I'm told balance is the key to life. While I always thought I only wanted to fish, my limit is 27 days in a row. I found this out the good but hard way on several occasions.

Before I lose any of you, we're not talking about life coaching, but about tipping ice lures. And, before I lose any of my Southern or West Coast friends this really does apply to all forms of fishing and not just ice fishing. Hold on!

Anyone that has ever used a crankbait knows that even the smallest piece of grass can cause a perfectly-running crankbait to slide through the water like a sack of potatoes. The same can be said when you over tip an ice-fishing lure. On Lake Erie we tend to "load up" our lures with minnows…don't ask me why, but it just works. Call it the original "bait ball" idea.

On a jigging rap this can mean five minnows or on a rattle spoon it means three, one on each treble point. Try this on a thin style jigging spoon and it absolutely kills the action. From experience I know how many and what size minnows to place on a ¾-ounce Cicada as compared to the ¼-ounce model.

Fortunately it only requires a few seconds to plop it in the hole and see how it responds. Those few seconds of checking can mean the difference between a bunch of fish and a bunch of frustration.

Even if you live on the tropics or just despise ice fishing, this can still apply to you. Changing hooks out that are just a little different in size can make a suspending lure sink or a subtle balsa bait not wobble as it should. Pay attention—with your eye balls—to the small details and I promise you'll end up with more fish, regardless of what they are and where you are catching them.

Be sure to check me out on the web at or on Facebook.

Capt. Ross Robertson

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