In my last ice fishing report, I talked about a technique Mark used to catch more than 20 crappie in less than 2 hours. As promised, I am going to describe his technique now after delaying my initial commitment due to a special post.

I thought about titling this post “Ice Fishing 101,” but this technique is really beyond the basics into more intermediate skills. It’s more of an upper-classman lesson than one for a freshman. It uses a fish finder known as a flasher because of its flashing lines that indicate fish. I just learned how to read a flasher last year and while I’m not totally proficient in it, I think I am getting the hang of it more and more.

At the ice fishing contest with Steve and Rob, I used a flasher to outfish my two companions. While I didn’t have a flasher of my own (I can’t justify the expense with the amount I ice fish right now), my jig and bait did show up in Rob’s flasher that was set in the hole next to me.

At that outing, I was using an orange Maynard’s flutter bug tipped with euro larva. I was able to make out fish suspended off the bottom and I dropped my jig and bait into, or just above, the detected fish. That is what helped me get my 6 fish that day.

I was trying to use the same technique when I was out with Mark in our last outing and wasn’t having near the success Mark was. He tried to describe his methods to me, but I just didn’t understand it until I watched what was happening on the flasher.

Mark saw fish on the flasher just a few feet off the bottom. But instead of dropping his minnow all the way down to the school, he had his minnow up a good 5-8 feet above them. He would twitch his line a bit to get his minnow to wiggle and the fish would move up a bit. He’d twitch his line some more and let it sit, and within a few seconds, the fish would move slowly up, up, up, until it was at his bait. We would then watch his bobber and a few more seconds later, the bobber would start to go under. He let the fish take the bobber down a good foot, reel up the line while the bobber paused, then set the hook.

In Minnesota, we are allowed two lines in the water for ice fishing, so when he was doing his twitch technique, he was twitching one line, then the other. It got the fish worked up enough that by the time he had taken his fish off the first line, the second bobber had gone under.

After seeing this, I went back to my chair and looked at my flasher. Just like with Mark, there was a few fish off the bottom. I twitched my line a little at first, then a little more vigorously when the lines at the bottom didn’t move. The more vigorous twitching got their attention because I watched as the lines on the flasher merged with the lines representing my bait. A few seconds later my bobber went down, and I caught the minnow bandit! It was really cool to watch the lines on the flasher move up to my bait.

On the drive home, I had told Mark about dropping my euro larva all the way down to a few inches above marked fish on the flasher during my previous outing. He said that was a good idea with euro larva because they don’t wiggle as much as minnows. He also said to put the larva on so that they cover the hook completely. He said the fish won’t bite if they see any exposed hook. I was able to catch fish with pretty good success without covering the hook completely, but who knows, maybe I would have caught more if I had.

One last tip Mark gave me was the he uses flourocarbon line. It’s more invisible that regular mono. I don’t know how much that actually helps, but I’ll definitely think about his suggestion and give it some serious thought. After all, he did outfish me more than 3 to 1 that afternoon.

4 Responses to “Ice Fishing 301 :
Enticing Ice Crappie with the Help of Electronics”

  1. Mel says:

    Thanks for sharing some techniques with your blogging friends. Practice, practice, practice so they say. Happy hook ups!

  2. [...] Ice Fishing 301 : Enticing Ice Crappie with the Help of Electronics [...]

  3. very good tips.
    the next step in the learning process is tightlining, learning to watch the line for bites, soon you will not need a bobber, the line will be your bobber, then you will be free to work up and down in the water column when you see fish come in at various depths, or if you are not using a flasher and you want to cover more water effectivly. you might want to keep a bobber on your second line though.
    If you get good at tightlining, you will rarely need a second rod though hehe

Leave a Reply