Do you love big bluegill?
I suppose I could break out the vice and tie some weighted marabou streams on really small hooks. My BPS doesn't have an ice fishing section, but ship to store is free. I still have gift cards so I may have something shipped there or I may be buying something else online to get past the $50 for free shipping. Anyway, do you see anything on this page (click) that seems like a good choice?
yep i believe you are the loudest protagonist in the tungsten camp Tony! i am there with you.
smaller and denser=more sensitivity=more fish
ultimately isnt this what we're trying to replicate? Gills favorite food?
ive never really been a fan of the 1/120th oz jigs and such... without weight on your line you lose sensitivity. small and dense is what we want.
Looking at these. It doesn't say how much they weigh. Used in concert with a tiny shrimp pattern, maybe?
another site is jigcraft , com a lot of guys there sell their jigs;; even tell how they make theirs. Tony; what about the ice jigs I gave you a few months ago;; are those considered big??
i just recently visited our newly remodeled Meijer and walked through their fishing dept ... i was pleasantly surprised to find a pkg of three tungsten jigs priced around $5.going back today to pick them up.
I hesitate to declare that any one bait is the answer, as we all know that there are a lot of variables in play. But if I were to choose my favorite micro jig, there would be a few commonalities. Size wise, it would be between 3/8 and 1/2" long, total length. And that length includes any type of "tail". It would hang horizontally, rather than vertically. It would be made of tungsten. Color wise, I would choose a red/black combo, purple, or some glow color.
I cannot say enough about tungsten, ESPECIALLY when ICE FISHING on a tough bite. When you downsize to the dimensions we are talking here, you do of course give up weight also. If you're using this jig below a float, and adding a little shot for weight, then tungsten loses it's appeal in my book. But when you're ice fishing, your entire world revolves around an 8" diameter hole....and once again, if the fish are active and feeding well, tungsten may not be needed. But when faced with conditions like I encountered this past weekend, where the fish are not active, not holding on structure, and moving around, it's all about timing and presentation.
You've swiss-cheesed the ice, and you're hole-hopping trying to stay on fish that are moving. You drop the transducer in each hole, stopping only when you mark a fish. When you do find a fish, the goal is to drop down as absolutely fast as possible...remember, that fish is moving! Tungsten, allows me to do this while still keeping the physical size small. I could add weight to a non tungsten jig, but cold water bluegills can be extremely wary. I don't want anything on my line but the jig....no swivel, no added weight. We're using 2 lb line or smaller, and inline reels to try and get that critical presentation just right, in order to fool that fish. I have found that under these conditions, a non tungsten jig simply won't fall down the hole quickly enough, AND, once the jigging cadence begins, there is a delay, as you wait for the light jig to take the slack out of your line....slack equates to missed takes, especially with a bluegill that can suck your bait in and spit it back out in a flash.
That's ice fishing. Cold water fishing is another story altogether.. Open water provides the angler more leeway with his/her presentation and tactics. Maybe you're using a float, and letting the drift work your bait. In this case, tungsten may not be needed, as you're free to follow the fish with your casts. And, I love a slow fall presentation that a light jig provides. Problem is, during cold water periods the bluegills may go deeper, out of reach of a shore angler with a six foot rod. In these cases you can take a boat, or use a slip float to access the deeper water. A boat and a long rod should provide an angler the chance to maintain more of a stealth presentation, whereas a slip float rig pretty much sacrifices finesse by virtue of having to add weight to pull your jig through the float and down to depth. Tungsten may come back into play here, as it reduces the need to add additional shot.
So the secret to your presentation is an inline reel. I just bought myself a HT micro fly reel to pair with a HT Micro Master rod I purchased last year.
Lost a micro marmooska in the throat of a Bluegill Sunday on the ice . The danger of deadsticking and leaving to jig another hole . Lesson ? If using micros hold the rod or be near by and monitor thoroughly .
Also broke off a fish on two #test dead sticking when ice formed over hole .Must remember to be near the 2# test dead stick and clear holes in particular on such lite line . Was off jigging another hole a distance away again .
I've never had a deep hooked bluegill while ice fishing, but I don't set out extra rods or tipups. However I can certainly see where an unattended setup and a micro bait could lead to trouble. I often get asked if I get a lot of swallowed baits when using the micro jigs, but I can honestly state that it has never happened to me while ice fishing.
That 2lb can be pretty unforgiving, eh John? When the fish spins and the line sings and squeaks as it drags against the ice in the hole I always hold my breath.....
So what lines are yall using? I will be using low vis 4# flouro.
The big thing is to avoid spooking the fish. I use Asso brand 2 lb test on my winter rigs, which has a diameter of .005". They also have a 1 lb test that comes in at .004"