gain is set to 0. It’s also at least 20 colors and nothing makes sense.

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