PEAX Equipment

Can someone explain to me why ice fishing is so boom or bust?

TexanSam

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 21, 2018
Messages
290
I ask this here because I have recently started ice fishing as a serious endeavor for the first time in my life at a lake near where I am temporarily living in Colorado. In these lakes I'm mostly catching lake trout but there are also browns, rainbows and the occasional pike. I feel that I have had more successful outings than I have been skunked, and to be honest this type of fishing is really fun, especially when a large lake trout pulls drag through a hole in the ice. But there are some times where I cannot find anything on the fish finder and can't get a bite. At first I thought there would be some kind of barometric pressure or cloud cover aspect to it, but I'm really seeing no correlation between when they bite and when they don't. Is there something I am missing?
 
I love fishing, but I'm no expert and have no experience ice fishing. I've had fantastic days and dead days in the winter on rivers and streams, I've always felt it was because fish being cold blooded have low activity days and eat less in winter. It has to be this, otherwise it means I just suck as a fisherman.
 
Not exaclty positive on the numbers, but believe roughly 25% of the fish in a water body feed on any given day in the winter due to lower body metabolism. It's a number game. And yes weather patterns/conditions play in to it. Had my best luck in the pothole region staying on the move and looking for active fish.
 
Don't do it anymore but agree with your assessment. Reasons:
1) Because it's fishing with difficulty in moving
2) because it is more drinking than fishing
 
I spend several days on the ice every year and have multiple areas mapped and GPS marked. I gave up trying to drill hundreds of holes all over and focus on areas I have seen bait fish. The problem is the bait fish are on the move under the ice and so the walleyes, perch, crappie, and trout in my lake are to. All you have to be off is a few feet and you may miss the travel pattern. On a new lake I look for structure on my maps and on the shore line, but more than that I look for areas of fishing activity and blood on the ice. These were caught in a 125 yard circle around my hut, jigging and on tip-ups over a 72 hour period the 3rd week of January 2024. I also released several more trout, perch and a few ling. Most the fish were caught in 5 to 10 minute periods with 2 to 8 hour gaps in activity. When the fish arrived on the fish finder, I had to be working them in seconds or they just kept going and never looked back.
 

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