3 Basics to Increase Your Catch Rate of Walleyes

Category: press release

 Dec 24th, 2014 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Dec 24th, 2014 at 12:00 AM

    by Joe Henry
Icing walleyes and saugers at The Walleye Capital of the World this time of year is a very popular activity.  Visitors from all over the world come to experience an adventure and fishing experience unlike no other.  There are many parts of an ice fishing trip that make it enjoyable, and for many, catching fish is certainly one of those parts.  There are a few basic ideas ice anglers can do to actually catch more fish.

1.  Use electronics.  Whether you own your own or choose to rent a unit like a Vexilar or other ice electronics from a resort, these easy to use sonar units will not only help you catch more fish, they are fun to use.  Imagine being able to see what is below you.  Imagine being able to see where your lure is in the water column and how the fish are reacting to it.  There is no doubt that an anglers focus increases when you can see a big red line (fish) on your electronics.  In addition, you learn very quickly how they are reacting to your offering.  If they aren’t biting it, you do something different.  If they still don’t react, that tells you that you might need to change the jigging style, size, shape, color or what type of live bait you are using.  The point is, it enables you to learn more about the fish that day and consequently adapt to them which will help catch you more fish.

Vexilar-walleye iceIce fishing with a vexilarIce Fishing, bucket of fish

2.  Insanity.   The old definition of insanity, “doing the same things over and over and over, expecting something will change.”  In fact, this relates to ice fishing.  If you have been fishing in a certain depth of water or on a certain reef for a good period of time with no results and you have the ability to move, move!

If you are using your favorite lure in your favorite color and a number of fish have come through on the electronics, not liking your offering, then change!

If you continue to use the same jigging motion and a number of fish have not taken to your technique, try something different.

The point is, whoever you are fishing with, try different lures, colors, methods and bait until something clicks.

3.  The Basics.  Ice anglers at Lake of the Woods have the opportunity to be using two lines per person.  The basic concept for most ice anglers is to use one line for jigging and the other line as a dead stick.

A dead stick is basically a line set up with a bobber and live minnow on a hook or medium sized ice fly, such as a Frostee or a Jig O Bit.  The concept is the jigging line will attract the fish.  When they come in to look at the jigging line, some will hit it.  If they are in a neutral mood, they usually go after the live minnow that has very little movement.

The key is to be working both lines.  The ice guides will tell you time and time again, they can tell which anglers put down two bobbers and just let them sit, vs the anglers who actually went fishing!

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