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Burnham

Strugglin on the ice, getting frusterated (crappies)

36 posts in this topic

this year i have not been able to get much at all to actually strike my jig...im on some lakes i know are very good, been graphin lots of fish on the vex, and have had lot of negative reactions from the fish, sometimes i will toy around and they will look like they are about to go after it, only for me to get no bite...are they just biting really sensitive too where i dont notice? i havent had any spring bobbers this year, and am going to pick some up, as i hope they will help...for the most part im using flutter bigs tipped with waxies and grubs....i am just getting VERY frusterated as its the same story every time i go out....ANY advice welcome

thanks,

burnham

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Have you tried small crappie minnows? Try a very small crappie minnow on a plain hook. What depth are you fishing?

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Downsize! Downsize! Downsize!

Spring Bobber! Spring Bobber! Spring Bobber!

Chances are you've been sitting on schools of very small fish. This is where a camera can be nice to let you know what you got down there.

I would probably grab the smallest Ratso or Ratfinkee Custom Jigs makes (pink head & white body), tip the lure with 1 or 2 Eurolarvae (probably a red colored one) and slowly drop that thing down to the fish. A good spring bobber will tell you when they are playing with it and even then, you might hook 1 out of 6 fish.

Fishing like this is actually kind of fun as you can perfect or improve upon your finesse game. One of these days, you'll end up on a lake with some pigs in it and they won't be biting... back to the finesse game.

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If that dont work try upsizing your presentation, sometimes it takes just the opposite of what you think they are looking for, or red glow does the trick for me when they are finicky.

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no i havent used minnows. ive thought about it. right now im fishing in about 12-15 fow. i will definately consider giving all the above advice a shot, as i am getting really desperate to catch some dang fish lol....also when i go finesse in order to get the jig to actually sink i obviously throw some slip shots on there, this is kinda a dumb question, but how far above your jigs do you guys usually put it..just directly above the jig?

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the cold weather we've been having hasn't helped anything that is for sure...definately agree with the spring bobber comment...seems like the fish are biting lite thus far

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I'll join the chorus and sing "spring bobber". I have been picking up extremely light bites that I would not otherwise get..... even with fairly responsive rods...... with spring bobbers.

what test line are you using?

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right now i have 2 lb test on one rod, which i have been using the most...and 4 lb on the other

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I was having the same issues a couple of weeks ago. I went with the spring bobber, help out a ton. I also went with a shrimpo, no bait on the lure, and have been doing really well. I had been trying minnows and eurolarva, switching lures very often without much luck.

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just got done watchin some of those videos crappiekeith, i am going out tomorrow and after i take in the advice i have recieved so far i will give ya guys a report..thank all of you that have responded so far a ton!

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actually you don't want to put on any sinkers when your gonna finesse jig...atleast i don't...you want the jig to fall slowly to the fish....when u jig it up a few feet you want it to fall slowly also....sometimes actually using a bigger diameter line with a light jig is a real nice combo...it makes the jig falls slower.

i have the best luck tipping the jigs with minnow heads over anything else.

when the fish come up to your jig shake or twitch your hand really fast as you slowly keep raising your jig...if the fish is coming keep doing it until he grabs it...u might actually feel the pop or sometimes you have to watch your line...u might not feel anything but your line might be heading toward the sides of your hole.

just remember if you drop jigs to fast on the fish they will spook.

hold your jig a foot off bottom and pop it up 3-5 ft then let it fall exactly where you had it before u popped it...wait 5-10 seconds and do it again and let it fall exactly where u had it.

let it hit bottom sometimes and pop it off the bottom repeatedly to kick up dust and bring fish over.

you'll get em...just got to switch it up and find out what they want and what method...you already know they are acting negative to what your doing...could be size, color, method, ect...once u figure it out you'll probably pound them if you are reading alot on your vex.

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see i noticed that it seemed to spook fish and i have never liked using them as i thought it did, but i thought it was just me thinking that haha. i will keep on experimentin grin, thanks for the tips

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I agree with what most are saying here and I think it'll help you out a ton. An earlier poster also mentioned that upsizing should never be ruled out as well. Last Friday I was sitting on a bunch of fish that I could not get to bite for the life of me. I downsized probably 4-5 different times and changed color/vert/horizontal/waxies/minnows/plastics...everything I could think of. I assumed that they were little fish and just "off" on that particular day. Before I left I put on the smallest chubby darter (#3 I think) and started rippin it pretty good. It took a total of about 10 seconds before the first fish hit the ice...a fat 12" crappie. In the next 45 minutes or so I continued to just slam the crappie on this same technique. I could have dowsized all day long and never caught a fish. I tried upsizing once and tripped their trigger big time. Good luck and don't be afraid to experiment a little out there.

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Actually you don't want to put on any sinkers when your gonna finesse jig...atleast i don't...you want the jig to fall slowly to the fish....when u jig it up a few feet you want it to fall slowly also....sometimes actually using a bigger diameter line with a light jig is a real nice combo...it makes the jig falls slower.

