Lurkers and readers, post your questions!!

  • derek_johnston
    Participant
    On the water- Minnesota
    Posts: 5022
    #1296379

    Now is the time to post your ice fishing questions. There are some excellent staff members on this site. Whether your a ice fishing veteran or a novice just starting out,don’t hesitate to ask any type of questions. Thats what we are here for. And if your not a member, sign up today!!

    bill_cadwell
    Participant
    Rochester, Minnesota
    Posts: 12607
    #282045

    And its ALL FREE. What more could you ask for. No, none of us know it all BUT if we ALL ask and share then we ALL learn from each other. There isn’t one person out there no matter how little fishing experience he or she may have that through their sharing we can all learn something from them. Keep posting, keep replying, keep learning, its that simple. Thanks, Bill

    bill_cadwell
    Participant
    Rochester, Minnesota
    Posts: 12607
    #282047

    Whats the size line that you use the most? I’ve pretty much stayed with 6 lb. as there is a small lake called Foster Arends [an old pit] about 2 miles from where I live that has alot of trout along with panfish in it. I will use 4 lb. when fishing for panfish but with never knowing what you may hook into I have pretty much stayed away from the 2 lb. line. Haven’t gotten that brave yet I guess. Can’t wait to use the new Scenic Tackle Glo Devils that I got from B-Fish-N Tackle. Was out to Hooked On Fishing the other day and Mike has some pretty nice looking spoons too. Easy to find, just look for all the ringworms and superdoos packages hanging on the wall and then look below them on the table. Got Ice? I know the two places to buy the tackle! Thanks, Bill

    derek_johnston
    Participant
    On the water- Minnesota
    Posts: 5022
    #282070

    I pretty much use 6# or 10# for walleye fishing and 1-2# for panfish.

    bill_cadwell
    Participant
    Rochester, Minnesota
    Posts: 12607
    #282074

    Do you have much break off with the light line for panfish? Thanks, Bill

    derek_johnston
    Participant
    On the water- Minnesota
    Posts: 5022
    #282077

    Not since I starting using P-line. The 1 and 2 pound are very strong for their class. I always use back-reel when needed if I hook into a slab crappie or bluegill.

    Most of my panfish jigs for winter fishing are “micro” jigs. I like to try to get away with using the smallest # test I can to get these small baits down the hole in deep water.

    Frontenac Man
    Participant
    Lake City, MN
    Posts: 86
    #282128

    Thanks Derek, I’ll be getting back to you later this winter, I make a couple trips to Mille Lacs each year. Last winter we mastered the perch fishing in Cove Bay with some bonus northerns on tip-ups, but haven’t been able to do real good on walleyes.

    Thanks again, talk to ya later.

    Beamer
    Participant
    Posts: 2
    #282379

    We do our ice fishing in Idaho. Yes that’s right Idaho. Found your website to be very informative and decided to join in. We are looking at purchasing some type of video fishfinder, but were wondering does the picture really show up from under the ice? Isn’t it too dark?

    scottsteil
    Participant
    Central MN
    Posts: 3817
    #282436

    Beamer, If you want to see what is under the ice, check out an underwater camera, such as the OVS 560 or 400. They will show you exactly what lies beneath. Combine that with a Flasher such as the LX-3 and you are all ready to go. Yes, it is dark but seeing under water is more about how stained the water is and how much light penetration there is.

    mossboss
    Participant
    La Crescent, MN
    Posts: 2792
    #282467

    I have a novice question.

    If I want to get geared up for doing some panfishing, what kind of equipment should I buy? What kind of rod, reel or no reel, line? Thanks to any for some help. Will likely mostly be fishing Miss., Lake Onalaska, etc.

    James Holst
    Keymaster
    SE Minnesota
    Posts: 18924
    #282472

    Hi Beamer

    We’re happy to have you here from Idaho! Do you fish Peck? I’ve seen some massive fish in pics from that body of water!

