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Boar

How to seal the deal?

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Boar

I Have my camper set up with rattle reels an I am quite successfull with the rattle wheel an a doodle bug under a ice buster bobber.I Generally try to use my Vex. but do not get near the fish with it like I do on the rattle reels. I just cant seal the deal on the vex very often, I can get sniffers but can"t seem to get them commit. I've tried pretty much everything I can think of doing but they laugh at me an go hide on the bottom. I end up shutting it off an jiggle the rattle line an wait for the tick tick tick. Do you guys have advise on sealing the deal . I know I should keep trying till something works but I grow tired. Dont get wrong, I can seem to catch fish with the vex but not like I should be. There is no magic trick but any tips on what you guys do would be great. Thank you, Boar

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icefishingdude

I've seen alot of this light action on LOW this year. I'm sure the rattle's get alot of sniffers too, its just that a guy is always looking at the vex when your in the fish house and doesn't realize it. On days when the fish seem to be scared, I will switch to small jigs and usually metallic colors. I've found that natural colors work a little better at coaxing bites. I've often though though that the vex has something to do with the bite, maybe sound reflection off the metal jig that the fish can only hear when close, I dunno? However, i've had days too when the vex outperformes rattles. This past weekend on the lake I had alot of fish come and go on the graph, some would bite, most just looked. I ended up doing better with just a small twitch of the jig before they got close when they were on the bottom and more aggressive jigging when I saw no fish on the screen. However, the weekend before I had better luck pulling the jig up 4 feet to entice the strike. I guess its different each visit. My best advise would be to switch jigs and bait often, try small and metallic. Maybe some gold-backed eye-droppers, geminis, or even a plain red hook w/ a shinner. Hope that helps.

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Boar

Thanks IFD, I heading up next weekend, of course it's alot tougher when pressure falls low like last weekend, I dont have any small geminis so it's justified to get some, Ha. Later boar

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Bigfife

On LOW I try to use jigging as a way to attract fish and not necessarily make them bite. I use a buckshot rattle or a flashy spoon to bring them into the area. I also have a setline a few feet away and most of the sniffers seem to hit that for an easy meal. For panfish I almost always just use 1 line, but for walleyes I think that setline near the jigging spoon really helps the catch rate.

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KJB

Doug Stange wrote a great article on jigging for walleyes that was in Walleye Insider a while back that is excellent- talks about different actions to impart on lures - sometimes nothing works, but many times they do! The previous comments are all very good and there are technique differences that you can do that sometimes help as well as thinking like a fish a little bit. When we were there over the holiday, we had a day the fish would not hit a lure, I tried a bunch and they would not even appear on the Marcum, but would hit a deadstick repeatedly- I put on the Storm jigging minnow as I thought it mimics a minnow, visually, is non obtrusive (assuming they were not real aggressive) and when you barely swim it, the tail slowly thumps in their face- it caught 8 fish in about an hour including a 6#'er. Lucky, maybe, but it worked. One other thing I always try when they look and leave, is to "pound" your lure and many times they come back up and hit it- to describe the "pound" I would say to hold your wrist stiff and then quiver/shake it, rapidly, but in very short motions- almost like you are very cold and have the shivers- on a spoon type lure it kind of vibrates and the minnow head shakes and dances. On a rapala, the lure shakes from side to side and vibrates some- it is deadly with rapala's. There are many other things, but that article and the pound would be good things to try if you are not already doing them.

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sal

My $.02: I put on a big zip lure and jig it like crazy to try and really get 'em riled. Seems to work ..... or at least gives me somthin to do while they aren't biting NOTE TO SELF: this lure need bigger # test (from experience) I have had the lure grabbed, scared the begeebees out of me.

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late night

I have the same problem on Mille Lacs this year, lots of lookers, very few takers. It is very discouraging to mark fish all day with no bites. I try different lures, dead sticks, set-lines, whatever. Sometimes they just wont bite for nothing. I was wondering if anybody has tried salting minnows. I read and article by the "Bro" about it but have never tried it. I was wondering if that little different taste would induce more stricks. Anybody know if that works?

