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ice fishing crappie catch

Ice Fishing Soft Plastics – Overlooked Presentations for Panfish & Walleyes

Learn the benefits of adding soft plastic lures to your ice fishing arsenal and how to use those baits effectively.

I can easily recall my first time ice fishing with soft plastic lures because it was my first time ice fishing. I fished with a couple of fishing industry friends, both veteran ice anglers from Minnesota. Jigs and spoons owned the ice fishing world at that time, and few ice anglers ever used soft plastic lures. To me, though, it seemed like the same lures I used for vertical presentations to cold-water crappie and bluegills on open water should work through the ice. So, I begin my ice pilgrimage by going against the grain, using a soft plastic crappie bait on a jighead that wasn’t even an ice jig.

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ice fishing walleye catch

How to Maximize Your Ice Fishing Success with Rattle and Glow Baits

As winter progresses and light penetration under the ice lessens, rattling sounds and glow become extra important for helping fish find your baits and for triggering strikes.

With several inches of snow atop ice that’s more than a foot thick and the fish near the bottom, nearly 30 feet below, there is no sunlight to make a metallic spoon shimmer, and it’s tough for fish to see even the boldest lure color unless a lure is almost touching them.

Predator fish find forage largely by hearing, sensing vibration with their lateral lines and via scent through the heart of winter. Lures that rattle deliver critical sound. Tipping lures with natural bait provides scent. Don’t stop there as you consider ice offerings, though. Lures that glow bring the fish’s sense of sight into the equation and help them find your lure even in the darkest of waters.

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ice fishing crappie catch

Ice Fishing Tips from Three Expert Anglers

Learn the secrets of 3 highly successful anglers who are especially adept and catching crappie and other panfish through the ice.

Although hundreds of miles separate the favored hard-water fishing haunts of avid anglers Nicole Stone, Doug Sikora and Ryan Suffron, it seems the geography is the only distinguishing difference among the three’s passion for catching crappie and other panfish through the ice.

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ice fishing crappie catch

Essential Ice Fishing Strategies for Mid-Winter Transition Panfish

Learn how crappies, bluegills and perch move as winter progresses and discover the best ice fishing strategies for capitalizing on that understanding.

The progression of winter delivers changes beneath the ice, and as conditions change, fish must move to new spots and alter their behavior. Finding ice fishing success through mid-winter begins with considering the transformation that is taking place and adjusting accordingly with locations and strategies.

Fish Ed and Destination Fish host Jon Thelen spends much of his awake time on the ice throughout winter, whether scouting, filming or testing lures, so he has an outstanding sense of how fish behavior changes as ice season progresses. In Minnesota, where Thelen does the most fishing, changes in panfishing scenarios become noteworthy late in December and early in January.

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ice walleye on Lindy Quiver Spoon

Top Strategies for Early Ice Walleyes

Fish Ed TV host Jon Thelen offers insights on the factors that influence walleye behavior early in the ice season and how to use that knowledge to find fishing success.

“For the most part, they’re in the same places we left them in the fall when we were in boats,” Jon Thelen said about early ice walleyes. “They tend to be tighter to the shoreline, using main lake points, the first breaks out, and any weeds that are hanging on.”

Two primary factors influence the walleyes’ locations during the first part of the ice season, according to Thelen, who has made a lifelong study of fishing in the North Country and who makes his living teaching others how to catch more fish through Fish Ed TV. First, they follow food sources. As importantly, they are influenced by human activity – specially, fishing pressure – atop the ice.

Early ice offers some of the best opportunities of winter, and it’s a time that many anglers anticipate from the time the safe ice goes away at the end of the previous winter. Ice season will be here soon, so we asked Thelen for insights about how to find and catch the most walleyes during the first part of the ice season.

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ice fishing walleye and spoon

Rattl’n Quiver Spoon Combines Subtlety & Sound

This new spoon from Lindy Legendary Fishing fills an important spot in your ice fishing lures box. Learn why it was created and how to use it for everything from bluegills to walleyes.

At times, subtle action is critical for finding good ice fishing action. At other times sound is important for calling in fish and prompting strikes. Sometimes both are true, which is why Lindy introduced the Rattl’n Quiver Spoon.

The slow fluttery fall of a Lindy Quiver Spoon has made this lightweight ice spoon a multi-species ice fishing favorite for the past few winters. At times, though, the fish need a little help finding a bait before they can be coaxed into biting. The Rattl’n Quiver Spoon uses the same shape and light metal construction as the original Quiver Spoon. However, a rattle built into a protruding eye delivers the sound that is sometimes needed to call fish into range and finish the job of prompting strikes.

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Frostee Spoon ice crappie

The Best Baits for Early-Season Ice Fishing

Whether you target walleyes, panfish or some other species, it’s important to be equipped with the right lures when you hit the ice.

If you’re an ice fisherman, few things are more agonizing than the wait for safe ice. You’ve been wearing out your weather app, hoping to start seeing crazily low lows in the 10-day, all the while dreaming and scheming about where you’ll hit the ice first and how your hard-water season will progress.

Wishing won’t ready the ice sooner, though, so you might as well make the best use of the wait time. One way to do that is to prepare your ice gear, getting all in good order and making certain you have the tackle needed when you finally get out on the ice. With such planning in mind, we’ve put a great selection ice fishing lures on sale throughout November. Everything on our Ice Fishing Lures page will be automatically discounted 15 percent in the cart through Nov. 30.

Also to aid your preparation, we’ll look at some of the lures that are important to have ready if you want to start your ice season right!

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