Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Trolling on Ice

Ice trolling is a new term used in the ice fishing world which involves drilling lots of holes in order to locate the fish.  This technique can be used in open water situations where the fish are scattered on vast structureless flats, in weedy bays where fish may be holding in key areas in the weeds, or even along reefs where fish may be holding on the transition between hard and soft bottom.

Many different species of fish can be targeted by this technique, including Walleye, Perch, Crappie, Bluegill, Whitefish, and even Northern Pike.  To begin, pick an area of the lake that is known to produce during the winter months or an area you feel should hold fish.  Next, begin drilling holes along the structure every  30-50 feet in a zig-zag pattern.  If you are fishing a structureless flat, don't be afraid to spread your holes upwards of 100 feet apart.  Once the holes are drilled, its time to begin fishing.

Start in the first hole using a flasher to mark any fish and your bait of choice.  If you don't mark a fish in 5 minutes, its off to the next hole.  Continue hole hopping until fish are located.  Once you have located the school of fish, you can then settle down and set up tip ups and your ice shack!

This technique is not for the lazy fisherman, since it requires some effort, but don't worry those that put in the extra effort often go home happily with a nice meal of fresh fish!
Ice Trolling Success

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