Many locations have tasted their “Ice Season” already, but, there are many of us that have yet to see the ice and are waiting eagerly. So that means, dawning the winter warm gear and hitting the open water for getting our fishing fix in.
By having access to open water yet, this is allowing us to find the areas that the crappie is using and with water temps near the freezing mark, they won’t be moving far come first ice. Using ice fishing strategy, watching the Vexilar flasher, slowly moving the boat around, looking for fish on the screen.
You will come upon areas, when the screen will light right up, and tossing out a buoy in that location, this will give you a good reference point as to their location. Moving back near to the buoy, you can find them again and get ready to fish.
Using a straight down jigging action, like ice fishing, but with long rods, watching your bait on the screen and seeing how the fish are reacting to the presentation. Clam Outdoors has come out with a line of “NEW” spoons for this ice season and those are the baits that we were using.
Fishing with the Clam Small Pea Slab Spoon, tipped with a pink Jamei and the Pinhead Jigging Mino, tipped with a white Maki. Changing the cadences of the action of these spoons, you could see how the fish were reacting and this allowed you a better way of presenting to them the action that they wanted.
The fish were aggressive in the earlier afternoon and as we got nearer to dusk, they made you work more for their bites. Many were in the 9-11-inch range and were hanging mainly in the 12-foot water range. Totally different area than we typically fish and this is a clue as to where they may be staging when first ice does come and in a sense, we have eliminated some water already.