Ice fishing is a lot more amusing when you are catching fish instead of sitting on the ice freezing your butt off wondering where the fish are. These suggestions can aide you in locating fish under the ice, even if no one else is catching any.
These tips are not about locating any particular species of fish, but provide insight into the general locations of a variety of species of fish at some stage in the winter months after a frame of water has frozen over.
Like many anglers you have probably moved close to where others are fishing, thinking the other angler might be catching fish. The result is a “village” of ice fishing shanties popping up because everyone is in that “monkey-see-monkey-do” mode. They actually might be catching fish, however the bites will gradually lessen or maybe totally stop. Now what? Do you pack up your gear and head home or do you relocate where there is a better opportunity to catch fish.
What many ice fishermen don’t recognise is that each fish responds to fishing pressure, and fish underneath ice aren’t any exception. Just as fish in lakes pass around and exchange places during the spring and summer time, fall and winter fish underneath ice do the same. In addition, their feeding habits trade all through this moving.
Consider separating the winter into treee “seasons”. Early ice, midwinter ice, and late winter weather ice. in case you fish in a particular lake in the fall, and find an area preserving a great quantity of fish, mark that spot with a GPS or on a map, or mark the spot in your memory. Revisit those spots after the primary ice and it’s more than likely the fish will still be there.
Most of the time when a lake freezes over for the first time, the fish will nonetheless be positioned inside the identical standard vicinity where they had been earlier than the freeze. There’s usually no sudden exodus of motion after the primary ice. Even if the fish are moving out in deeper water, they will circulate up into shallower water to feed. that is usually wherein the “shanty village” will appear. These locations are usually shallow flats near deep water, summer season weedbed areas, underwater brushy areas or spots with flooded wood. Underwater ledges are perfect for holding fish throughout this period.
Other suitable spots to attempt at are steep drop-offs where shallow flat regions descend into deeper water. The fish can be staging on those drop-offs, but head up to feed on baitfish. Depressions in flat areas will also hold fish.
A good rule of thumb is that fish want to be near some sort of structure, and if you can discover those varieties of regions that have some type of cover during the spring, summer or fall, keep those locations in mind and return to them after the early icey water forms. If you are fishing new water, standard and digital sattelite maps may help you identify these areas.
As the wintry weather progresses, fish have a tendency to migrate into deeper water. The warmest water in a frozen lake is at the bottom, and this is an area which fish will move towards. Their metabolism slows down as their body temperature drops, and they will swim some distance to hit the spot where they once fed. Use this truth to your gain in identifying those spots and their pathways.
After a while, depending on the thickness of snow accumulation at the surface, the oxygen stages of lower water will start to drop. and when this occurs the fish will drop off from the bottom. Fish will sacrifice body temperature for oxygen, and they will cross into areaas where they can breath. On lakes with a lot of vegetation, this occurs earlier than on rocky, difficult-backside lakes. Big lakes maintain oxygen longer than smaller ones and fish locations can vary quite a bit from one lake to the next during the same time frame
When the snow cover begins to melt, and the lake receives moisture onto top of the ice we are now entering the late winter ice oeriod. Melting snow cover permits extra daylight to come in, warming the water and growing the oxygen. Fish will now begin moving back up into the shallower spots, ultimately obtaining their pre-spawn staging regions.
As the lake water and the fish warm up their metabolism will increase as well. This usually prompts extra feeding to occur and you can get some great strikes with your jig, lure, or live bait. The nearer fish get to the spawn, the more strength they have and that makes for some great fishing.
We hope these tips help in your winter adevneture and don’t forget to stay safe!