January 3rd, 2014, 01:20 PM
Splake ice fishing techniques
Ive been trying for splake at my cottage for the past couple springs/ summers and havent managed to get a single one but thats not the question here. Im going to be trying to get some through the hard water in bancroft and am wondering what techniques, lures/ bait might help increase my odds here. Im pretty new to the ice fishing world.
January 3rd, 2014 01:20 PM
January 3rd, 2014, 02:01 PM
We use minnows and set lines. Single hook at the end and a split shot 6-8 " up the line. Let the split shot sit on bottom.
January 3rd, 2014, 05:04 PM
Shallow water less then 10ft in muddy weedy woody areas places with bugs. Small spoons work and set lines with minnows. I once fillet a 4 lb splake and it had a 5" bass tube in its belly soooo lol
January 3rd, 2014, 05:50 PM
Thanks ill definitely try a few shallow spots i know of and see if i can hook something up
January 3rd, 2014, 06:27 PM
Splake can act very differently lake to lake or just day to day I have had good action in less than 5' of water and also caught some nice ones in 40-60 depends what they are feeding on but in most lakes with splake that don't have smelt we get them on set lines with minnows or on spoons in less than 10' of water
January 3rd, 2014, 08:02 PM
Lost a 3lber in that area last week. Most lakes up there you will get them in 6-10' on a single hook with minnow about 12-18" off of bottom. I try to avoid using sinkers if I can.
February 11th, 2014, 12:04 AM
Splake can have multiple personalities: smaller ones (< 16" or so) will tend to eat more like brookies (more bugs/crustaceans, some minnows) and relate more to shoreline structures (small points, downed timber) and flat bays in winter, usually in 10'-20' of water, but they may go shallower (5') in low light/deep snow cover. They tend to hug bottom, even under the ice, but can suspend like lakers.
Splake in lakes where they tend to grow to a larger size (18"+) can also behave a bit more like lakers, preferring proximity to deeper-water haunts and frequenting deeper rocky points, humps, reefs, saddles, and steep drop-offs, including shoreline ones. Flats and structure out to 60' deep are still fair game in theory, but the 10-20' range is definitely the best place to start.
Even larger splake will visit typical brook trout locations to feed, but without nearby deep water access splake will tend only to forage in those areas, not reside. However, the borders or edges between deeper water and more productive, shallow zones -- especially with some point or other deep-water structure nearby -- are as sure-fire a combination of factors as you can hope for. Check maps for likely haunts, and ask locals and MNR about the lake(s) you're thinking of to gauge typical splake size.
Bait-wise, it's still hard to beat minnows, live or dead/preserved, in whole or in part -- either dress flashy spoons with 'em (I like smaller Swedish Pimples, Buckshot Rattle Spoons and Little Cleos) or use a 1/8 to 1/4 oz jig (or more in deeper water) to back- or mouth-hook a shiner. Lower to the bottom, wait while you're reeling in slack, then jig up 6" to 24" and let the lure free fall to just above bottom (gentle with whole minnows -- they're liable to come off otherwise), then wait for a few seconds and repeat. Vary size/speed of lift, free- vs. controlled slack-drop, and length of pause, ad infinitum, but pay close attention to whatever happens to work. Gradually lift bit-by-bit to the surface as you jig each depth for a few minutes but concentrate on the deeper water zone overall, as splake tend to hug bottom.
Tip-ups work well for splake, especially fished nearby while you're jigging. Feed a minnow down toward bottom on a bait or octopus hook (try #6 or #8) or treble (#8) hook and place two small BB split shot 1' above him and one more 6" above the hook, or use a jig at the end instead of a terminal hook, to make the minnow struggle a bit more to swim.
Generally, 10 to 15-lb ice braid (I like Super 8) double-uni-knotted to a few feet of 6-lb ice fluorocarbon works well. Don't like the tendency of two way swivel to ice up so I use snap swivels (swimming lures) or mostly just snaps (I'm patient though, so I don't get line twist).
Good luck. Love that super-healthy fish!
February 11th, 2014, 05:30 AM
We fish over weed beds in 10-12 FOW on the flats near deeper water. We use minnows on set lines with tear drops or forage minnow spoons. We get both perch and splake. When splake are in the area the perch back off.
A bad day hunting or fishing is better than a good day at work.
February 11th, 2014, 05:52 PM
"Ice" Slip bobber with a minnow.
February 12th, 2014, 08:00 PM
I caught 23 today on a pink tungsten jig head and a berkley 1" gulp minnow and a dead stick with a minnow. I pulled my dead stick line because they were swallowing the hook and i was not looking to keep any. They are fun to watch on the vexilar, sometimes coming in 2 at a time.