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Thread: Learning to fish the hard water...what bait/jigs to use?

  1. #1

    Default Learning to fish the hard water...what bait/jigs to use?

    I have been out to Finger Lake the past couple weekend for my first ever ice fishing trips (Why didnt I start this sooner??) Anyways, we were catching a bunch of little guys using single hooks and shrimp. I want to get some of those hogs but not sure what works best. I See a lot of guys talking about tube jigs but all I can find at Sportsmans is larger ones, like 4" that fit over the large weighted hook...but that hook is huge! Am I looking in the wrong area, or is that what you guys use?

    I did manage to catch a couple in the 17"-18" range fishing in about 6 feet of water 15 feet from shore, our tip-ups in the 30ft water were getting no love...do those rainbows and char like the shallower spots?

    P.S. I searched around the forum a bit and couldnt find a good thread answering this question yet.

  2. #2
    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    I target rainbows and land locked salmon in shallow depths (3 to 8 feet) around the perimeter of a lake. As the weather gets colder I move deeper (Jan/Feb) and then back out again. Find their food source and locate the fish. Fish get less active in colder, oxygen depleted water.

    I am normally fishing for lake trout and arctic char in deep depths.

    I like to hang, or dead stick bait, where legal near the bottom for rainbows and LL salmon. Try using a cocktail combo of shrimp and salmon eggs. I also use synthetic eggs. small tube jigs (like crappie jiggs work well also)

    The large tube jigs mimick bait fish found in the lakes that have cisco and white fish. Try using scent or herring oil lotions where legal.

    Bigger the hook the bigger the fish I believe.

    sometimes its just the random act of vertically jigging your junk in a 10 inch hole at the right time and place on the vastness of a body of water. (as you can only cover vertical space in the water column unlike casting a conventional rig with open water.

    I do know if you dont go, you wont catch anything... Good luck

    www.alaskansalmonslayers.com
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  3. #3

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    Jedi Master, thanks! Thats the kind of info I was looking for. I grew up with a fishing pole in my hands and fish **** near every weekend I can in the summer, but for some reason never got into ice fishing. But, after the past couple weekends, I've already started shopping around for a tent and auger...that manual auger gets old after the first hole.

    P.S. I love your website, you guys are living the dream!

  4. #4

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    I've caught a 10in dolly on a 4" tube jig, sometimes fish attack things there's no way they could swallow whole. Also caught some nice fish on 1/8 ounce jigs. Aero jigs work good for rainbows.

  5. #5
    Member
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    Some times those larger rainbows will hit small bait. My son, brother, and myself have all caught 20 plus inch rainbows from a local lake on small pieces of shrimp no more than maybe an inch long at most.

    Sent from my RM-915_nam_usa_228 using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    My favorite bait of all time for rainbows is RAW shrimp. Not the cocktail variety but the uncooked RAW shrimp.
    I cut them up into pretty small pieces at home and fill snack size ziplocs with 50-75 baits per bag, Each angler gets their own bait bag.
    For jigs I really like anything from Custom Jigs and spins.
    Particularly the Ratso,Shrimpo,Popee,Rat Finkee,and the slender spoon.
    Pink and Orange are my favorite color and the glow is good also.
    I also had really good luck on 20"+ Bows using the Berkly Atomic teaser in white with a yellow or pink teaser.
    Last year I started making my own icefishing jigs. The pink round head with a white grubtail did excellent.





    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    My favorite bait of all time for rainbows is RAW shrimp. Not the cocktail variety but the uncooked RAW shrimp.
    I cut them up into pretty small pieces at home and fill snack size ziplocs with 50-75 baits per bag, Each angler gets their own bait bag.
    I agree with Chris. Raw has always out performed cooked for me. Both work. To add more detail, I have had better success with wild shrimp and the not the aquacultured variety. Not sure why that is. A trick with cooked cocktail shrimp is to microwave for a 5 to 15 seconds depending on lots of factors, it draws the moisture out and they toughen up a bit.

    This is SUPER old (Big Lake has since gone no bait through the ice and single hooks, I should change it if I could ever find the template its so old...lol.) but I wrote it down so I'll link to it. My two cents on Doliies and rainbows through the ice.
    http://alaskafishinglogs.com/ice_fishing_text.htm

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