Late Ice Tip Up Tips
When fishing late ice lethargic fish it can be difficult to get a consistent bite through out the day. I recently fished a small lake in northern Michigan (Cedar Lake) looking for Large Mouth, Pike, and Big Gills. When the activity seems slow or non existent the best advice I can give is keep moving and drill baby drill. My favorite tools to use is an underwater cam and my gps. I rigged up one of my fish finders off my boat with a mapping chip so I can easily find weed edges or drop offs. Thats where I begin. From there I drill anywhere from 10 - 20 holes and before I even think about setting up a tip-up I hole hop with the camera. I look for any unique structure, broad leaf cabbage, severe drop offs, and if I am targeting pike I like the barren sandy area with weeds near by. Of course if you see fish on the camera then thats a bonus! Lastly, once you're set up, check your bait every 20-40 minutes. Often a minnow will get tied up in the leader or in weeds. Take good care of your bait and they will take good care of you!
We did see a lot of fish on the camera and the flasher however the only species that wanted to eat was bass! We caught around a dozen bass throughout the day. We had 10+ inches of ice and 50 deg blue bird skies. Can't wait for open water!