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Fred_Bear

Lakers on a tip-up

30 posts in this topic

How do you rig your tip-ups for lakers?

...line/leader?

...hook/bait?

...depth?

Thanks for any help and info.

EDIT: I need to add that I will possibly be fishing a lake where no live or dead minnow or fish part is allowed.

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Fred: nowadays I'm using a Polar HT tip-up, just the standard one with the medium spool, spooled with 14 lb Trilene XL. Then a ball-bearing swivel and 10 feet of 15 fluorocarbon. Then a hook with a couple split shot above it.

Live golden shiner/fresh caugh smelt, or dead smelt or dead cisco is how I bait it, and either a couple feet off the bottom if the fish seem sluggish that day or about half way up the water column if they're active.

Tough to fish a tip-up for lakers with no minnow/fish parts for bait. You might try an ice jig tipped with a bunch of waxies. I know lakers will hit those.

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Thanks steve.

Right now I'm working with just a standard tip-up with 10 lb fireline and no leader (I didnt think lakers were line-shy at all). I have a plain #8 treble hook with a couple split shot and a small spinner for legal purposes. Should I replace the treble with a single hook?

And if minnows are not allowed I'm planning to use a 3" "Gulp" shiner that I've had good luck with on jigs for spring walleye.

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Fred, I use the treble setup with bead/spinner, too. Works fine for me. Just didn't get into that level of detail in my reply.

I don't believe lakers are line shy either. I like having the swivel 10 feet up to avoid line twist when pulling up 50 feet of line with bait on it and because it's a nice marker when I'm fighting a fish to let me know it's 10 feet away. And I figure as long as I've got a swivel on, I may as well tip with fluorocarbon, just in case lakers are more line shy than I think. That's the same reason I add fluoro below my swivels on my jigging rods instead of standard mono.

In real life, 10 lb fireline probably has about the same break strength as 14 mono, but I don't like braids on tipups much because some of them absorb water and freeze, and with 10 lb superbraid the line is so thin it could easily cut cold wet hands/fingers when fighting a laker.

Just my preference, of course.

I'll be interested to see if you get any fish off that Gulp minnow. Generally plastics work better when they're given some action. Maybe a wind tip-up would be a good idea with a plastic Gulp bait to keep it moving and jigging.

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I have had lakers hit a white 4" tube sitting a couple feet off the bottom, the current moves the tail giving some action.

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Matts, that sounds like a pretty good idea. Doesn't take much of any water movement at all to give tube jig tails some action.

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Yeah I've also caught and seen a lot caught on tube jigs that weren't touched for up to an hour or more. That's kind of what gives me the hope they would hit the gulp shiner minnow.

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Fred, the tube will offer action with far less current than a gulp shiner because of how fine the tube legs are. If I had to choose one or the other for your specific application, it'd be the tube.

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Good to know, I'll definitely have to keep that in mind then and maybe try a few different set-ups. Thanks for the info.

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Steve,

In response to your earlier post, lakers are definately line shy.

IMO, if you peak out at, say, 14 pound test or less, you should be fine.

You get into the 20 lb test, you'll be eating a lot of hot dogs \:\(

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Yeah I like to stay relatively light and use 8 lb power pro which has amazing feel to it. The only drawback is the green color which sometimes makes me wonder if I should be using a flouro leader....

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G.O.: I don't consider lakers line shy if they don't hesitate at 14 lb mono. For the first five years I ice fished lakers up here, I used 20 lb mono on my tip-up with a 14 lb fluoro leader and had lots of fish. Could be it was the leader that made the difference.

Or not.

I'm REALLY interested in the line-shy talk. What's your perspective on that?

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This one wasn't line-shy at all!

50 lb. Berkely Big Game line. No leader. Guess we were doing something wrong.

lakermatt.jpg

I guess I could claim its from Burntside (like another fish we've all seen) but this one was actually caught from an Ely area lake.

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Steve,

I don't think trout are line shy if trolling, but when hanging a cisco through the ice, too heavy line will stop any fish from taking your bait.

Had the experience in Canada years back at Stormy Lake. I was using 20 pound test and never caught 1 fish, while others all around were pulling them in steadily.

This went on for 4-5 days.

Finally took a hard look, and noticed that my Mono line looked like a truck coil spring in the water.

Went to 14 lb test, and had no problem catching lakers after that.

Too big a change in the fishing luck for it to have been a coincidence.

Have talked to others with that have had the same experience.

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Steve,

PS to last post.

Yes, I do think your long leader was the difference, as we only used ones that were 2 feet long, or slightly less.

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I don't kow why you guys go so heavy! I use 8# fire line and 6# flourcarbon leader on my open water jigging rod. I pulled in 3 fish over 10-12# on the same leader on the same day and never broke off. For hard water I use 8# mono, staight up. Maybe try a lighter flouro leader if I'm not getting any takers. Tip-ups, which I never have too much luck on anyway, I use 12# since there is no drag system on them.

The way I see it.... When I fish steelhead in rocky, snag-filled rivers and get by just fine w/ 8# mono, I see no point on anything heavier for fish caught in deep snag-free lakes.

I understand that at any momoent I could hook into a real monster, but that is a rare occurance, and that is what a good drag is for. I'll play the odds and use as light a line as I can get by with and better my chances overall.

But if 14-20# hayrope works for you, then right on!

Hopefully one day I'll learn my lesson, because I just tangled w/ a 20+ pounder and lost! Boy would that be fun! But who knows, I may still even win that battle!

