When I find fish around gravel, cobble, or boulders, especially rip rap areas, I prefer lipped baits. Additionally, lipless cranks can produce during the late ice off period in lakes with emerging vegetation. I almost always fish the Ned rig on 6 lb fluorocarbon with a 6’9” spinning rod made for fishing finesse plastics. Additionally, I may even fish a drop shot around wood cover (particularly stump fields) in the ice out period, as it allows me to slowly target individual stumps one by one. Shop our huge selection of ice shanties, ice fishing shelters, and sleds from brands such as Clam, Eskimo, Frabill and more at basspro.com. This early in the year, just about any reel speed faster than 6:1 will do for jig fishing, especially when fishing casting jigs, although I prefer reels over 7:1 that can pick up line faster. It mixes exciting parts of real sport fishing with competitiveness of pvp games. What an epic day. Mackenthun believes they are patternable, and Akin has put that into practice, catching bass between 2 1/2 and 3 pounds — with the possibility of a 5-pounder — through the ice. A Bonnier Corporation Company. I often fish all of these rigs on 6-8 lb fluorocarbon on a spinning rod made for drop shotting or fishing these suspending type baits, i.e., a rod with plenty of backbone, a parabolic action, and a fairly soft tip. If the fish are stuck to the bottom and not aggressive, you can just flat out drag a Ned head, in which case a heavier version is often preferable. Tight lines! I will also vary my cadence and pause during the retrieve, and the same cadence/pause principles that applied to the jerkbait also apply here. Ice fishing 2017 and 2018 season for some big bass. The pause is often the key. May go back with the Bass Boat in September. Every ice angler has a go-to lure they swear will out-fish anything. Sunday some older spots tightened up. The short answer is yes. Especially when largemouth fishing, you may be surprised at how shallow you catch bass on cranks during the ice out period. Drop your bait all the way to the bottom, jig it for a couple of minutes, reel up five feet, jig it for another couple of minutes, and continue that routine all the way up to the surface until you start to figure out a pattern with those fish. I target rock because rock holds heat. If the fish are active, I may speed up the cadence and fish the bait faster. I am not the most patient angler, but during the ice out period, patience is key. The period between ice out and the spawn is short in many of these areas, so the fish do not take long to get active and start feeding. Five Ice Out Lures and Techniques that Catch Big BassDrew Haerer. Bass typically avoid the shallows during early ice, as toxins from massive weed die-offs push them to deeper flats. When it comes to great ice fishing destinations in the US, we’ve only scratched the surface. Ice was real sloppy. Finally, be prepared to get strikes that are not as enthusiastic as they will be in later months. For most ice anglers, catching a bass is a bonus. To yo-yo a lipless crank, simply use your rod tip to rip the bait upward and then let it fall. Sometimes, you just need something slightly different, and by mixing up those types of materials, the traditional look, and various trailers, you can keep the fish curious. Just spent a few days at Big Moose Camp, and had a fantastic time. The jerkbait is probably my favorite lure for ice out fishing. In some areas, such as in channels with suspended fish, along sharp drop offs and bluffs, near bridge piers, and over deep humps (i.e., humps too deep to fish with a lipped crankbait), I will fish lipless crankbaits. Great Family run operation. High time to go fishing! Similarly, I carry a variety of lipless cranks from 1/4 oz up to 1 oz for various situations. Play 1v1 PvP fishing games and fight for the title of fishing champion! In short, using soft plastic baits are ideal for ice fishing. In both cases, be sure to sharpen your hooks before you hit the water and even mid-trip. How to Wax-Pluck a Wild Goose for Christmas Dinner, Worth the Wait: It Took 10 Years, but a Mother-Daughter Team Finally Killed Two Massive Colorado Mule Deer, Tomahawks Are Back: These American Relics Have Seen a Resurgence in Military and Survival Situations, Hunting Giant Alaska Black Bears with Old-School Recurve Bows and Sidelocks, 10 Early Ice Fishing Walleye Tactics That Will Put You on the Bite. I then slowly retrieve the bait while erratically hopping it up off the bottom. These lipped cranks dive and deflect off of rocks, and these deflections can generate aggressive strikes. Additionally, I prefer to use 12 lb fluorocarbon for jerkbaits, but I will downsize  depending on how picky the fish are, the water clarity, and the species. Those heat sources attract bait, and bass are not far behind. I prefer to make long casts slightly past my target when fishing the Ned rig. First fish probably pushed 5lbs. (this big ce out smallie choked a Ned rig in 15 feet water). I typically leave about 16”-22” between the weight and my worm in the early spring. Early Ice Fishing Big Bass and Fails. There is no better feeling then those first few bites of a new year. If you can grind out a couple good jig bites in 40-degree water, imagine what you can do when it warms up! Cabins are clean and have most things you need for cooking and BBQ. Caught 50-60 Perch Ice Fishing over 3 days mid season ice. If you are thinking about what are the best ice fishing lures for crappie, then the answer might be a long one or a short one. Again, these fish don’t need to be coaxed with a lot of action. However, on many days, you need to go to deeper diving models and move further from the bank. Additionally, a worm moving too fast simply will not look right, as nothing in the water column is moving that fast, and the worm will stand out as unrealistic. I prefer to fish the drop shot vertically or close to vertical over structure or schools of fish. Additionally, the Ned head also comes in snag resistant versions (with a wire), so although it is still prone to hanging up in some environments, it really excels fishing rocks, light grass, and other cover. As it turns out, the combination of fewer boats on the water, a passing cold front and the transition from fall to winter patterns can work to your advantage as a bass angler. Now, it’s up to you to decide what kind of ice angling adventure you’re looking for and plan a trip. Fishing was real bad. Our Dog loved it too. However, slow does not mean boring, as fish will still react to the erratic action of a bait. Too much fun on light gear! In addition to the drop shot rig, the newly popular Damiki rig and even the underspin can fished in similar ways with similar results. Read more… → How to Choose the Ultimate Fishing Rods. But largemouth bass are way harder to target than smallmouth bass for one simple reason. Notably, depth/fish finders can help you locate different types of structure and tell you exactly how deep fish are suspended, which takes a lot of guess work out of ice out fishing. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. These types of rock may include rocky humps and points, drop offs with cobble bottoms, rock bluffs, steep bedrock outcrops, and various other areas. Join the Wilderness Systems Email Community. Five Ice Out Lures and Techniques that Catch Big Bass. Bass Pro Shops is your trusted source for quality fishing, hunting, boating and outdoor sporting goods. I generally fish drop shot rigs with 1/8 to 1/4 oz tungsten weights and extra sharp size 2 drop shot hooks. The period between ice out and the spawn is short in many of these areas, so the fish do not take long to get active and start feeding. Regardless of the approach, the key is to stay patient and let the fish respond (or not respond) to each technique. Ice Fishing Destinations in the US: There’s Many More! Soft plastic baits: how to jig for crappie ice fishing? As a yo-yoed bait falls, it flutters and provides a much different action that can be deadly on suspended fish. There is no doubt a fraternity of ice anglers who are very serious about pike and big pike in particular get a lot of anglers excited. The drop shot has become a notorious rig/technique for catching deep and schooling fish year round; therefore, it can be a perfect offering just after ice out. Rods shorten by 3 or 4 feet. Always wear your life jacket, and use the buddy system when possible. He caught his biggest bass ever through the ice! 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