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Is It Possible To Catch Bass After Ice On ?

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I ice fish, I have never caught a bass or met someone who has through ice. I hear they feed little to none making it nearly impossible to catch one. Have any of you ever caught bass through the ice? If so how?

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I used to ice fish a lot more than I do now.  I have caught 2-3 LM bass through the ice while fishing for panfish.  My oldest boy hits the ice a lot, He's caught some too doing the same.  I don't know what to tell you as to making a habit of it, doesn't happen often for majority of us.  Not impossible though.

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I typically ice fish every weekend in the winter. It is challenging, but very rewarding. Hit me up for a PM if you want to discuss more fully. I use "tip-up" traps and use shiners. It can be slow, but usually never get skunked. And when we do hook up, it is usually very good sized fish. Find a few friends to ice fish with and hang out with, it makes the time go by fast, and then you just have to sit back and wait for the orange flags! 

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I think since they don't move around much in the winter when it's super cold you would have to drop a bait on their nose to get them to bite. If you can make a ton of casts to find the fish this works and you can pick off a few fish in the winter, but through the ice you just can't cover any water. I saw a video with some guys catching nice bass on tip ups, they used large shiners for bait, If I were to target bass through the ice, I would probably use shiners.

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I've caught  numerous bass on small jigs while targeting panfish through the ice. In fact, its rare that I fish a pond without catching at least one bass. They are a blast on 2 lb line and an ultralight! I can usually tell when i'm marking a bass on my flasher because they look big and slow compared to a bluegill or crappie. 

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A Youtube search turned up several videos of ice fishing for bass. 

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I ice fish, I have never caught a bass or met someone who has through ice. I hear they feed little to none making it nearly impossible to catch one. Have any of you ever caught bass through the ice? If so how?

 

My experience ice fishing is quite a bit like yours.  I have caught a few bass over many years, but they are the exception rather than the rule.

 

In my younger days I was into spear fishing for pike quite heavily.  I was sitting in a dark shanty, staring down into the lake through a 2' x 4' hole in the ice.  Doing so, you get to watch every species of fish in the lake come through that hole sooner or later.  LM & SM Bass usually moved by right down on bottom, very slowly, and even if you could drop a bait down to their level, they completely ignored it.  Not surprising when you consider that these fish are more of a warm water species than say a walleye or a pike.  Colder water equals a slower metabolism which equals a greatly reduced need to feed. 

 

The only way I would spend time targeting bass through the ice would be if I had access to a small lake or pond that was stocked primarily with bass and no toothy critters.  An UL Rod using 2lb - 4lb line, micro sized teardrops, and an emerald shiner would be my choice due to the more sporting fight you'll get over a tip up.  Setup several rigs so you can jig with one and deadstick the other(s). 

 

All that said, I would rather spend my time on the ice chasing species that result in more action and the chance at a fish fry!

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Bass are a popular ice fishing target species in Pa.  I have  days fishing on the other side of the border here in NY state that you literally couldn't keep largemouth off. Pa not so much. Commonly it is the easiest time to catch the big bass in a lake, and the locals take advantage of that. I believe it is a real. problem in smaller waters. The fish will tend to stack up in deep water and even though they don't need to eat much, they are in competition and will eat anything they can get.

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There was a 7lber caught on one of local lakes last year through the ice...and a handful of 5-6lb fish. So yeah!

Ive fished that lake my whole life and have never caught a 7 lol

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  • BTW-Bass metabolism slows down a lot under the ice and the fight is only just slightly better than an old boot.  So I either fiish open water streams for salmonids or walleyes in winter, or more likely, I go skiing.

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As few already stated, it can be done, but it's not super common. 

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I have caught bass through the ice. Usually on small ponds, the bigger lakes not so much, but a few. On the ponds, some days the bass are on fire through the ice. I have caught as many as a dozen out of one hole before.

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Don't do a lot of ice fishing, but have specifically targeted bass when I do and we always managed to catch a few. Can target them just like any other time of the year if you work at it. Jigging Raps was what we mostly used. Have caught plenty on partially ice covered lakes also by fishing the open water sections.

 

-T9

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Yes they can, but the ice can really damage your trolling motor prop. The positive is the frozen surface allows me to skip a Senko about a mile & a half...

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Yes.

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I catch tons of bass through the ice when fishing for panfish, though I don't target bass. For me, panfish fishing is just a way of waiting for the flags to pop up when I'm running tip ups after my REAL winter quarry: BIG PIKE!

 

Most of the bass I've caught through the ice have been largemouth, but smallies too. 

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