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.
Capt. Ross Robertson