Ice Fishing For Crappie

Ice Fishing For Crappie

It’s now the middle of Winter with below average temperatures in most States. In many areas, Anglers are finding safe ice which they have not seen in many years. With that in mind we need to take precautions so we can remain safe for future fishing trips.

What is Safe Ice?

Safe ice for foot traffic is best described as 4-5 inches or better of new, clear, solid ice. White ice or “snow ice” is only half as strong as new clear ice. Double the thickness if fishing on white ice. Listed below is a guideline chart for the recommended minimum ice thickness, provided by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Recommended Ice Thickness

Photo Credit: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Please remember that this is only a guideline. There is no such thing as 100 percent safe ice.

Tools of the Trade

When checking to see if you have safe ice conditions, you will need a few tools. A tape measure, an ice chisel, drill or ice auger and a handled scoop. Test holes should be drilled at least 150 feet apart. Lower your scoop into the hole and remove any ice chips in the hole. Extend your tape measure into the hole and hook the tape lip onto the bottom of the ice. Remember safe ice is new ice 4-5 inches thick.

Channa Chhouy

“Channa Chhouy caught this Crappie using an ultra lite rod, reel and line.”

Jigging is a popular method to catch Crappie, used by many ice anglers. Using a short, ultra lite fishing rod with a spinning (open-faced) reel and lite fishing line are the most widely used gear. Attached to the end of the line preferably is a small lure, such as teardrop or fly, with live bait – such as wax worms (bee moth larva), spikes (fly larvae), wigglers (mayfly larvae) or minnows – attached to the hook for better action. The bait can be fished without movement or jigging can be used to attract the fish.

Lower your lure or bait to the bottom of the lake and reel up about 2-3 full turns. This will allow your lure to be suspended off the bottom where you can then jig the lure in an up and down (vertical) motion or you can leave it stationary. Work the zone for several minutes and once again reel up 2-3 turns. Repeat the process until you have effectively covered the area from the bottom of the lake to the top of your ice hole. (This is considered the water column) If you do not receive a strike you may want to remove your current fishing lure and replace with a different size, color or lure in general.

Tip: One common piece of equipment nearly all types of anglers who ice fish utilize are electronic fish finders. These help anglers locate both aggressive and non-aggressive fish and make it easier to determine if your holes will be active and how present fish are reacting to your fishing methods.

Most success for Anglers is seen around dawn until mid-morning and again from late afternoon until sundown. This is especially true for panfish, like Crappie. Although midday fishing can be very rewarding some days.

If your headed out to catch a few Crappie ice fishing be safe and take precautions. Make sure you take someone with you and have all the appropriate safety gear. If it’s your first time ice fishing for Crappie go with someone who has experience and can show you the “ropes”. That way you can enjoy Crappie fishing for years to come.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On InstagramVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On Google Plus