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JigginIsLife

The Single Most Important Thing...

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Well Last year i was on LOW fishing with a buddy and his family and I was killing fish while everyone else caught maybe 2 fish the whole weekend. Personally i think how you hook your minnow combined with how your knot sits on your hook is one of the most important attributes that i take into consideration...what do you think is the most important thing that sets you apart from other fisherman.

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Confidence. If you don't have it, you are reasonably assured you will not do as good as if you were confident in your presentation. If you are worrying about anything in your aresenal, it takes away from your concentration on what you are actually doing.

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I think attention to detail is the key. Like you guys already pointed out, positioning your knot correctly and using light line are keys to getting the best action out of your baits. Using a sensitive ice rod that matches your line choice snd species is key for detecting bites and hooking fish. And paying attention to what you did to trigger the bite, so you can repeat it --- whether it's how your minnow or waxie or plastic was hooked, or what jigging action you were using, etc.

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On LOW anywhere in Big Traverse Bay up towards Garden, the most important factor that I know is to be in the NE corner of the ice shack. I know it sounds a little corny, but it has always been the hot seat for us.

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LOW is goofy like that when you are fishing over the miles of mud. 2 guys in a 4x8 ice shack, 4 lines down, 1 rod keeps getting hit over and over again. It can even be the same lure, same bait, same depth and it won't matter.

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All of the above.

Happens a lot, you got yourself in the groove while your partner wants your mojo.

You give them the recipe, if they don't mix and stir it just right it doesn't come out like it should.

When you boat another to their big O, confidence factor comes into play, frustration and they're off their game even more.

You gave them all you can, they use it or stay stubborn.

You say something to make them feel better like "well at least one of us is getting into them, better me then you". About that time you have another fish on. The scale on the confident factor tipped even more in favor and you can't help chuckle.

Learn from it so next time out your not the one looking for mojo.

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Here's what I noticed while pulling up one crappie after another while my buddy got nothing while sitting in the same flipover.

my setup and technique

----------------------

flasher

2lb line

small jig, positioned horizontally

light action rod

small jigging, raising it up a bit to entice, then dropping down a little

small tug to set the hook

his setup and technique

-----------------------

no flasher

larger jig

8lb regular fishing line, nice and curly

heavy duty rod (like he was looking to catch only 20lbers)

jigging violently all the time (fish couldn't keep up)

spitting snoose down the hole

I finally had him take over my seat and gear. Helped him with the technique. He still had a tough time, but managed to ice a few. I noticed that when he switched over to my seat and gear that his jigging and hook setting were still a big problem. He just couldn't seem to sense or see the bite. To me, being able to sense the bite is the biggest thing that sets different anglers apart.

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single most important thing for me comes before the knot. I need to be comfortable. I wont be able to concentrate without being comfortable. Single most important thing about me as a fisherman is my awareness of what is going on under the lake. Im not gonna ice more fish then any of you guys but I wouldnt ice half as many fish if I wasnt paying attention.

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To me, being able to sense the bite is the biggest thing that sets different anglers apart.

Couldn't agree more.

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Good info. What I will add is to not be too proud or willing to switch once a buddy has found what the ticket is. Last year I first really got into the tiny plastics, never really gave them a chance before that. Holy cow, they are great. Tried to talk bro in law into it, but no dice, he would only use bigger powerbait, and caught 1/4 at most of me. Got my brother to change, and he started smacking them too.

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When I have been in a house and had this scenario occur and the other party pretty much has gone to the exact presentation that is getting the fish, but still not getting fish like the other fisherman, I have wondered if it comes down to how the rod is handled???

Is it someone that is jigging too much or not enough? Wrist action of one person, which the other person does not do. Oils from the skin while handling the bait???

I do firmly believe it comes down to something like above. It just has to grin.

Also (like said above) the detecting the bite is huge. If you do not have that down, you do not catch fish wink

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To me the vex is the most devasting thing to NOT have, if you dont have a flasher, you will be outfished barring some amazing luck or the magic presentation. Most of us have one, but it really sets up apart from those who dont, even in shallow water. If my battery goes dead I almost dont want to fish anymore, if I do its live bait that doesnt require me to do much enticing to get the fish to bite.

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On LOW anywhere in Big Traverse Bay up towards Garden, the most important factor that I know is to be in the NE corner of the ice shack. I know it sounds a little corny, but it has always been the hot seat for us.

I've noticed that exact same thing but don't tell the guys I go with. grin

Maybe it has to do with current.

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I have a buddy that fishes with me and when we are fishing for Crappies he hangs a crappie rig below a bobber the size of an apple baited with half a crawler on each hook. I can't talk him into changing his presentation.

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To me there are few things. But the flashers is probably the biggest. You can see the fish come in and you can see how they are reacting to your bait and presentation. If they aren't reacting to it very well you can can up til they do.

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I would say the biggest thing is getting out there. Even for just a couple hours or after work or whatever.

I find that I am so much more in tune with what is happening on the lake if I am out there more than just the weekend. You can't really tune in without putting in the time.

Sounds obvious I know, but its far to easy to just stay inside on those winter afternoons and evenings.

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FOR ME,HAVING MY CAMMERA,CONTOUR LAKE MAP,AND YES THE "VEX".. BUT ONCE I FIND MY DEPTH AND MY STRUCTURE,I DO NOT RUN THE "VEX" IN THE HOLES ENTIRE DURATION.. THAT IS JUST MY CHOICE.. THE BUDDIES I GO FISHING WITH RUN IT THE ENTIRE TIME.. MOST OF THE TIME THEY LEAVE WITH LONG FACES.. THEY ARE AMAZED AT HOW I PERFORM WITH OUT ONE.. COMFORTABLE,GOOD COMPANY,LAUGHS,FRISKY MINNOWS,I GUESS TO ME,JUST BEING ABLE TO GO IS THE ONE MOST IMPORTANT THING..HAVE FUN AND GOOD LUCK THIS WINTER..

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To me the vex is the most devasting thing to NOT have, if you dont have a flasher, you will be outfished barring some amazing luck or the magic presentation. Most of us have one, but it really sets up apart from those who dont, even in shallow water. If my battery goes dead I almost dont want to fish anymore, if I do its live bait that doesnt require me to do much enticing to get the fish to bite.

Couldn't agree more! Single biggest thing that has made the most drastic improvement on finding fish, catching fish, and learning how different presentations/techniques work to intice fish to come and stiff and bite ... even helped enjoy fishing when they are not biting (at least I can see them swiming around)

I got tired of giving up my vex to my various fishing partners that had none (I'm way too nice). It was fun watching them enjoy the benefits & success of fishing with it, but it really sucked for me jigging blind. So now I purchased a second Vex as my spare for just such occasions.

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Without gps to get me to my spots and a flasher to help me find the productive holes, I would not ice 3/4 of the fish that I do.

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When jigging panfish, how your bait is placed on your jig is key. With waxies I caught 5 times the fish my buddies did last year when I figured out that you had to hook them so that the hook rested JUST under the grubs skin in the head, and that the waxy was in as much of a straight line with the body of the tear-drop. If any of the hook was showing, or the grub was hanging off at a angle they woulldn't take it.

After thought: maybe because I though my presentation was superior gave me a confidence edge, like some people have said.

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In my opinion the single most important thing in any fishing situation and especially on LOW is...do your research and go where the fish are. If you don't put yourself in a position where the fish are currently located none of the other stuff matters. Locators, knots, technique, time of day, colors or anything else for that matter wont do you any good if your not where the fish are. "Go where the fish are" and then use the other stuff to zero in! Good Luck

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