I Need Some Ice-Fishing Advice
February 14, 2009 8:51 AM   Subscribe

First time ice-fisherman looking for some advice.

I will be fishing for yellow perch in Southern Ontario. What kinds of lures/bait do you find work best? Are there specific parts of the lake that are best to try (eg. near shore or far from shore, shallow or deep)? Any helpful advice would be appreciated.
posted by Midnight Rambler to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total)
Wow, there's so much advice I don't know where to start. First off you'd be best talking to someone at your local bait shop, or find a local online forum about fishing. I'm positive there is one. Then you'll get a local heads up of where they're biting, and what generally works.

As for what I usually do? I'll find a hole around 30 ft deep or so. Tie on a little mini tube jig, usually blue/white, and tip it with a maggot or waxie. If that fails I like to use a 1" jigging Rapala tipped with a maggot/waxie. Always along the bottom, Perch are only on the bottom.

Like I said you'd have to check with the locals, specific lakes like specific lures. My advice works for southern MN and upper IA, but sounds like a terrible idea to someone fishing just a few hours north.

Hope you catch some, Perch is delicious.
posted by sanka at 9:02 AM on February 14, 2009

Waxies always seemed to constantly catch fish when nothing else would work. If I had to take one type of bait with me, that would be it.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 11:05 AM on February 14, 2009

Best answer: Being in North Dakota on the Minnesota border, we do a ton of ice fishing. Sanka is right, you'll be best off checking with the locals no matter where you are. The bait shop or even the local cafe would be great places to find someone who fishes. I've always had good luck with minnows while fishing for walleyes - perch and walleye often hang out together, and if you don't have a huge minnow on you'll catch perch. Little grubs are perfect, teamed up with tiny little lures. Ice fishing lures are tiny, way smaller than "regular" lures.

Some links:
NoDak Outdoors' take on perch ice fishing
NoDak Outdoors' general ice fishing tips
List of Ontario ice fishing articles (the first one is about perch fishing!)
Ice Fishing message boards
Fishing tips (I suggest putting together a bucket of some sort, to both sit on and keep your stuff in and around)
A video of underwater ice fishing in Ontario

Depending on whether or not you'll be fishing out in the open or in a house (either pop up - at least the wind is blocked - or permanent - heated comfort!) dress to be comfortable.

Best of luck, I hope you have a blast!
posted by whiskey point at 1:49 PM on February 14, 2009

The nice thing about ice fishing is that everything is visible.

Watch where the shanties congregate. Go there.
posted by megatherium at 5:46 PM on February 14, 2009

Drink brandy. Blackberry is best.
posted by echo target at 6:13 PM on February 14, 2009

Definitely go to the bait store and see what bait they recommend. I always found that winter bait is just disgusting...wax worms and maggots...ew! That's why I always used "mousies," which are also larva, but fuzzy with a little tail.

Also - remember it's hard to pee when you're wearing a snow-suit.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 9:05 AM on February 15, 2009

I recommend bourbon.
posted by rachelpapers at 3:38 PM on February 15, 2009

« Older Post Interview Note dilemma, who to send thank you...   |   Help Me Protect My PC Please? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.