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My best bass through the ice hit on the same small dropper rig tipped with a waxy that the panfish were biting on. A pretty fun fight bringing the fish up.

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Comment by John Sheehan yesterday

Adam- don't underestimate a Salted Shiner Head or tail on a spoon for Jigging up big guys .I have caught my best Crappie and Pickerel through the ice using that method. When i get home with left over dead shiners or Live ones which wont be used again before dying , I put them between paper towels to sop up excess water to prepare them in a bag of salt to freeze . That way they don't get mushy .Takes a minute and they will be ready for the next Ice venture .

Comment by Adam Rink on Saturday

Thanks again guys. I guess there was a good discussion going on here.

I've always been the same when it comes to waiting out the small ones, Slip. If I'm catching fish, I'm usually not going to move from the hot hole. I've definitely had holes where I've caught dink after dink, the closely followed by some nicer fish.

I'd like to start trying some minnows under the ice, to try to attract some bigger fish, but haven't tried that yet.

Comment by Leo Nguyen on February 1, 2018 at 4:28pm

Man, you guys make me want to crawl back into my blankets.

Comment by John Sheehan on January 31, 2018 at 6:22am

That's generally what I do Allen .Sometimes the big Guys ignore the small baits and sometimes they prefer them . The tipups get Small , Medium , or Large shiners depending on which lake I'm fishing and what the shop has .The light Jiggin' rods get Mousies, Waxies Fathead minnows or Mealworms and the heavier Jiggin' rods get spoons with Salted Shiner heads or Tails.

Comment by Slip Sinker on January 31, 2018 at 5:23am

Allen I think that is a great idea with the tip-ups… personally I enjoy the fight of the fish on the end of the rod. When we are out fishing for the table we will usually bring along a couple tip-ups… Esox out of the cold water during ice-season is great table fare. Hey good luck ice fishing this season

Comment by Allen Morgan on January 30, 2018 at 5:52pm

John, Slip, would a good way to test the theory of "catching smaller panfish attracting predators" would be to put out a tipup with a minnow a little ways away from where you're jigging panfish?

Comment by Slip Sinker on January 30, 2018 at 4:53pm

...Carl it's all in the way ya dress for the sport... just like sitting on a chair in the family living room. get a good ice suit and your all set... 

Comment by John Sheehan on January 30, 2018 at 2:09pm

I HEAR YOU SLIP!

Comment by carl hendrix on January 30, 2018 at 1:21pm

CONGRATS ADAM !!  BRAVING THAT COLD WEATHER TO CATCH A FEW;;   UGH !!  YOU MUST BE PART;; ESKIMO !!  LOLOLOL

Comment by Slip Sinker on January 30, 2018 at 1:06pm

I believe that theory also works also with big bluegills John… I used to casually move away from the spots I was tagging many tiny, small b.gills thinking spots were to be typical only with that size. I caught a couple trophy gills last season simply just by waiting out the “small” bite tagging dozens of them before finally tagging a big one in the midst. I firmly believe now big ones mix in with the small also.

Fish are curious creatures schools of fish may at times signal to all sizes that feeding is the purpose of the school.

Ive seen it on ice fishing video footage where Big preds will slowly mix in with small panfish and there would be no panic in the school… accidentally tagging the LMB on small panfish jigs with the resulting battle from the LMB would scatter the rest of the fish in the spot… any other large fish would pose interest in the battle sometimes following the tagged fish during the battle. After time the spot usually then settles back to normal.

So do prey fish feel comfortable swimming with the preds until active feeding periods… I think they do I have a feeling during periods of Lull Solunar activity fish sizes mix as well as preds and prey until the active Minor and Major periods kick in then the frenzy starts and there is more feeding size separation. just a theory of mine…similar to yours

Having a under water video cam sure does bring some validity to a lot of theories. Someday id like to have a vid cam of my own out on the ice as a regular component of my arsenal. Sure would help.

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