Ice Fishing Tips -Check your local regulations! > Catfish

Using a tip up for catfish?

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The lake I mostly fish (Lake North) has a huge population of catfish. I can catch about a dozen plus on a good night. I use Frabill Arctic Fire tip ups and HT Polar tip-ups with Suffix metered 15lb tip-up line with a swivel into 6lb bionic braid. I use Custom Jigs & Spins "online special" glow orange demon with a minnow. I do most of my fishing at night and tip up lights are a great investment!! I fish out of a 1 man Clam Kenai and the windows are perfect eye level. I've caught walleye, crappie, perch, catfish and northern pike all on this set up.

i'm gonna go ahead and throw a recommendation for dawg bone tipups in here, i know cats bit Very light in winter, and might only move a couple of feet after taking a bait. the dawg bone tipups are far more sensitive than most other commercial tipups (i had several flags get tripped by dink perch on the lightest trigger) however, i wouldn't recommend them for larger cats (bigger than 5 lbs) since they're sized for 8 inch holes.

My tipup rig is the same for walleye and cats.  5' leader of 8lb Floro line with a #8 Circle hook.  For the cats I hook a fathead minnow under the dorsal fin inline with the body.  Then put on the ice & step on it, then down the hole.  I use my Vexilar to set the depth, just inches off the bottom.  Works good for me. 

been target and catching cat pretty regularly on the tipups this season.

my rig is 2' of 8 lb test mono with a #6 octopus hook on the bottom and a #8 circle hook a foot up from that, then a 1/8 oz. egg sinker on the mainline. interestingly enough, most of the cats we caught have hit on the top hook.

i'm gonna pick up more circle hooks this week, since most of mine are size 14 or 4 :/ i intend to replace the octopus hooks with the circles.

a quick note, when it comes to bat i've had the best success with cutbait, and in winter it seems that less is more. a 2" long strip of cutbait might seem small, but it's just too big for wintertime cats. the best success i've had is with 1/2" squares or 1" sections of nightcrawler.


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