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MPevine11

Ice Fishing....... Help?

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looking for some help. ive been using TIP-UPs with live bait. only been catching perch and pickerel. looking for Large mouth but apparently not fishing the right depth or something......

 

any suggestions? 

 

thank you all 

 

-mike

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I've never ice fished in my life, but I've been reading about fishing and talking to anglers for 40+ years. A close friend used to ice fish and I often visited with him for a while out on the ice.

 

To the best of my knowledge, bass are not one of the commonly caught fish through the ice. Usually toothy fish and panfish are sought after and caught.

 

However, last I knew, the Massachusetts state record bass came through the ice.

 

Maybe someone who knows a lot more about the subject than me will come along and give you better information.

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I ice fish for bass quite a bit. It can be pretty fun. I usually target warm water ponds with decent weed growth. Big shiners work best. I use 12lb test flouro and a 10 foot leader. You will want to tie a barrel swivel at 5 feet.  I usually fish in 10-15 feet of water a couple feet up off bottom.

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I've caught some big girls right in 2-6' of water.  On one local spot (on a huge lake) they are insanely common, to the point of driving the commercial fishermen nuts!  They like to stay in the health green weeds and just ambush, as the weeds die off they move deeper.  I've seen a ton caught on light sunfish type set ups (tiny jig with a wax worm).

 

Perch and Pickrel move more than Bass in cold water so they often show up to the live bait first, just the way it is. 

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I'll usually set tipups along a dropoff, and set bait a few feet off bottom.  Large mud flats can also be productive.

 

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Fish shallow early and late in the season-especially where there is vegitation.  Go deeper in the heart of winter.  While it's true that I fish for anything that will bite, I catch a decent number of bass too.  I don't use minnows simply because they're hard to find and/or keep alive.   I catch a good number of bass (and catfish) tipping small ice jigs with wax worms-or doing likewise with a small jigging spoon like a swedish pimple.  I use a flasher so instead of saturating an area with lot of tip ups, I saturate the ice with a lot of holes until I find cover or fish (or both).  If I have a topo map, I can sometimes reduce the number of holes I have to drill.  As mentioned, drop offs are always good places to try.

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Just drink more beer, and keep praying for open water. At least, that's what I do. Yesterday I brought my son out on a lake that I have a group of buddies who have a couple bobhouses on. I saw more bass than anything else. I happen to know the lake well, and the holes that gave up the most bass, were those along secondary drops, like in 12' water.

 

My buddy with one of the average specimens from yesterday. He got a 5lb LM last week outta that same hole.

040_zps29865491.jpg

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