The Creator of the Flirty Girty panfish jigs, Dave Sumner, has graciously allowed us to use some of his own favorite tricks of the trade to help all those who love the sport of ice fishing. He has taught me well and I have even used the Flirty Girty in the Everglades of Florida and for Bonefish in the Bahamas.
Here are few great TIPS for catching fish….
Fish have what I call a “comfort zone,” or a certain depth range that they prefer to hold.
When you identify this zone on your locator, work the upper edge, barley dropping your jig in and raising it out as the fish nears it. Fish are more likely to hit a lure when it appears as if it is leaving their comfort zone.
The Second Hole Tactic
If a current is pulling your lure out of your locator’s viewing cone, drill another hole a short distance downstream. With any luck, you will be able to see your bait…as well as any fish about to bite! I also use the second hole tactic when I begin to lose fish at a hole. Wrapping line around your locator’s transducer sometimes gives Crappies the little slack they need to come off at the hole. Some days, I drill a few 4 inch holes; as placing your transducer in a separate hole will reduce the risk of your line catching on it-and in turn losing a fish.
When I’m fishing Perch and they are not cooperating (especially around midday), I rap my bait on the lake bottom in order to stir it up. I have caught many Perch with mud caked on their lower jaws; I believe they stir up the bottom in search of blood worms and other food.
Over the years, I have seen slow fishing turn into madness just as soon as a vehicle passes near a hole being fished. I believe that fish begin to move when something travels over them; thus a vehicle passing overhead may cause some fish to move…in my direction! If action is slow I try jumping on the ice in a big circle around my hole; often times I am able to stir some up by doing this. Am I crazy? Maybe so…
Here are some TRICKS that I’ve used over the years….
*First ice and last ice are the two most productive times for ice fishing. Fish shallow early and late ice. Look to deeper edges in mid-winter. Crappies will stage near spawning areas near last ice.
*Keep moving, looking for active fish. Drill several holes and use a good flasher to find fish. REMEMBER: locators don’t lie, …no fish? …MOVE!! If fish are suspended, fish just above or at the level they are suspending at.
*When fish are biting light… go to 1 pound line, …try smaller jigs, …bend barbs in, …use a spring bobber and watch for slight lifts, those are BITES!
*If fish are fussy… try going to smaller grubs or minnows. Sometimes, small plastics work with fussy fish.
*Change colors often. Bluegills and perch seem to like fluorescent colors more so than crappies. Chartreuse is a great all-around color.
*Flip your knots UP after tying on your jig.
*Moving the knot to the side makes a FLIRTY GIRTY swim in a circle. This can be effective.
*Black FLIRTY GIRTYS can be deadly on crappies early and late in the day.
*Ripping the jig up violently and letting it fall back down, has worked for me to trigger fish.
*Experiment with live bait and scents. I knew of a fisherman who used grape jelly smeared on his jig. I knew of another who used cooked barley when he ran out of waxies. I tried it, and it worked!