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Ice Fishing Experts?

Discussion in 'Northwest Fishing' started by Frankensteineken, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. Frankensteineken

    Frankensteineken Peninsula New Member

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    Ok, so every fisherman is an expert and we all limit out every time we go fishing. But, who goes ice fishing and is willing to share some trade secrets? I've been several times over the past few weeks out at the Spring Valley Reservoir near Troy, ID, and I caught a couple trout but didn't exactly clean out the place. What do you all use for trout? Maggots seem to be the most recommended. I did ok using a selection of small jigs and trout worms, but would like to increase my productivity. These were my first attempts at ice fishing, as I've never lived anywhere it froze hard enough to do it.
     
  2. Bigbaddude

    Bigbaddude West linn Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Haven't been in years but when I was a kid had good luck when we dumped a can of corn down the hole.
     
  3. Whitelightning1776

    Whitelightning1776 Beaverton New Member

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    I believe chumming is Illegal in the state of Oregon. Pouring a can of corn down a hole would be chumming
     
  4. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Went ice fishing in MN when I lived there. We would use small ice fishing jigs (not much hackle) tipped with a couple of maggots. We also used leeches up there when fishing for Walleye. Gave me the willies putting them on the hook, but we caught fish.
     
  5. CIPuyleart

    CIPuyleart La Center, WA Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    By no means an expert, but grew up ice fishing in N. Idaho (not much chance over here on the wet side of the mountains though). I can say we never fished trout though - always were going after crappie, walley, perch, or pike. Most of the time, it was canned corn or maggots and some days were hot, others were all day with nothing. If legal where you're fishing, get some tip-ups so you can man multiple holes per person (ID used to be two or three per fisherman...it's been a while so double check).

    If you've got a newbie with you, you can usually get them to squirm a little by explaining to them in a serious tone that if their snoose can full of maggots gets too cold and the aren't wiggling enough, they have to warm them up by putting a couple in their lip like a good pinch! :bluelaugh: My dad used to always pull that one on a friend that had never been ice fishing before...
     
  6. Nosrac

    Nosrac Lakewood, WA Member

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    My dad was out ice fishing in the Moses Lake area last week. Everybody he talked to got skunked. It was really slow. I used to take ice skates to warm up and fend off boredom when the fish weren't biting.
     
  7. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    The first time I went Ice Fishing was on Lake Mille Lacs in MN. I about freaked out when they just drove the car right out onto the lake, but I guess when you have 18" of Ice it's OK. They actually had street signs out on the lake and signs warning of areas with thin ice. For any of you who have seen the movie "Grumpy Old Men", the scene with all the ice shanties out on the lake is 100% accurate. I knew a guy that was in the construction business that basically lived in his ice house during the winter when it was too cold to work construction. Had a TV, Stove, barcolounger, and his bed there. He'd sit in his easy chair drinking a beer and watching football with a hole in the ice and his fishing rod right by the side of the chair.

    In some of the shallower sections of the lakes guys would drill holes and just watch and wait until a fish swam under their hole and then spear it with a hand held spear.
     
  8. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

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    I grew up in Wisconsin and did a lot of ice fishing as a kid. You would sit in the shanty until you got a nice carbon monoxide buzz from the kerosine stove, then stumble outside into the freezing wind of fresh air---wonderful! First, chop a hole in the ice, which was usually about thirty inches thick. We would open a can of green peas, and place a circle of peas around the edge of the hole in the ice. Fish were fascinated by the light from the hole and the green sparkle of the now frozen peas. Then whenever a fish would come up to take a pea we would kick them in the ice hole!..........................elsullo (with compliments to Garrison Kieler)
     
  9. CIPuyleart

    CIPuyleart La Center, WA Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    When I was going to school in the midwest, that's how they fished sturgeon on Lake Winnabego in WI!

    As for the Grumpy Old Men scenes - those were shot just north of where my mom's familly lives in LaCrosse, WI. I've spent a little time in ice house shanty "villages" just like that.
     
  10. CIPuyleart

    CIPuyleart La Center, WA Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    My wife tells that joke, only about how to catch polar bears.
     
  11. dude young

    dude young SE PDX Active Member

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    Well, that all depends on what kind of trout you are after.

