January 13th, 2013
It was a bit of a wait; the itch to get into some big fish at first ice when the laker’s are hitting. The best happened this year the last weekend of January.
My buddy and I had been talking the day before. Both of us did not want to head out alone as the ice had just come in on the Monday prior. We decided it was now time!!
We met at our destination around 6:30am in the parking lot. We unloaded our gear from our trucks, and were on our way to our fishing location. It was approximately 1km from where we parked.
Our goal was to start in 100 feet of water and move around till we marked fish. We spread out to cover different areas within sight of each other. We drilled our holes and set up. Once my flasher was positioned over the hole, I turned it. I was surprised to see a school of baitfish hovering around 30-40 feet and lots of fish rising from the bottom. I lowered my lipless crank bait. After hammering it off the bottom and dead sticking it, I had a chaser. I reeled my line watching the fish follow closely, then bam, it hit! I wasn’t ready when I felt the tug and didn’t set the hook properly. It was gone!
About and hour passed by and I changed up baits to a swim bait with a jig head and sent it to the bottom. A few minutes after banging the bait off of the bottom I had a chaser. The fish followed it up about 30 feet and hit like a bolt of lightning. The fight was on with a hard hook set. The fish was landed after a few minutes of fighting it.
The technique I used included:
- White Swim bait/Round Jig Head
- 8lb braided ice line / White
- 26″ medium heavy ice fishing rod
Send the jig to the bottom, bang it off bottom 5-10 times, bring it up and dead stick. Repeat until you see some chasers. Once you get a fish chasing start winding ahead of the fish and the chase is on. Hold on a get ready to set the hook!
Hope this works for you!