The issue as to which is the better bait, live or artificial, has long been discussed by many anglers. Particularly in ice fishing, more and more ice anglers are becoming convinced of how useful ice fishing plastics are when it comes to catching larger fish.
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Advantages of Plastic Ice Fishing Bait
- You don’t have to buy live bait when going ice fishing.
- No need to be concerned with preserving the live bait left after the day’s fishing.
- You don’t always need to add new bait for catching another fish. After catching that beautiful panfish, you can use the same plastic bait to cast again.
Another thing about using ice fishing plastics is that you can get a successive catch. After reeling in your line, cast immediately without transitioning your bait.
Once you have found a populated spot, the last thing you want to do is take time rigging more bait. You can easily avoid missing out on more fish by using plastics.
It is important to remember that your bait will not simply attract fish on their own. You have to make an effort to jig your plastic bait properly. By properly jigging your bait, you will attract more fish in dense areas quickly.
Casting Your Plastic Bait
First, make sure that your bait is properly placed. After hooking it to your line, try putting it just below the water and see if it’s stable or spinning. You want the bait to be stable. However, it is OK for it to be spinning slightly.
Second, to attract fish with plastics, you need to make your bait look alive. Jig your bait vertically about three times every 5 to 10 seconds. This will give the effect of it being alive to the fish.
You may also try positioning your soft ice fishing plastics on your jig to produce a different action to your bait. This will increase the chances of actually catching something. One of the most popular jigs that are used by anglers is the wacky worm placement. This is where you hook your soft bait at the middle of the body so that both ends wiggle.
Finding Good Fishing Spots
During the first days of winter, try to cast closer to the weed edges. This is where crappies and walleyes linger typically. Usually, you can find them around four feet to 14 feet below the water. Try to stay away from brown weeds as they are highly unlikely to be populated with any fish. The dying plants will absorb oxygen near them, making fish unlikely to come near.
Always remember that the bigger the fish you want to catch, the bigger your jigs should be. Crappies don’t usually bite large baits, while walleyes don’t settle for small baits. So the size and kind of fish you catch depends on the size of your bait.
Ice fishing plastics are an affordable and efficient way to catch more fish. Once you get plastics, you can quit wasting time picking up live crawlers on your way to the ice.
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