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Fred, just remember, if gulp freezes, it is worthless. Dont let if freeze.

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I use 12-14 lb mono on my tip-ups.

On my reels I like the 10 lb braids with 10 lb mono leader or straight 10 lb mono. That leader can't be any longer that when landing a fish from the hole that your arm is stretched out. Also you don't want the leader so long that your reeling in the swivel.

The 10 lb line for me is very fishable with lighter lures and has less stretch then a lighter lb test. That helps with feel and hook sets.

I guess if I had to choose on the side of heavy or light test I'd pick the light side just because of the fishability. That is for jigging mind you.

During open water with a line dragged out from shore with a smelt is a different matter. I'd go a lot heavier on the test.

Line abrasion and the chance of being snagged in the rocks is the concern.

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I use 8 lb braid because when you have up to 50 ft of line down, the feel with a no stretch line is uncomparable using mono. Also i hate using any mono over 4 or 6 lb because of the line memory.

I personally like to stay light on all species though. My walleye rods are spooled with 4 lb trilene and crappie/bluegill rods are 2 or sometimes 1 lb.

My personal insight is that I want to give myself the best possible chance of getting a fish to hit, and if i lose it or it breaks my line then its my fault, but you never have a chance on a fish that doesn't bite.

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I use a heavy dacron with a 17 lb floro leader connected with a bloodknot on my tip-ups. A little heavy yes, but you don't have the nice shock absorbing rod when landing a fish hand over hand. I don't have any problems with coiling or fish being shy. I would use nothing but dacron on tip-ups or rattle reels simply so my hands don't get all cut up. I have seen people using superlines like powerpro on tip-ups and they just get sliced.

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 Originally Posted By: BRULEDRIFTER
I understand that at any momoent I could hook into a real monster, but that is a rare occurance.

That's why I use 12 lb on my jigging rods and 14 on my tip-up. There's so much about this that is personal preference, but my thinking is that someone with 8 lb line is going to have a very hard time getting in a 25-30 pound monster than I will with my 12 lb. Of course, on Burntside that would be a once in a lifetime fish. But if that once in a lifetime comes, I don't want a broken line to ruin it.

And I catch as many lakers with my 12 lb as the people I fish next to using lighter line. Also, the very lightest lures I use for lakers are 1/4 oz, with 1/2 oz being much more common, and these fish fine on 12 lb mono.

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I have used 8 lb. florocarbon all the way up on my rods any have only had one break, being my fault anyway. On my tip ups I use tip up line with the same 8lb line on a 5 ft leader. An egg sinker above your barrel swivel connecting the two lines always makes it easier to find the bottom, and allows fish to pull out line without feeling the wieght so much. When there is no stucture to tangle on it makes it much easier to down size line without as much risk of break off.

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Just wondering how many of the trout experts here have actually pulled in and sucessfully landed a 20 lb. fish or better??? Considering most of the responses so far are the Burntside fellas, how many have actually caught a native (non-stocked) fish?

Bwahahahahahahahahah!

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 Originally Posted By: Jackpine Rob
Just wondering how many of the trout experts here have actually pulled in and sucessfully landed a 20 lb. fish or better??? Considering most of the responses so far are the Burntside fellas, how many have actually caught a native (non-stocked) fish?

Bwahahahahahahahahah!

Not me. I've only been fishing lakers for the last six years, virtually all in Burntside except for a bunch of fish caught out on Lake Superior and a few on other inland laker lakes, and my biggest fish only have gone 12 pounds. Lots of fun and knowledge gained so far, with lots more of both to come, I hope.

I suspect at least one of those fish in the last six years was probably a native trout. Does catching a 20 lb native fish make someone an expert?

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I don't think lakers are line shy. On my ice rigs I match the line dia to the lures I use. Now we know a line won't coil when with the lure hanging. It will coil on the drop though and thats when I want contact with the lure. So when I go with 10 lb mono that is the reason for it. I have used heavier line jigging lake trout and for me it wasn't right. The coil I had on the drops was just enough that I lost contact with the lure I was using. I'll say that using any of the super braids will reduce all coil and therefore you can go heavier. However the increased line dia I can feel on the lifts and my lures also drop differently because of the increased drag. I'm very picky as I don't want any deflection in my rods on lifts. So not only do I carefully select the line dia that match my lures, depths, and type fish but the line has to match the rods action. Having said all that I could probably bump up to a good 12 lb braid and leader and not notice much difference over the 10 lb but there would be a difference. The 10 lb I've used for years and settled on that. Now heres one more reason I go with 10 lb.

I simply don't like putting anymore pressure on the Laker because I know I'll pull hooks before breaking off. Lake Trout have a fleshy mouth, that great for sticking hooks into but not so good for holding power. To offset that I'll replace the trebles on most my lures to 1 or 2 sizes larger, I should say large enough to not take away too much action. That helps in hook ups and it helps get hooks past that fleshy mouth and into the hard pallet. To drive those hooks in you need a rod with good back bone, sharp hooks and a line dia that won't stretch too much. I rarely go over 70', that sounds like a lot but I'll equate that to trolling for eyes. 70' of line out is nothing and I can feel that slight tap of an eye with much more line out then that. Line stretch is greater but my hook sets are much longer too.

As too the question about Laker size. My biggest through the ice is 41" using 10 lb test.

As said in an earlier post I'll go a little larger in lb test for trolling open water but not to the point its not allowing me to get depth or action. On my early open water shore fishing laker rods I like the heavier line.

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