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Matt Johnson

Horizontal vs. Vertical

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What type of lures do you prefer and for what species...horizontal and vertical?

I like to use horizontal jigs like a Pumkinseed, Ratso, Fatboy, etc for a majotiy of panfishing. You can really get that kicking/bouncing action with a horizontal jig, and small suttle movements can seal the deal on negative days. Although the Shrimpo and Two-spot type jigs (tear drops) are vertical jigs and can provide excellent action as well. I like to use vertical jigs for tipping minnows, allows the minnow to hold straight and look more natural.

Jigging spoons would fall into the vertical category and I'll use them for most species and in several different conditions. Small 1/16oz spoons are good for crappies and perch, 1/8oz can work well too. I like to use 1/8oz when fishing waters where both perch and walleye are common and aggressive. 1/4oz are used as well.

Swimming lures like the jigging rapala and flyers are considered horizontal lures. I prefer to use these for walleyes and pike, although the smaller sizes will work for crappies and perch, as well as catfish.

I guess I use both horizontal and vertical lures evenly, sometimes one will outproduce the other, and somedays both will work.

Anyone prefer one over the other?


Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson

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Matt Johnson Outdoors
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Matt, I also use both horizontal and vertical jigs, as well as spoons, in my fishing. I would have to say that my go-to jigs are the fatboy, and the custom jigs and spins demons. Both are phenomenal jigs, and I just have so much confidence in them. I also like the Genz worm. As far as spoons go, I also like the 1/16 ounce size - the Northland spoons are awesome! I really like the black/silver color, although the green color has produced well for me too. Haven't used jigging raps too much, or flyers, but have some in my box, I intend to use them more this year. Another big item in my tacklebox is dropper spoons - like the Hali jig, or my own homemade ones. The Northland Buckshot Rattle spoon makes an awesome dropper spoon. Great on perch. What I'm looking for is a good jig to use with plastic tails. I guess a plain 1/64 or 1/80 oz ball head jig is good, but does anyone have any other jigs they like to use with plastic??

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I use vertical presentations with minnows and horizontal with grub-type baits. Seems to me that horizontal jigs with minnows yields poor hooking percentages. I love the Northland forage minnow spoons in the smallest size. I put a Hali dropper hook on them and a small minnow for perch. I use a size 10 gold teardrop with minnows also. I mostly use Marmmoskas with waxies or maggots. I also use plain fly tying hooks sometimes. Light biters like this.

Has anyone found the Genz tackle from Lindy to have poor quality hooks? I have terrible luck with them. Marmooska hooks arent anything special either for that matter.

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I've also had a hard time finding a jig/hook that will hold plastics well for ice fishing. The Custom Jigs n Spins Ratso and Shrimpo are phenomenal jigs, but the plastics typically fall/tear off after a couple fish. ISG (Innovative Sports Group) makes a series of finesse plastics that are great for ice fishing and stay on the hook alright as well. Custom Jigs n Spins also makes a few more different variations/varieties of finesse plastics as well that are panfish worthy.

I've had good luck bending the hooks to the side on the fatboy style jigs, hook percentage has gone up and the action isn't negatively affected.

Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson

------------------
Matt Johnson Outdoors
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Metro Area Ice Fishing and more...

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just got into ice fishing in the last couple years. i have mainly used jigging spoons like the northland buckshot and forage minnow along with kastmasters. just started using horizontal jigs like the fatboy and genz worm. got a couple of salmo chubby darter from a guy last year but didn't know what they were or how to used them. finally found out what they are and how to use them. has anyone else tried these?? they say they are a good vertical jigging lure.
also, i would like to get more into hardwater panfishing. any good lure choices there??

[This message has been edited by Rick (edited 09-07-2004).]

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I as well use both horizontal and vertical jigging technics. I like to vertically jig a Forage Minnow Fry tipped with a ISG Grass Shrip for Sunnies and Perch. Any Northland ice jig is good for panfish in my opinion. ISG also makes pretty good plastics, they can take a pretty good beating before they tear off. I also like to use a 1/8 oz rattle jig tipped with a 2" power grub for pike and eyes. As far as spoons, I'll use spoons that run from 1/16 oz to 1 oz. I'll use a 3/4 oz Northland Buck-Shot Rattle Spoon at first ice for Northerns and Walleyes. I've also picked up quite a few Bass using jigging spoons during early ice. When it comes to swimming lures I've pretty much used them all. The Nils Master and Rapala swimming lures are pretty much the same, they just have different names. Both are good lures, I've caught plent of fish on both. I've also tried the Salmo Chubby Darter, I had pretty good luck on that as well. I've had really good luck using a larger Air-Plane jig tipped with a minnow for pike. When I'm Pike fishing and fishing is REALLY slow. I like to use Rattle Traps for them. I seem to get a reaction strike out of them when I use r-traps.

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The Salmo Chubby Darters are a good choice. They are an aggressive swimming lure like the jigging rapala and are a good choice for walleye and pike.

