Instead of lurking around the site, and looking at pictures of all your nice fish I decided to share a bit of what I've been up to.
During the winter there's two things I do, prep for next season and go ice fishing for just about one special little fish, the perch. I'm not a huge fan of chasing predators during the winter months, I usually wait till spring to chase walleye or pike. My favorite technique is a very small drop shot presentation hooked with just about anything. I find myself using small plastic crickets, dead or live minnows (I find small dead ones are the best, like a 1 inch shiner), maggots, and ringworm's.
I usually have two rods set up with the drop shot's on both. One with the hook anywhere from 12-16 inches and the other 4-6 inches off the bottom. This way if I find the fish are tight to bottom, instead of having to trim I just grab the other rod. The hooks are number 4 drop shot live bait hook's, always red. I personally am a huge fan of the "bleeding" hooks. The weight I use is always a bass casting sinker size anywhere from 3/16 to 3/8 depending on how deep I'm fishing. I also attach a small swivel about 14 inches above the hook to deal with line twist.
It's real simple to apply the technique, just drop down to bottom and allow a small amount of slack line and just lightly jig the slack line without taking the weight off the bottom. All you have to do is watch for a small twitch in the line. If their just softly eating the bait, you'll see that line sink or move left/right. Sometimes they'll eat the bait and literally sit there for a few second's, that's why it's also key to just slightly lift the rig on the bottom every now and then if you haven't seen any action. Sometimes you get lucky and find a fatso who almost choked your bait before you knew one was there.
This is always my go to technique when ever I bring someone out who's new to fishing on the ice, which is why I figured I'd share it here. I recently brought a good friend of mine out Saturday and within 10 minutes of explaining how to apply the technique he was landing fish after fish. Which I'm sure everyone can agree it's a better day when you bring a new person out, they catch fish and don't become negative while asking to leave every half hour. I know this is a technique a lot of anglers use, so if you have any tips for me please leave them in the comments below.
I'll be at the spring fishing and boat show in the Renegade booth, I hope some of you NPS members come by and say hi and introduce yourself!