    The cameras are an incredibly valuable tool for both open water and ice use and the pic you get, from a quality camera of course, is really quite unbelievable. Steve Vick and I regularly use a camera on the Mississippi River at night, yup, at night, to inspect fish holding areas and we see with great detail and accuracy what’s going on under water. Why at night? The fish seem much less spooky and we’re able to get right in amongst them and they’re less likely to bolt or hang out at the edges of our viewable area. We’ve been able to learn an incredible amount about how fish relate specifically to structure, use current and or course what an area looks like. I’ve never tried to actually fish in open water and use one of these cameras but their value to me is as an education tool. The water clarity really improves during the winter months but they never do get anywhere near as good as the typical lake. I wouldn’t expect you to be disapointed with a camera purchase unless you plan on using it in the most murky and dark of environments.

    Quote:


    We do our ice fishing in Idaho. Yes that’s right Idaho. Found your website to be very informative and decided to join in. We are looking at purchasing some type of video fishfinder, but were wondering does the picture really show up from under the ice? Isn’t it too dark?


    derek_johnston
    Participant
    On the water- Minnesota
    Posts: 5022
    #282609

    Moss Boss:Its depends on how much you want to spend. You can get a basic combo for around $15-$20. I like the higher end lightweight more sensitive rods like the sweetheart model from Thorne Brothers. These rods run about $45-$65. I use a Zebco Gold series trigger spin reel. They are very lightweight and very smooth. They cost about $20. I like to use 1 or 2 pound test P-line Floroice mono line. These three components allow me to detect more bites, get small micro jigs down the hole better and will out perform most lower end equipment.

    Hope this helps.

    Shane Hildebrandt
    Participant
    Blaine, mn
    Posts: 2921
    #283005

    ok here goes another question,

    I spend alot of time out on the ice, not only on coon lake, but also the big pond. I have found that i use a medium size hook, what is a good size to buy that would produce big fish, but not loose them. I have some really small hooks but will not use them. I tend to go for the medium hooks that glow. any suggestions would be helpfull.

    thanks

    shane

    derek_johnston
    Participant
    On the water- Minnesota
    Posts: 5022
    #283171

    Are you fishing mainly pike on tip-ups?

    gary_wellman
    Participant
    South Metro
    Posts: 6057
    #283173

    OK, this may get a bit long, but bear with me!

    I do alot of ice-fishing with a camera. Even use it to jig pike. It has taught me many, many things about a fishes behavior that I have greatly improved my jigging method during the open water season. I placed a post about the use of cameras a few weeks ago, looking for some feed back, because I have been ridiculed as a “cheater” for using them.

    So here is my question. I’ve never had any luck jigging with Raps, Chubby Darters, or Nils for walleyes……..even pike. When watching them on camera, they will roll in, but not take the bait. I’ve found that if I agressively snap a jig and minnow, I can “call in” the fish, then “finesse” them to take the bait. Watching this on camera is incredible.

    So, for you guys that use the swimming lures, do you really have that much success over working live bait, such as a jig and minnow??? I’ve lost all confidence over the swimming lures.

    derek_johnston
    Participant
    On the water- Minnesota
    Posts: 5022
    #283174

    The only time I go to swimming baits is when the bite is very aggressive, so aggressive you don’t even tip the lure with any bait. Most of the time I use spoons.

    gary_wellman
    Participant
    South Metro
    Posts: 6057
    #283177

    Thanks Derek. I’ve had plenty of luck on spoons too. But those dang swimming lures are about as much fun as watching ice melt……….and more frustrating than watching paint dry!!!!!!!

    hof
    Participant
    Rochester, MN
    Posts: 2443
    #283182

    Hey Gary,

    I’m surprised you haven’t had much luck with the jigging style ice lures. I’ve used them a lot and done very well on them at times, and like every other lure – not so well at times. I almost always try them and consider them the most fun lures to use when the fish are aggresive. One good way to use them as a non-agressive lure is to tip them with only a minnow head and not use much action. I’ve even had success using them as a dead stick with a bobber. Another good tip is to replace the middle treble hook on a jigging rapala type lure with a dropper about 2-3 inches long which has a single hook with a minnow or part of a minnow.
    These lures have their time and place when they work best, but I think they are always worth trying.