There are so many choices for panfish when it comes to ice fishing. I always have either a Pumkinseed or Fatboy tied on one of my lines at all times. These are both horizontal presentations are are great for both crappies and bluegills. I prefer to tip them with either a maggot or piece of Bio-Bait, plastics will work too from time to time. Glow red was a hot color for me laast winter and I can't see it not producing again this winter. I also have on an all black Ratso tied up as well. So many times last winter the all black presentation worked when nothing else did.

I would also tie on a small jigging spoon or some other kind of search lure. A search lure basically consists of some sort of flasher spoon, tied on like normal but with the treble hook removed. Then what you want to do is use a small piece of mono (you want to end up with like 2-4 inches typically) and tie that to the end. Then you tie on your fatboy or teardrop jig. The flasher spoon is what attacts the fish and the smaller jig seals the deal. Often times you will find panfish very interested in your spoons, but only as observers due to size, so by keeping the spoon along with adding the downsized jig you get the best of both worlds. And this also allows you to fish deeper water more efficiently and you can get the jig back down to the fish faster. It really helps when you want to stay over the active school of fish.

I like to keep a variety of colors with me when out on the ice. I also like to have an assortment of sizes as well. Somedays you might have to go through several different presentations before you find what works. I've had days where I had to downsize all the way to a 1/200oz micro talon tear, very small and immitates tiny zooplankton that panfish feed on during midwinter when the fish become more lethargic. And then there are those days where you can upsize to a 1/8oz jigging spoon or a 1 inch jigging rap and the fish devour it.


Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson

------------------
Matt Johnson Outdoors
[email protected]
Metro Area Ice Fishing and more...

Iceleaders
Catch-N Tackle and Bio-Bait
MarCum
Stone Legacy
JR's Tackle
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One of my favorite verticle jigs is the Genz bug. I think it presents itself more naturally than other jigs. I also like Nils Master Hali dropper rigs when I need some action. I do use flyers made by Northland when I want to cover more horizontal area. One of the biggest advantages to these all these jigs is that they come in muliple colors and they come in glow also. Using glow in the right situations and conditions is a key tactic when on the ice.

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matt and medicine man,
thanks for the info. i just started checking out the ice fishing forum in the last couple weeks and my addicition is becoming nearly unbearable. can't wait to get on the hardwater.

thanks again,
ivegottabite

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This topic really shows how important confidence is in the total presentation. I have noticed that many people list horizontal jigs as their favorites but for me I have always had vertical jigs to be my "go to" lures. I love using horizontal jigs especially for how good they show up on the vexilar but I just don't have the confidence in them so I always go back to a vertical jig. A jigging rapala is the only thing I have ever had luck with for horizontal jigs but even that really slowed down for me last year so I usually stayed vertical with a buck shot or Hali.

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For me it's a swedish pimple, sometimes plain, most of the time with a minnow hooked onto it. Where I live in SW MN it's the best. I've caught eyes, perch, crappies, and yes, even a carp on it. Flashy gold with a white stripe is my favorite.

Last winter I went to Lake of the Woods for my first time and ole faithful swedish pimple worked very well there also.

Real easy lure to use. Drop it down, grab a beer, open the beer, take a sip, jiggle the rod, take a sip, jiggle the rod, and so on and so on.

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Most of my gill fishing is in stained water. All winter long I use a #14 or #10 custom jig n spin horizontal glow jig.In twilight times I give it a zap.I use about 10 different colors of super soft plastic tails scented with anise oil. Throughout the day I am constantly changing color to trigger a bite.The best colors are matching the feed or hatch. Color does matter and with the different color tails I dont have to re-tie my line. Favorite colors motor oil,white/pearl violet, red, purple, and rootbeer.

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Horizontal jigs get my nod for panfish. The Rat Finkee and Ratso are my main go to jigs. I've been using these jigs for over 12 years and just can't use anything else. Have used #12 Rat Finkees in southern WI. where panfish are heavily pressured. Here in northern MN the fish seem to only want a #6. #10s & #12s aren't needed as much. During a severe cold front downsizing to the smaller jig and finessing works the best.

Blue gills zoom in and look the bait over really intently! They sniff, suck in and spit out as fast as you can wink your eye. Working a vertical jig makes the bluegill follow it upwards. Sometimes (not always)they don't want it above them and are more interested if it's out in front. A #10 Purest, by Custom Jigs & Spins, can work well if the cold fornt is really severe. Purests fall ever so slowly, wobbling back and forth. Iv'e found that horizontal jigs seem to work better than a vertical presentation for gills in most situations.

For crappies it really doesn't much matter. Crappies are feeding upwards, so either vertical or horizontal works. Fishing with a homemade spring bobber (piano wire) and smaller rod (15"-18")allows me to really bounce the jig with more finesse! Using a regular bobber you just can't see when gills inhale the jig. If they even blow on the bait, the spring bobber will move and lets me know get ready!

