Fishing & Boating News
Small Ball Ice Fishing
But as intense angling pressure is affecting many of our lakes, the fish are slowly adapting to more subtle presentations. That's where ?small ball' fishing is taking shape. Small Ball fishing is downsizing your jigs, hooks, and bait. If the loud, flashy, and vigorous action is not working, then start going small.
In order to take advantage of this trend in smaller lures, Lindy has recently introduced some awesome new micro-sized, mini mites for the ice. All of these new jigs sport super small #12 and #14 sized hooks. The Lindy Toad, Bug, and micro Slick Jig are all sized right to entice small nibbles from all species of fish.
Good electronics are critical. Use a Humminbird ICE 55 to find the fish. Look for smaller clouds which could be forage fish, then adjust your location in the school until you see larger, individual marks that could be gamefish. Underwater cameras are also useful in determining the species of fish and how they react to your jigging action.
Rigging for jigging
Try jigging with a hand-held rod and choose the right-sized Thill float for your "dead" rod. There are a wide variety of Mini-Shy Bites or Mini-Stealth floats that can be perfectly paired with almost any size jig.
Use jigs with #10 to #14 sized hooks for eurolarvae, also known as "spikes." The larger, 1/8 and Slick Jigs are perfect for minnows. Keep your bait fresh.
Set the depth of the floats so your jig sits just above the marks on the screen or the flasher. If multiple rods are allowed, try setting one real high in the water column just below the ice. There are times when all species of fish will suspend 2 to 3 feet beneath the hole. Any fish that close won't show up on your electronics very easily.
With your hand-held rod, lower your jig into the hole just below the water. Jig it and watch how it behaves. If your jig is spinning, adjust it until it stops by moving your knot on the jig or re-hooking your bait. When ready, lower the bait into the water and start fishing it SLOWLY down into the "fish zone" using a jigging motion called "pounding?. This makes the jig appear more alive than just lowering it down fast. If the jig stops moving, set the hook. If you don't get a bite, try tempering your jigging motion to a slight quiver.
Here's another tip. Watch your electronics closely. If most of the crappies are concentrated at one depth and you see a fish come into the sonar's cone at another depth, raise or lower your jig quickly to intercept it. Most likely it's a bigger crappie than those in the main school.
Try some Small Ball ice fishing this winter with some of the new micro jigs from Lindy. You'll be hooked on going small!
Phone:903-882-8877 or 903-882-8878 — Fax: 972-619-8776