Ice Fishing Tips -Check your local regulations! > Tipups

Bottom or off bottom

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Hey all I was taught when tip-up fishing for pike keep your bait level and about a foot off the bottom. Well I have been fishing a small lake near my house that I know has pike in it, but having a hard time getting flags, none actually in a couple outings. Well this past weekend some older gentlemen fished in a spot I have tried this year and immediately started getting flags, so I went over and chatted with them. They were running there bait 1-2ft below the ice. Thier theory was smaller lakes oxygen level gets low and the fish start to cruise up near the surface. Anyone ever heard this or do this. Clearly, what they were doing was working they got a dozen flags before noon. Anyways just curious on your guys thoughts.

When i set up tipups i only fish 6 to 9ft down regardless of water depth up to 25ft.they can see great with bait above them and like to ambush from below.i dont think pike hug bottom that often.walleye thats a different story..ive caught so many pike at 6ft down over 20ft.i just put the minnow in and pull line over my head as im 6ft and done.i will set 2 at that and one around 10ft down.

Hey Vandal, we always used to fish our tipups 1-2 feet off the bottom. Then about 2 years ago for some reason we moved our baits up to just 2 to 3 feet or so below the ice. The lake we normally fish is shallow 5 to 10 feet deep. Fishing just under the ice really works. The lake has lots of pickerel and bass.

I fish 1/2 to 2/3 down, depending on the depth. Most of my pike lines get hit under 6-7 feet deep, only time I've caught them more than 15 feet down was jigging for other species.

When I am fishing shallow water (less than 10 feet) I tend to hold my bait 1-2 feet above the bottom, when in deeper (more than 10 feet) I change it up.  Trying different depths.  Fish can be holding at different depths due to several factors- temperature, O2 levels, where they are finding food, water clarity, etc...  If what you are doing is not working, try something different. 


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