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Alright boys,

How many times have you been ice fishing and marked plenty of fish on your flasher. But, fish after fish comes up to your bait, checks it out for a few seconds, and slowly swims away.

What are some tricks you guys use to get those sniffer into biters?

I have had success downsizing using smallest jigs possible, size 16 jigs with one maggot. Not to mention a sensative spring bobber.

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Frustrating isnt it! Maybe curious doesnt mean hunger.I dont know.I've seen Bluegill come in and look at my small lure/bait thru the Fish TV monitor but flee like a bat outta hell when I move it .2lb gill has seen the same apparently.I've even pulled the bait out of their mouths with my impatience to set the hook.I've decided that when the fish swims off and loads the rod a little I must set the hook not before.If you are using a flasher how can you tell whether or not they didnt take the bait but spit it out for some reason?It would be hard to tell when they are that close ,no?
Panfish Pat
From what I have seen through the ice is the (jig spinning) from line being coiled up on small spool spinning reels..The old fashion plastic spools limit the twist in the line as it comes off the reel. Sliding and pinching your fingers down the line forces the spin out to the end at the lure, do this before it is in the water..big gills do not like spin.....
Great taking the spin out tip !Thank you Bruce...old fashioned plastic spools ..what do you mean there ?
John
The spools that are on the inexpensive ice fishing rods, I think one brand is skooley...very simular to the type of spool fishing line comes on...hang a jig that you use in a five gallon pail of water and watch how it spins...if you tap the rod blank very lightly the jig stops spinning as you continue to tap...
I know just what your talking about.I get the same kind of thing on my vexlar all the time. I've found that the most of the time those fish are the small ones and when you do catch a fish its the bigger ones of all those small ones. Unless you can see that its bigger fish I would recomend that you move to a different spot or drastically change the type of bait your using (shrimp imitation to minnow imitation) because the bait you have on is probably not what they are feeding on at the moment. Just last weekend I was out fishing with some of my friends and we were sight fishing in anywhere from 5-12 ft and couldnt keep the fish interested. So I up sized from a small shrimp bait to a much bigger minnow imitation and I had those slabs racing up my hole in no time.
Good Luck Fishing!
Sometimes the fish are in a negative feeding mode, sometimes they are in a neutral feeding mode and sometimes they are in a feeding frenzy. What mode do you think they are in most often?

When they are in a frenzy, almost anyone can catch them. Sometimes fishermen can entice them to bite when they are in a neutral feeding mood, very good fishermen can entice them often when they are in a neutral feeding mood and I don’t have a clue how to get them to bite when they are in a negative feeding mode except to wait until they come out of it.

The trick is to figure out how to entice them when they are neutral. The more tools in your tackle box, the better your chances. Add technique to the equation and it complicates it more, but that’s what makes us keep coming back.
What a great discussion. This has been the case for me all winter this year. The flasher looks like a Christmas tree but all you get on the line is a few pecks. We are heading out in about an hour for a day on the ice and I am going to try some of these techniques today.

We are guaranteed to get fish today because I am taking the "better half" along and she says she can out fish me any day. So that means the frying pan will be sizzling tonight.
Yesterday the hook was picked clean three times because the waxworm was lightly hooked .The way I read to do it in In Fisherman.I got five fish after instead of sizing down I hooked that waxie on firmly.I learned from the fish instead of an article. I'll keep my subscription though I like that mag!
Great posts and information!! I also fished with a new friend this year that is truly one of the best icefisherman I have been around (watch out for his boys!) he is on this forum as Sandbilly. I learned from him the same thing that was mentioned on previous posts that bigger baits are actually better then downsizing on many days.

Another couple of tricks I have learned is to lay the rod down and let the fish take it when the jig isn't spinning and they decide to give it a try. Also making them chase it up or pulling the jig out of the hole for a few seconds and dropping it down again sometime works.

Keep trying everything you can think of when the bite is tough and hopefully something starts to work!!!

Erik
I gotta say after reading this again I may have conditioned those fish to get away with baits and then triggered a frenzy to my advantage...worth losing a few I guess! So the tactic would be lightly hook until a few are lost then put the slammer on them. In a way same thing goes for chumming!
Wow thanks for the all the replies. It has been one of my delimas this year. I catch my share of panfish but you can never learn to much.

2lbgill,
I have some of those gill getters jigs. Definitely what I was looking for when I made this post. New ideas and concepts. Upsizing during a nuetral-negative mood. Worth a shot.

Do you guys remember fishing as a kid around docks. You would always see little gills and you would put your little worm and they would all come out and look and a few would peck at it. Seldom would you actuall hook one. Then when it was time to go you took your worm off and threw it in the water there was a race to the worm and they had no problem swallowing it.
I applied the same principal of a slow sinking bait. I tried to duplicate the speed that the worm was falling and it works well. I have used it in my bag of tricks. It works sometimes, but not all the time. If it worked all the time I would not be writing this post.
All good ideas. Try different presentations until you find something that works. One option that I didn't see above is to use a small jigging spoon. Northland makes a Forage Minnow that I use often. Move up to something totally different than they are used to seeing. Many times when they are only sniffing, I try this spoon, and keep it vibrating. Try maggots, wax worms, and even minnow heads tipped on the spoon. I have caught some nice sunfish on this spoon set-up with the minnow head. They seem to come from no-where, just show-up and smack it when the fish you see on the flasher are just sniffing.

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