    Good Fishing,
    Mike

    MFO
    Participant
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts: 1451
    #283203

    Gary,

    I too stick to spoons. I like a wide rounded spoon for aggressive fish and a thin slender spoon when working finiky fish. I have a lot of success when I have a fathead or small shiner on a plain hook set under a bobber next to my jigging hole. Like you said you bring themin with the action, but they will usually hit the minnow.

    Bob Carlson
    Participant
    Mille Lacs Lake (eastside), Mn.
    Posts: 2936
    #283207

    Guys I normally get the fish to hit my jigging stick. The minnow/bobber combo I use as to attrack the walleye in near my spot. I think I might get only 2-3 out of 10 walleye taking the set rig. Just love looking at the Vexilar and seeing it turn RED…….I can’t wait to sit in the Otter and get on with this ice fishing season!

    Sitting in the garage just isn’t the same as on the ice!

    ferny
    Participant
    Stillwater, MN
    Posts: 622
    #283658

    Hey gary, How do you keep your fishing line out of your camera cable? I made a FernyCam several years ago and have had the line get tangled in the cable with fish on. I pretty much put it away after that since I didn’t like seeing a 15″ walleye get hooked and then lose him on the cable. do you fish it out of the same hole or another one? Do you point it down or have it off to the side looking at your lure?

    As far as jigging Raps go I love them on LOTW and the Croix. It sure helps having aggressive fish around. Typically I jig with a Rap, Pimple, or Vilgla (with a minnow head)and always have a dead stick nearby. If I see them sniffing on the FL-18 and they don’t bite I just vibrate it and if that doesn’t work I just let it sit still or pump it like it’s breathing. It seems like they are attracted by it but the shy ones take the deadstick. It also helps to have a rod with a sensitive tip. I don’t use my older stiff rods much because it seems like I missed a lot of bites with them.

    Thanks,

    Ferny.

    gary_wellman
    Participant
    South Metro
    Posts: 6057
    #283686

    We always drill a separate hole for the camera. I have an absolute blast with it. I really enjoy jiggin for pike. They will either just slide in, nice and quite, then you watch their gills get ready, rear up, and BANG!!!!!!!! It is also an absolute roar when they come flying in from a distance and slam the jig. Honestly, I’ve had my most luck, using a gold jig, with a sucker minnow for the pike over all the other lures. I’ll drop it down and get very, very agressive jiggin, pumping 3 to 4 foot hops. It seems to get their attention. Once I got them going, it gets to be real soft jigs. We have even had pike bite the camera before.

    Walleyes, with the camera, seem more shy. It takes alot more subtle responses to get them going. They are more of the “cool” fish, where the pike are just flat out mean!

    Honestly, I haven’t used my flasher in a long time. If the opportunity allows with clearer water, I’ll use the camera. I won’t ice fish without it……….

    A good example of the camera use was a couple of years ago, we went to a good crappie lake in the metro. Talking to the guys on the lake, they were catching one here, one there…….my buddy started punching holes, and I was scouting with the camera. We punched about 50 holes, before I found the schools. We caught fish left and right, while everyone else was jiggin in dead water……

    I’ve really learned “how to jig” with the camera as well. You can watch the fish’s responses as to how and what you are doing. If the fish is in his “curious mode” and he is really checking out the meal before he decides if he wants to eat, and you pump the jig…….he is gone……..Also, if you see a school of walleyes 15 feet away, you can work the jig and get their attention, where on the flasher, you didn’t see the school swim by…….

    mbenson
    Participant
    Minocqua, Wisconsin
    Posts: 3842
    #283970

    Gary:

    How do yo keep your camera/cable from spinning?

