Winter Fishing Tips: Catching More Crappies Through the Ice
If you're looking to reel in some crappies during the winter months, there are a few important pieces of information you might consider to increase your chances of bringing more fish topside.
Winter is a great time for ice fishing, especially if you are targeting crappies. These fish tend to move over basins in a lake which often consist of deeper water surrounded by shallow flats, or points that taper off into the basin, making them easier to catch once you find them.
If you are looking for a reliable ice auger for your ice fishing adventures, consider the RAZR Scout, Synthetic Lite, or the full size Synthetic Ultra, all of which are perfect for chasing down crappies while ice fishing. With hole sizes of 5 inches, 6 inches, and 7 inches, you can choose the auger size that works best for you.
When fishing for crappies, it is important to use a thin and invisible line to avoid scaring the fish away. Successful anglers often use 2- to 4-pound test line. However, keep in mind that crappies have good eyesight and can inspect your lure before biting. To increase your chances of success, you may want to consider using a fluorocarbon line, which is nearly invisible underwater, and it also sheds water and sinks faster than mono.
Adding a spring bobber to the tip of your fishing rod can help detect light bites, which is important since crappies can be very light biters. The spring bobber is a very sensitive length of metal that can detect bites that you may not see or feel without it. This can make all the difference when fishing for crappies, especially in deep water. If you don't want to mess with a spring bobbers, then a favorite rod among many ice anglers targeting crappies is the Tuned Up Custom Rods Bullwhip.
The Bullwhip is the ultimate noodle rod, offering versatility and strength for all your fishing needs. With its solid fiberglass blank and extra-long Hi-Viz yellow tip, this rod is perfect for visual bite detection while still being strong enough to handle larger tungsten jigs and small spoons. The quick and responsive noodle tip transitions seamlessly into a robust backbone that makes fighting even the largest crappies a breeze. But that's not all - the Bullwhip is also capable of handling a surprise pike or other toothy critters like walleye.
When setting the hook, it is important to avoid tearing the soft mouth of the crappie. It is best to set the hook with a steady upward motion, with enough force to set the hook but not too forcefully. Using a sensitive rod can also help you feel when the fish takes the bait.
Choosing the right size and weight of lure is also important when fishing for crappies. When it comes to tackle options for ice fishing crappies, Northland Tackle offers some of the best on the market. The Buck-Shot Rattle Spoon is a popular choice among ice anglers as it emits a loud rattle that can attract crappies from a distance, you can even get this in a glass version which is loud and really rings the dinner bell to roaming giants. The Forage Minnow Spoon is another great option as it resembles small minnows, a common prey for crappies.
For those who prefer jigs, the Rigged Tungsten Mayfly and Rigged Tungsten Mini Smelt are effective choices that offer a realistic swimming motion in the water. The Tungsten Mud Bug Jig is also worth considering as it mimics small aquatic insects, which crappies tend to feed on. With these tackle options from Northland Tackle, you can increase your chances of landing more crappies during your ice fishing trips.
Fishing during low-light conditions of dawn and dusk can increase your chances of success, especially in clear water lakes. However, good fishing can still be possible during the day in some turbid water lakes. Bait shop staff can be a helpful resource for information on the most successful lures and regulations regarding fish harvesting. Some lakes have special regulations, so it is important to check the fishing regulations before fishing.
Ice fishing for crappies can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it requires some preparation and attention to detail. By following the tips and using the recommended tackle options mentioned in this article, you can increase your chances of catching more crappies during your next ice fishing trip. Remember to check the fishing regulations and be mindful of the size and weight of the fish you catch, and enjoy the delicious taste of your freshly caught crappie fillets.