    Lake trout (Togue): Seek submerged humps, hills, points, near/surrounded by deeper water. The kind of place that they will prowl around and ambush bait. Use either a red/white bucktail jig or a Swedish Pimple. Bait your jig with a piece of sucker meat about 1.5" long, 1/2" wide, and 1/8" thick. Keep the sucker fresh, frozen just does not seem to work. If you cannot get suckers, use live (if legal) smelt or shinners rigged through the lips. If not live, just cut the bait in half and try either end on your jig. Now, drop the jig to the bottom (right on top of the hump/point/ridge) and let it rest for a minute or so. Then alternate "dead sticking" and jigging. To dead stick, lift your rod tip lust until you take all the slack out of the line, Now slowly wiggle the rod up and down just enough to make the bait/jig flutter on the lake bottom. You will feel a sudden change in the weight of your jig. SET THE HOOK! and hang on! To jig, with the bait on the bottom, rapidly raise your rod up as high as you can reach with out standing up. Then slowly lower the bait back to the bottom. Lakers will take the bait on the fall, so when you suddenly have slack in the line, SET THE HOOK! and hang on! I've caught Lake Trout over 10 pounds through the ice, and have seen 25+ pounders caught.

    Rainbow/Brook Trout: Much more finicky. Takes a bit of finesse, and a TON of patience. Look for shallow, gravelly areas, preferably where streams come into the lake (WARNING - Be VERY wary of thin ice near current areas. You should be fishing in less than 5 feet of water, bit remember, if it is deeper than a bucket, you can drown.)
    Drill a bunch of holes (five maybe). Get some good salmon eggs and (assuming you are allowed to "chum") place five eggs on the lake bed below each hole, then cover each hole with pine bows or a square of rigid foam painted black (the sunlight will spook rainbows). After you have finished prepping holes, make rounds checking your eggs (you are fishing in shallow enough water you should be able to see bottom). When you find a hole that has been pilfered, drop four more down, and bait your line (2-4 pound flouro-carbon line with a size 14 or smaller hook) with the fifth egg. Now, watch and wait. When the troot comes back to pick the eggs, wait for it to grab the one on your line and set the hook. Be careful. You are using very light line and hooks, so don't "shark-set" the hook. I used to just use a hand line for 'bows. No rod, no tip-up. Until I discovered something that will give you the edge over everyone on the lake. PM me if interested and I will let you in. But I will NOT share it out loud. It's that good.

    Good luck. Man, I miss hard water fishing. I moved out here from NH a few years ago, and kept most of my gear, just in case h-e-double hockey stix froze over some day. I'm goin' ice fishin'!

    Don't forget the bourbon!
     
  12. Frankensteineken

    Frankensteineken Peninsula New Member

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. I will try to head out this week and use some of the advice you all offered up. Hopefully I check back in with a successful after action report.
     
  13. OPAWY

    OPAWY NorthCentral Wyoming Member

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    One thing that always seemed to entice some good bite was that luminescent green jig.
     
  14. teflon97239

    teflon97239 Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    I feel compelled to share this:

    A couple of warmly dressed fellows ventured onto the ice with some fishing gear, a drill and a saw. As they began to drill the pilot hole, a booming voice came from above, "There are no fish under the ice."

    Startled, they dropped their tools and looked around. Hearing nothing else for a couple minutes, they started drilling again.

    Once again, louder than before: "I said, there are no fish under the ice!"

    More than a little scared now, one guy looked up and asked sheepishly, "God, is that you?"

    "No! I own this rink and I'm telling you knuckleheads, there's no d*mn fish under the ice!"
     
  15. pdxjohann

    pdxjohann Portland near Tigard Member

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    From ice cabanas to a hole with auto fishing rod on a spring tricked out trigger thing runs the gammot. the cabanas are great for a weekend of drinking and bbq and lies of course. You only need warm boots from the knees down. we were usually hot in shorts and tee shirts above the knees. Set up with Weber BBQ, radios tv's, and beer and schnapps. Fish hit the grill still squirming. But, the other is a lonely hole with a short rod with a spring and trigger to set the hook when the line wandered, thus raising a flag. So, the guys would be at the Wisconsin bar - when not pitching a fit over governor cutting wages in winter - so at the bar, the tender watches with binoculars and feeding brandy. He'd alert to a flag and one or more outdoorsman / fisherman would skadaddle out the door, hop a skidoo, top out about 96 mph - amazing as he'd be toasted on brandy...go screaming to the lonely little fishing pole... hold up his fish for Fred the bartender to announce, the back to the tav and the Badgers ball game. What a hoot those guys know how to live!