    Mark

    mnfish
    Participant
    Lake Elmo MN
    Posts: 1104
    #283993

    I have to agree. I won’t ice fish without my camera, also. It’s fun watching the fish come in and nail the bait. My kids love it because it’s not so boring for them. I use it to find the fish, too. Although, I will be using both the finder and the camera at once because I have noticed with pan fish anyway, that they come in higher than the camera sometimes and if your only using the camera you could be missing out. Water clarity is also a big thing in trting to see. I have an old one with just the infared and looks to me like the colored lights ones might be better. When it gets dark the infared reflects every little floating thing and you can’t see a thing. As for the camera spinning, I’ve never had a problem with mine spinning. I spin it myself to see what’s down there. I wrapped my cable around a flat piece of board and lay it across the hole until it’s in the right position. Keeps it steady. Also helps me keep the lure in the strike zone should anything happen to the bobber stop.

    gary_wellman
    Participant
    South Metro
    Posts: 6057
    #283995

    Alright………as for the camera spinning…….I rigged up a contraption……..Bear with me, as this will get long…..Sorry I can’t post pics……….

    I have an aquaview

    I took a rattle wheel and mounted it on a flat board (1/4’d x 3″w x 15″l).

    I drilled a small hole to feed line from the rattle wheel, through the board and put a large swivel clip on it. This is in front of the wheel.

    Behind the wheel, I cut a slot (narrow) through the board and I feed the camera cable through it.

    On an aquaview, there is a hole on the top that I attached the swivel clip to.

    Therefore, the camera is attached to the board via the swivel clip on the front. The cable is attached to the board via the slot in the back. Therefore, you have “two” “lines” holding the camera straight.

    This allows you to keep the camera from spinning. It also allows you to keep it straight, and whereever the front of the wheel to pointing to, is where the camera is pointing to.

    Lastly………With the rattle wheel, you can crank it up or down to give you and up/down view.

    It is also nice to control the depth, via the rattle wheel.

    Over a few beers last fall, a buddy and I came up with the idea……

    POINT! It only works well if your camera cable isn’t twisted, so straighten it out!!!

    Total investment was about $20 in beverages, the rest of the stuff was in the garage!!!!

    gary_wellman
    Participant
    South Metro
    Posts: 6057
    #283996

    One last thing about my confidence in a camera…….

    My father thought I was goofy for buying one. However, when I outfished him with sunnies, my 5 to his 1 average, he wasn’t laughing!!!!

    I’m serious about this, and I was even hesitant about talking about cameras on this site, because some people (not here), have blasted me for “cheating”.

    With a camera, I can outfish anyone with a flasher with atleast 5 fish to 1 fish……..

    It is absolutley amazing how much I learned about fish behavior with it. I’ve watched sunnies eat wax worms right off the jig, without the float moving, yet they were so shy, that the slightest movement with the jig, they would of spit it out, so there was no way of telling that the fish was on or not!!! I’ve also watched walleyes just suck on the minnow/jig, and sit there, not moving. Watching them on the camera showed me how they will eat when they are in a negative mode. I’ve had pike roll in, take a sucker on a jig, swim up about 6 inches and commence eating and just sitting there, with no sign of a fish on a tip up, yet a little noise, they spit it out and take off!!!

    Drilling a bunch of holes last year on a lake for crappie fishing, we found a good school. We set up, only to have the fish swim off 20 feet because we made too much noise setting up. So we “quietly” moved back over the top of them and had a hay day!!! If we wouldn’t of had the camera, we would of thought that the fish aren’t in the lake, or not biting.

    It is also amazing at how a school of fish on a certain “point on a point” type of structure will be in one spot, but not 20 feet away on the same structure/spot.

    It is an amazing search tool. Almost to the point of “cheating”. However, I don’t feel guilty about it, because I’m not a huge fish eater and I don’t like freezing fish, so give me two eater walleyes or a 4lb pike and I’m happy, everything else goes back……..

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