Ice Fishing

I used to ice fish a lot in the winter and learned and lot of tricks to catching fish. I would use one pole at a time but have 5 more at the ready. When a school of fish moved in, I could quickly catch 6 fish in a matter of seconds. By trying different techniques and being able to see the fish, I could quickly figure out what each species liked, and this would change with the weather and sometimes by the hour. Colors can change quickly too as the light can change quickly with the sun sitting low in the southern horizon. I preferred to fish alone, because when I would take someone they would see me catch fish and then mimic what I would do. Being the type who always changes and adjusts, competing throws a big wrench in the works.

I remember sitting near my old fishing buddy, my shack just a few feet from his, but I would fill up a bucket every day and he would only get 1/4 of a bucket. One day he had a bucket full and I was impressed, but when I took his bucket out of my truck it was light weight, obviously a pillow at the bottom and so I dumped it out and indeed he stuffed a pillow in there so I would shame him again. I did tell him some of the tricks and did share a hut with him many times, but he never did have confidence in the wild way I fished using so many different techniques depending on what kind of fish was moving through. He did come up with one technique, when he saw a big bluegill he would drop it to the bottom and then snag it under the jaw. I tried it one and noticed if I was accurate the gill would suck the lure in without thinking.

If I ever do get back into ice fishing I hope to make a video to show people. With my back I will have to invest in an auger with a motor, and easy to set up comfortable hut.

Here is some times: Bluegill like a flopping lure when it’s high pressure, but most times slow action or no action will work. They can be at any depth but the biggest fish hang near the bottom. They like wax worms but a pork rind will work if it’s cut just right or just a pierce lure will work without any bait. Sometimes they like a slow flopping rat finky, a wobbly lure or a flashing lure. It just depends on the weather and the mood they are in. Color can change by the hour. I have techniques for each species but it would take too long to tell them all and no one would remember anyway. I video would be better. I know one thing, the fish are pretty much always biting, you just have to figure them out. Sitting next to someone copying your every move can really screw things up. They pull the fish toward them and then no one catches any because they lose interest and swim away.

About Dave Tackett

Dave Tackett is from Sterling Illinois. An avid fisherman since childhood, he has fished all over the Midwest, mainly the Mississippi River pools 8-19. His home waters are pools 13 & 14. After fishing Bass tournaments for many years, he gave it up to fish for Walleye year round. He now guides and fishes for fun. He likes to take photos of the scenic places he visits on the river and likes to keep a video camera running to get footage for his Walleye DVDs. Photography is now where he most of his time working, using professional DSLR cameras and lens. These photos include landscape around the Mississippi River and the Rock River, river birds like eagles heron, egrets etc.
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