In the hours leading up to the Arctic Vortex that locked up the Mid-west for several days, I found myself on the lake catching a bunch of bluegill.
Nevertheless, here are some tips for the next time an Arctic Vortex is in the forecast, and maybe you can find yourself limiting out in bluegill two hours time.
Tip #1. Drill lots of holes in the areas you plan to fish before you begin fishing. This allows you to fish the holes in a circuit. Bluegill move around in schools seeking food, and shelter from predator fish. If one hole does not produce fish, then move on to the next hole. It may produce later on.
Tip #2. Use a counting system. If you are not receiving a nibble within the first minute or two, it may be a sign that you are not fishing at the fishes comfortable level. Wind your reel up one turn, and count again. Repeat until you find fish, or your bait is out of water. The counting is a method designed to help you keep track of how long you have been sitting at a hole. Outside the sport of ice fishing, counting is rarely used. In fact, you can use this as a tip for the children you take out to the lake; and who may ask the question, “Why do we need to count anyway?” Now you can tell them.
Tip #3. Once you find the level where the fish are biting, then don’t use the reel when retrieving the fish. Pull the line up hand-over-hand, remove the fish, check the bait, and drop the line back down the hole. The bait will rest where the fish are. Hopefully you will catch more.
Tip #4. Use a bucket to sit on when fishing instead of a comfortable camping chair. The reasons are simple. You will have a better posture from which you can better set the hook. Also, the bucket is faster to prepare for travel when you want to move to a fresh hole. Finally, you will acquire the desirable look of a gritty ice fisher who has braced himself against the harsh wind, which is always in fashion.
Tip #5. Leave the shanties in the garage. As a man-cave, the shanty makes perfect sense, but If you are moving around and fishing different holes, then speed is of the essence. If the shanty is a station on your fishing circuit furnished with a heater, then you are an awesome planner, worthy of respect, and highly sought after as a fishing partner.
Hopefully, these tips will help you find fishing success the next time an Arctic Vortex is in the weather forecast.