No split shots like mentioned... just the jig. Split shots will upset the balance on your spring unless you adjust the spring sensitivity to compensate. Yeah it takes A LONG time for those little lures to sink down 20-30' but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Some jigs such as the Marmooska, Little Atom Optic Stealth, and there are others are a very small lure that fish "heavy". Also a good place to use YBD's Wolframs or even the Tungstens. Small jig profile, heavy weight.

What you're going to start to find is this slowly falling jig through the water column is a BIG trigger for crappies. Watch your electronics and when that lure is 5-8' above the fish, watch and see if any move up out of the school to hit the bait on the fall. It'll happen. When they (crappies) are very aggressive, you sometimes can't get your lure down to them fast enough. I've had a few situations on Upper Red Lake where we've caught crappies seriously 2-3' under the ice. The crappies will show up on the locator 2-3' off the bottom but once that lure clears the bottom of the ice, its a race to see which one will eat it first. Its a special day of fishing when this happens. Slowly falling lures! wink

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I had the same thing happen last weekend with crappies. Downsizing didn't help a bit, but when I changed to a smaller jigging rap with a minnow head and got pretty aggressive with it--WOW that sure got their attention and it got alot more fish through my hole.

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sounds like what was happening to me beginning of last season. I downsized a LOT. Then, with the camera down another hole pointing at my line, I practiced different techniques. I may be way wrong here, but from what I see is that if I am not getting any action from fish I know are there, I lift up the tip about 2 feet and drop it - the bites seemed to be triggered by the drop and they would gulp it right up.

That and I switched to a WAAAAAAAY lighter rod with a super active tip.

Just my 2 cents.....

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I have been having real good luck with the forage minnow jigging spoons. Something about the dangling treble hook that seems to trip their trigger when filled with 4-5 euros. I have caught more crappies this year on these than anything else.

Sometimes with fussy biters, the more aggressive you jig the more attention is brought to your bait thus creating more fish on the ice. I have switched to a very sensitive ultra light crappie rod that works as my spring bobber. However I always have at least one rod rigged with an actual spring bobber for the really fussy ones.

Crappies can be the most frustrating fish, and the most rewarding in the same. Thats why I chase them all year.

Good luck,

CA

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When you are agressively jigging and you have one coming up or over to your bait, do you immediately let it sit still or do you continue jigging lightly?

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In my opinion, it depends upon the fish and how you interpret the fish's mood with your vexilar. Sometimes, I keep jigging aggressively every few seconds and they'll hit it at the bottom or on the way down. Other times, I'll slow it down to maybe an inch or two of vertical movement, and other times I'll stop it completely.

I think it all depends upon how you read the fish's "mood."

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I agree, because it seems to me that everytime I am fishing, and the fish are being stubborn, it takes a while to find the "Right" jigging technique to get them to take it!

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the most important thing is to mix it up - don't stick with one technique!

Also, i put smal fast-snap loops on each rod so I can swap out different jigs without tying knots with hands that just pried a northern off a tip-up. for $5 grab 20 of those things and you'll be in a great position to adjust quickly to that day's conditions.

smile but consider the source - I am a new york city kid that's only been hard-core ice fishing for 6 years or so.

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When you are agressively jigging and you have one coming up or over to your bait, do you immediately let it sit still or do you continue jigging lightly?

More oftern than not when I am marking fish on my Vexilar, I am twitching my bait, not jigging it, just barely bouncing it. Make sure that if you are marking what you know are crappies to stay above them. I like fishing jigs that "fish heavy". I prefer the diamond jigs or marmooskas.

When bouncing my jig I have light enough line to feel my jig every bounce. The slightet change of my rhythm and I set the hook. Someone said it on another post best as "when in doubt...set the hook."

If I am dropping my bait and I notice fish climbing for it, I close my bail and let them come up for it. In this instance, I don't do anything, I just let the bait sit there and ait for them to come up to me.

CA

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Downsize....been using 100th oz or an 80th oz hair jig no meat.

Get small ...if that fish will rise it could be a biter if you gave it something small.

Check out hese fish.

http://www.fishingminnesota.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1621816/Eaters_Slabs_Mules#Post1621816

How are you fishing those small of jigs in deeper water? I lose the feeling using that small of a bait, but I am not having much better luck when using split shots either. Is that the only option?

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Last season someone recommended using a forage minnow or similar jig spoon, with a dropper....... usually a small ice jig with a waxie, or I have even used brasies and other small flies from my flyfishing flies.

I usually take the treble hook off of the spoon, and add the droper to the split ring. It acts as weight to get it down, but also great for pounding the bottom and getting attention. Once you call them in, its a matter of real finese jigging, and I mean giving action to the dropper, more often than not they hit or mouth it after it has been sitting still for a while.

Leaving the treble hooks on works too, and a fish or two might get caught on it when they are more agressive, but for the light bite I leave them off because treble hooks are a pain in the rear especially with a dropper.

I'm fairly new to this type or rig, but it has worked pretty dang well in all the waters I have fished.

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