We recently posted an article about how to modify your jigs to improve your ice fishing catch rate. As you go about your ice fishing, you’ll inevitably catch some smaller fish. You could just throw those fish back in the hole in the ice, but don’t. You may be throwing away your best opportunity to target a much bigger catch!
In this article Minnesota-based ice fisherman Terry Tuma gives you some of his top tips for targeting this most prized of ice fishing gamefish.
When hooking minnows, fatheads, small shiners, and suckers for walleyes, most people hook them horizontally under the dorsal fin. Here’s how I do it: Take the hook or jig and place along the dorsal fin with point forward. Now it’s a natural-looking food source. Too many guys still hook through mouth like they’re open water live rigging.
I also like to hook through the tail section. Now that minnow is struggling like injured baitfish, so predators will target it.
As for hooking minnow heads to a vertical jigging spoon, or jigging Shad Rap, I put the minnow on first, then pinch the head off. Use just one minnow on a treble. Consider the distance we pinch it off. If you need more bulk, then behind the dorsal fin. If less, then just behind the gill plate.
Photos: Ontario Towns (top), Ice Team (above)