Ice Fishing Gear – Ice Fishing Tip Ups Strategy
1. Spread out your ice fishing tip ups to cover a large area. Cover as much of the water you are on within reason to give you better odds of getting bites from fish. In some
cases, the fish will bite so often that you will not have to place your tip-ups far from each other to get plenty of action. Start by placing your tip-ups between 10
and 15 yards apart. If fish seem to be in one particular area, move all your tip-ups to cover that spot.
2. Vary the depth of your bait. The majority of ice anglers will use some sort of minnow as bait on their tip-ups, from smaller shiners to those as large as 8 to 10
inches, like suckers and chubs. By deploying your bait at different depths, you will learn at which depth the fish are at once they start to bite. Put some of your
shiners just below the ice–about a foot or two. Let out enough line from the reel to have other shiners swimming a foot above the bottom. If you discover fish seem to
bite on the tip-ups only at certain depths, change all your ice fishing tip ups to correspond with the ones getting the action.
3. Deploy your tip-ups while keeping in mind what kind of fish you want to catch. For example, crappie in the winter will be in deeper water and suspended in schools
of fish near the bottom in many ponds and lakes. By lowering your bait to be close to the bottom, you increase your chances of attracting crappies. Conversely,
northern pike like to chase the smaller baitfish located in the weedy shallows when ice covers their habitat. Set your bait just under the ice in the shallow water
when targeting pike–from 3 to 6 feet deep–and try to keep it just above any weeds.
4. Move the tip-ups that are not getting any bites. Think of your ice fishing tip ups as individual fisherman. Someone who is getting no bites in a certain location will certainly
move to another. Do this with your tip-ups as well, expanding your territory and moving those that fail to produce to another spot on the ice. Drill holes with your
ice auger in spots you have yet to try while waiting for a bite. Then when you decide that a tip-up is better off somewhere else, carry it to the newly drilled hole
and deploy it.
5. Observe proper ice fishing etiquette with your tip-ups. Do not deploy your tip-ups close to those of other anglers; a good rule of thumb is to stay at least 20
yards way from other fishermen. Refrain from using the holes drilled in the ice by other anglers once they move their tip-ups to another location. Only use others’
holes after they leave the ice. Stay vigilant and quickly attend to any tip-ups of yours on which the flags go up. Avoid making loud noise on the ice or causing a
ruckus when fishing with ice fishingtip ups around other anglers, as this can frighten the fish.