We are in full swing of the mid-winter doldrums for the ice fishing scene. Ice is getting thicker, there is more snow on the ice, the bite can be very testing of your patience and finding fish isn’t typically the issue, more of getting them to bite.
Drilling many holes always plays into your advantage and staying mobile is key if you want to have a productive day on the ice. Locating the fish hasn’t been the issue, getting them to bite has been. You can tell their biting mood quickly.
If the fish are coming off the bottom, those have been lookers instead of biters, they come up, look at your presentation and either sit there or go back down. These are typically single fish and are a bit harder to getting them to commit. If you have a few fish that come off the bottom, there is a better chance at one of them biting from the competition of the other fish there.
The actively biting fish are riding much higher in the water column, and when you see those, they almost every time will attack your bait. These fish are of a larger size and the ones that we are always looking for. When they bite, they are inhaling the jig/bait and are taking it way down and giving you a better chance of getting them on top of the ice.
One thing that did notice over the afternoon is that when the fish come through, if you happen to miss the bite, you better check your bait. If you are using plastics on your jig, the missed fish usually pulls the plastic trailer down the shank of the hook and once they do this, they will never touch the bait until it is fixed.
It doesn’t look natural with the plastic hanging off in the wrong direction, that they will look at it but rarely bite. It is aggravating having to fix your bait, but with the tungsten jigs, you can quickly get back to the fish before they have moved on.