By Kevin Dahlke

Fisherman holding up a crappie they caught ice fishing.

Ice has finally formed and really feels good to be able to fish through an ice hole once again. With this early ice though, safety becomes a priority and all measures need to be taken to ensure that you are safe while on the ice. Make sure that you have all the necessary safety equipment along with you and have a spud bar in your hand for checking the ice thickness with your every step.

After making our way out to the area that we wanted to start at, it was a great feeling giving the auger some power and watching the ice shavings come out of the first holes of the ice season. Drilling many holes in the area, allowing for hole hopping to commence and the flasher had quickly showed us the holes that were holding some fish.

With all the excitement of that first drop, tied on the Northland Glo-Shot™ Spoon and tipped it with an Impulse® Water Flea. Lowered the spoon to the depths that the fish were relating to and it didn’t take long for that first fish to strike. The long-awaited feeling of the short ice rod bending over from the action the crappie was giving, was exhilarating, to say the least.

As we fished for the next couple of hours, there was a couple of techniques for getting these spoons to the fish that allowed a little different approach that would entice the fish into biting. One of them was to regulate the speed that you would lower the spoon down the hole, so that, it would flutter straight down to the level the fish were relating to.

Crappie caught ice fishing on a spoon.

The other was to let the spoon fall quickly on a slackline, in turn, the spoon would flutter off to the side from the hole. This would draw the fish from further out into the flasher’s cone angle and once you had the spoon on the screen, then you could work it to entice those fish coming into biting.

By using these two tactics, you can cover the water directly below you right away or work the outer edge of the area for bringing the fish to your bait. Either way, this was productive and if there weren’t any fish on the screen, the latter was an alternative at getting a bite.

Most of these baits have multiple ways of being able to present them and experimenting with them while you are fishing, can put the catching rate more into your favor. We as anglers have to always show fish different ways of presenting the bait and this way, we can do something a little different than what other anglers are doing and in turn, create more opportunities for us at getting bites.

Posted in