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icefishingdude

On one of my first trips this year I applied some "fish gravy" to two of my rattles. Over the course of fishing the house now for several weeks (since Dec. 21), I've noticed it helped me diddly squat. Maybe the "fish gravy" isn't the ticket, I might try some different scents later in the year, but as for now I'm gonna go to work changing jigs and bait sizes. There was a fellow earlier this winter who mentioned an amino acid powder he uses, hopefully he reads this and can clue us in on the brand and some more info for its performance. Overall, I think the barometer has a greather impact on fishing than anything & thus limits bites quite a bit, like Boar said. Anyone else have some info to share on barometer? Whats the bite range, typically?

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Hookmaster

When I was up in December my son and I were using some scent and it seemed to work. If you had a sniffer, quickly real up, dip the jigging spoon/minnow head in the scent and go back down. It triggered the bite most of the time. Pounding with a slow lift triggered some bites also. I had one 14" eye follow my spoon up 4-5 feet off the bottom two times without a strike. After the second time I went back down to it and lifted the spoon up 4 feet fast. The fish came at it like it was shot out of a cannon and nailed it. You just have to keep trying different jigging patterns with different baits. Don't be afraid to try something goofy, have fun with it. When you finally get the bite, you have to remember what you just did.

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Boar

IFD, that was me an the stuff is Top Secret Amino Powder, it has turned snifers into biters an there is times when it dosent do anything at all. I do try it when the bite is tough an seem to get more lookers with when the barometer is low but it is''nt a magic cure. They have bloody flavor, maggot, worm, blue cheese, an cod fish. It really dose a good job on cat fish though. It is nice to hear that some of you guys have a tough time with the sonar too cause alot of times all I read about is all the red lines every one catches. Thanks for the input guys, If want ya Top secrets web site let me know, Boar

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hanson

 Originally Posted By: boar
It is nice to hear that some of you guys have a tough time with the sonar too cause alot of times all I read about is all the red lines every one catches. Thanks for the input guys, If want ya Top secrets web site let me know, Boar

Well... I am no expert LOW fisher by any means but what you guys are experiencing is definitely not unique to LOW by any means.

I think there are a number of factors that influence the bite and the big two seam to be location and weather.

By location, I'm referencing a couple of the larger mudflat bites that are very, very popular fishing spots. Problem with fishing flats is you have roaming fish. There is really not much to concentrate them so you plop down and hope they come along.

With weather, well... there is a whole new set of issues that your "seal the deal" question might pertain to a little more particularly. High pressure, post cold front systems flat out equal bad fishing conditions. Trying to pull fish off the bottom in these situations is very, very difficult. Lookers don't become biters when the barometer is high.

My recommendation would be to downsize and present natural baits as naturally as possible. Yes... plain hook and minnow right near the bottom without jigging it is what I'm looking at. Painful? Yes... but it will catch you a few fish.

Under conditions like this, your favorite spoon and minnow head will become tough to fish unless you have just enough caffeine in your system to shake the spoon in 1/16th inch or less increments. Yes... very fine.

If that doesn't work, I'm going the direction a previous poster mentioned- BIG & FLASHY! Drop a big spoon or swimbait down, rip it aggressively and try to garner a reaction.

Under most circumstances, the classsic 1-2 punch of jigging spoon and setline will work wonders on LOW. When that doesn't work, you need to finesse your presentation or go to the other end of the aggression scale and make those fish bite.

When that doesn't work, you would have to look towards a location change IMO. Walleyes up shallow are there for one reason, to eat! If you can find where the eyes are moving up, you will always run into a consistant bite.

I know this is pretty vague but these are some ideas I generally follow when bites are tough.

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Boar

Thanks for all the input guys, I have my holes set up in my camper with my jigging hole right in the center of the camper so if fish come to investigate an not commit then the chance of them swimming past one of my six set lines depending on number of people is greater instead of being in the corner with the sonar or outside perimeter so this being I can see where a big flashy spoon to attract would be very useful, As far a natural presentation I'm gonna try mabey just a glow hook an a half chub body with a split shot six inches up just to get it down. Keep trying different things I know is good so hearing advise from seasoned icemen is great thanks Boar

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