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Rookie Question - Northerns


blackdog1101

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Hi folks. I live in Mound, and my son and I have been out a few times on Cooks Bay and Phelps Bay. We're beginners, and have caught some panfish on Phelps, but nothing yet on Cooks. We just park at the public beaches and go out from there.

We have not yet caught a fish or even had a nibble on our tip ups. I've been using meduim sized suckers for bait hoping to catch a northern. I've been fishing in about 20 feet of water, right near the bottom. I'm not asking for your secrets, but I'd appreciate any tips on how to catch northerns on tip ups. Thanks!!

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I usually use shiners and get a mix bag with them. Northerns and walleyes mostly... I let it sit about three feet off the bottom with just a red hook. No sinkers, just a leader. Good luck.

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My brother and I start the year tip up fishing with medium suckers on a similar setup. You can get a tipup harness at fleetfarm for two bucks. I believe the harness is considered a lure because they attach a small blade on one of them. As far as finding the northern action, we look for pretty good break lines and turns adjacent to shallow water. The weeds are still kicking at this time of year so they will draw the bait fish. Example: We have a smaller lake that averages 4-6 feet deep but has a hole that drops to 15feet. If we set up in 5, 7 and 9 feet of water we see flags. Make sure you do not set all of the tipups at the same depth. If no bites change depths, if still no bites, move shallower or deeper. If still no bites, brake out the football and enjoy the peace and quiet with your son.

Oh- not sure if you have electronics or not but that speeds up the "hunt" but we used to use the sinker and arm pull depth finding method.- Merry Christmas and good luck!

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Hey BlackDog,

A buddy an I have fished that spot, with no luck, but I have heard good things and this is what was told to me: Shiners work well. If you are on the south side of Cooks bay near the channel, you can catch nice sized walleye and northern. The channel has all of the weeds carved out going under the bridge and set up about 100yds into the bay from the channel and about 5-10 ft off the weed edge (very abrupt edge). Set out at a variety of depths and start about 3 ft off the bottom and go up. Most importantly, report back any success.

Good luck,

Curtis

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