Bruce

[This message has been edited by Tofishem (edited 09-07-2004).]

[This message has been edited by Tofishem (edited 09-07-2004).]

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Well put Bruce! Sounds like you have the panfish down. Gotta love those finicky gills! smile.gif

Piano wire? Does that work pretty good and how do you go about making one?

Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson

------------------
Matt Johnson Outdoors
[email protected]
Metro Area Ice Fishing and more...

Iceleaders
Catch-N Tackle and Bio-Bait
MarCum
Stone Legacy
JR's Tackle
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Soldering it on the tip! Good luck in getting the wire to cooperate! Takes me about 45 min. to do one rod from beginning to end. There are many steps involed. Getting the right size is one. The longer the bobber the more sensitivity and more finesse.

Bruce

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I think I might pass on the piano wire smile.gif I've heard of people using the springs from inside a bic lighter as a spring bobber as well.

Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson

------------------
Matt Johnson Outdoors
[email protected]
Metro Area Ice Fishing and more...

Iceleaders
Catch-N Tackle and Bio-Bait
MarCum
Stone Legacy
JR's Tackle
Fish Fever

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Line plays a part in the finesse bonuce too! I use a line from France. It's maybe 2½ lb. (1.2 Kg) test. But, the diameter is a true .10. In Europe they must put exactly whats in the package by law. Here manufacturers can very the line thickness and not be fined. That's another story. Anyhow, this line is not made for a reel, handlining only, but I use it that way. It has some stretch, which makes it forgiving in palying a fish out. Works fine in depths of 20 feet or less.

Bruce

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I would have to agree, the Genz Bug is a good choice. I use the Genz Bug with small crappie minnows below an Ice Buster Bobber or deadsticking. The hooking percentage is pretty good with this jig as well.

Using glow is a big factor when it comes to ice fishing. Open water fishing isn't as important, but during the winter it can make or break a day out on the ice. I stick to red, blues and greens(normal glow) mostly, but there are several other new glow colors unveiled in the past as well. Glow can be especially important when fishing twilight periods like sunrise/sunset for crappies and walleyes. These fish are sometimes glow orientated and will prefer glow over non-glow. Red glow has been hot for crappies in the past.

Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson

------------------
Matt Johnson Outdoors
[email protected]
Metro Area Ice Fishing and more...

Iceleaders
Catch-N Tackle and Bio-Bait
MarCum
Stone Legacy
JR's Tackle
Fish Fever

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Tofishem, I know a guy that makes his own spring bobbers. But instead of using piano wire, he'll use my used guitar strings.

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Agreed - I have a glow jig on my line about 90% of the time now. I haven't ever seen it be a negative, and most of the time, it's a positive. The Genz bug is a great jig too - a great tactic with the one is to t-bone a waxworm and pound it slowly. Gills love that one! The Genz bug isn't really a vertical or horizontal jig, the hook rides at 45%, which allows a different action than other jigs. Good on neutral fish, or "sniffers".

For all you guys who like the ISG plastics, you should check out the plastics made by Little Atom. They are kind of hard to find - you can get them online though. Awesome action, I like them better than ISG or the Lindy plastics. They are scented, similar to the ISG ones.

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Good point augernaut about the t-bone rigging. Bass fisherman like to refer to it as "wacky rigging" if this helps people understand it more clear. I like to rig up small finesse plastics like that as well. Just hook the plastic right in the center and let it stick out on both ends. Sometimes this will make the jig fall slower which can trigger more strikes. It also gives the fish something they are not accustom to seeing everyday, so it not only intrigues their curiousity but it also gets a lot of reaction strikes. And rigging a jig this way can have a lot of action, which will both call in fish and trigger them to strike. A very productive technique through the winter, and open water for that matter.

Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson

------------------
Matt Johnson Outdoors
[email protected]
Metro Area Ice Fishing and more...

Iceleaders
Catch-N Tackle and Bio-Bait
MarCum
Stone Legacy
JR's Tackle
Fish Fever

[This message has been edited by Matt Johnson (edited 09-07-2004).]

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Matt, the bic lighter springs do make a great spring bobber. If I ever get into a situation where the fish are hitting so light that I can't see it on that bobber, I'm not going to sit over them! I'm moving to find more active fish. That's the name of the game anyways, move to find active fish. A great rod for use with a spring bobber is a stillfish rod - the line runs up the inside of the blank. Good in the wind, and incredibly sensitive.

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Thorne Bros makes a rod with a finesse spring bobber built in, yet still removable. Its just an insert that fits into the last eyelet and can work on several different rods as well. They work pretty well on light biting fish too.

Anyone deadstick with a noodle rod? I've had pretty good success in the past doing this. The rod can load quite a ways before the fish realizes its hooked sometimes.

Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson

------------------
Matt Johnson Outdoors
[email protected]
Metro Area Ice Fishing and more...

Iceleaders
Catch-N Tackle and Bio-Bait
MarCum
Stone Legacy
JR's Tackle
Fish Fever

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