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bowhunt

Tip Up Questions

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Hey guys,

I have a couple tip up related questions:

First, I usually use live sucker minnows targeting pike, some times you get that extra large minnow, how do you set up your tip up so it doesn't trip your flag. I usually use large ice fishing bobbers but there were a few times last year that I had two large bobbers on one line and the minnow could almost pull the bobbers under the ice.

Second Question, I always set the tip ups 2-4ft off the bottom, I have heard a lot of people say they set them 2-3ft below the ice and have good success with northerns. I just wanted your opinions and what way you have more success.

Thanks,

Bowhunt

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I trim the tail a little 1/4" or so with a knife or scissors if using bigger minnows this way I get the swimming action but not tripping the flag.

2-4 off the bottom for me works best.

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Try using dead bait 4 feet below the ice, pike have been known to go after the fish that didn't quite make it through the stress of winter.

Also, try ciscoes if available.

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when using tip-ups in shallow areas and weeds are present an underwater camera comes in handy for bait placement. this way you can place your bait above the weed line. good luck.

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Like others have said clip the tail. I have done this on minnows that aren't to big as well. I think it helps trigger northerns because the minnow swims more like its wounded.

Late in the season I have had good luck with dead bait just below the ice.

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So how do you keep the minnow from pulling out line with out the bobber, do you set a drag some how on the tip up?

I always have some weight on the line to keep the minnow down, and just the weight and the minnow will pull line out.

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I have not had that problem unless they are real big minnows. If they are clip the tails like mentioned above.

If the vertical shaft on your tip up is adjustable up and down adjust it down as far as possible. It puts more tension on the flag. My tip ups have two grooves to put the flag in. I always use the deep groove.

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Thanks for the help, I will try adjusting the shaft all the way down once we get enough ice to get out there.

If anyone else has any tip up related questions feel free to ask them here and we can compile the information in one place.

Bowhunt

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There are a couple of options to keep the flag from tripping:

1 - Clip the tails as others have mentioned. Bait will still fight to get away and usually fight more, but clipped tails totally change the vibration of the bait. This could be a good or bad thing depending on the mood of the fish that day.

2 - Adjust how much tension is required to trip the flag (may only apply to some types of tip ups). Most tip ups allow the height of the trip to be adjusted higher or lower. Also, one side of the trip is usually notched and the other side smooth. You can adjust the tension/force needed for the flag to trip by raising the height of the trip and placing the flag on the side of the trip so that when the bait/fish pulls on the line that the trip has to go "up-hill" on the flag for it to trip. If the flag is set too steep, then there is also the problem of the trip rotating back down the flag and tripping as well. With the size bait you are using, I would suggest also using the side of the trip which has the notch in it to further increase the force needed to trip the flag.

3 - Use a planer board/downrigger clip - Tie one of these to your tip up so that it hangs in the water. Place the line into the clip just enough so that the bait can't pull it out but a pike can.

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I have also used the tail clip trick, but I also use a small rubber band and wrap it around the trip (between the notch and the end of the trip). This will be an additional ridge that the trip must bounce over the falg shaft. This has worked both with and without clipping the tails, and I usually use 6-11" suckers and have has good luck.

I usually set up 6" to 3 foot off the bottom; this is with very little to no weeds.

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I try to buy medium suckers or shiners for the tip ups, never had to trim the tails so far. I get a few false trips but what the heck, seeing a flag going up is always fun even it's just a power run by the bait. I usually set the minnow about a foot over the tops of the weeds. If there are no weeds I tend to set up about 3 ft under the ice, I think pike look up more than down.

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What about fishing for northern on the edge of a weed line, or is it better to fish right over the weeds? Do you still want to have it about a foot over the top of the weeds if you are right on the edge of the weeds?

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I usually fish them in the weeds early, set the sucker about 2 feet below the ice and keep it just above the weeds. Later in winter, I fish them 3 feet off the bottom in the basin. I tend to catch as many bass as pike when I fish deep.

I never go very large with my suckers and have never tried clipping the tail fin. I like the idea, though.

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I like to fish for pike in 8 ft or so. If there are weeds I will set the bait so it is just on top of the weeds. If there are no weeds, maybe I am right on the weedline or I just drilled in a pocket I will set the bait 2-3 ft under the ice. Remember that you can use 2 tip ups, set them at different depths to see what is working.

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What size hook is best to use with med suckers? Anyone add anything to their line to help attract the fish and if your not using a treble hook how far away from your bait is a good place to place it on your line? I know some people use spinners with the short leader so they can use a treble, but are there other things people use? What is the best thing to use for a leader on your line so they dont bite through?

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I use Thorne quick strike rigs, red Gamagatsu hooks, I think they are 4/0, and red beads, if you have never used these hooks be carefull, they are wicked sharp.

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I always carry small o-rings with me. You can slide them right on the trip shaft up to the notch, also helps in very windy conditions to prevent false flags. I use this formula. 10' = 2' off bottom, 15' = 3' off the bottom 20' = 4' off the bottom. Just my 2 cents. hope it helps

Rainman

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Late season for pike I have had very good luck with smelt. Last March very late in the month on Rainy lake, we crushed them with the largest smelt we could get our hands on.

The smaller pike would hit the smaller smelt and we increase the size of the pike caught by going as big as possible with the smelt.

We had out baits about 3ft of the bottom in 7-9 fow

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another trick is to put a thin wrap of tape around the spring at the base of the flag, it really sets the tension up.

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