Author Topic: Hole covers... discussion  (Read 1098 times)

Offline Roccus

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Hole covers... discussion
« on: Jan 10, 2017, 08:50 AM »
 OK...  I'll go  on record as saying that I don't use them... I'm a trout hunter...more specifically ..I hunt larger fish.. I'm not interested in fall stockies.. I want fat holdovers...

Most of my fishing is over deep water bordering shoals and under water structure.. I fish  tight to the ice... I always have a few sets in shallow water and some at mid depth and even near the bottom   because I deem it prudent... I like setting near pressure ridges.. and here is  where the hole cover discussion is pertinent... it is my belief that kind of   like temp breaks in open water trout will hunt those pressure ridges because bait is attracted to the light shining through.. so away from the ridges I like the light of day to shine on in...many times I've had smelt swim up into the hole..   so I feel the light is a natural attractant.. so for the purpose of discussion I thought it would be interesting to see other peoples theories on the subject.

I thought it might be a fun discussion for those of us stuck at work today when we'd much rather be fishing.
"A mans got to know his limitations"

Offline dickbaker

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #1 on: Jan 10, 2017, 09:15 AM »
 ??? ::)  I think of ice covers as an inconvenience??  I think they are for fishermen who don't take the time to check and clean holes on a  regular basis (every 15 minutes of so)?    Even in shallow water I don't think the fish need to keep the sun out of the hole??
Dick

Offline TheCrittaC

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #2 on: Jan 10, 2017, 09:26 AM »
Most of my rainbow fishing is done close to shore. I've found that I do better when I use hole covers. Maybe the light spooks them closer to shore?
I'll use them anywhere on cold days too, to stop the hole from freezing in and getting smaller.

Offline stripernut

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #3 on: Jan 10, 2017, 09:27 AM »
Cold days I use them... I am not lazy, just busy jigging.

Offline BrookieSlayer99

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #4 on: Jan 10, 2017, 09:41 AM »
I just got one and was told that some people use them with jawjackers instead of the ice stopper

Offline SALMONEMIA

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #5 on: Jan 10, 2017, 10:06 AM »
Roccus I feel the same Im stuck here working too.  You have scored way more bows than me. As you know I do use them, I prefer the black ones over any other color they provide better heat absorption and keep holes perfectly clear of snow and ice. I use them for stealth not laziness. All my biggest rainbows have come while using them. I know you get a lot of big trout without them so who knows what way is best. I use them for the above reasons. I will say they are a little cumbersome when removing trap out quickly after a flag pops. I have gotten used to that tough. Maybe if your considering trying them Ill give you one sat and you can use it over the areas you discussed. If you flag ratio goes up maybe its important. In terms of ice not forming in hole the black tape trick you showed me works well so hole covers may not help you in that regard unless its bitter cold with no sun. I feel when its very cold the covers trap the warmer air rising out from the water and keep the holes clean of ice.
Salmonemia

Offline peteinvermont

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #6 on: Jan 10, 2017, 10:46 AM »
I love these threads - thanks for starting it, and I'm looking forward to learning something.

I can't claim to know anything about brookies or bows, but I've had some good success chasing browns.  I don't cover the holes, and never saw any better success when I did.  (Non-scientific results though, so take it with a grain of salt).  In my mind, I think the holes are just seen as a normal disturbance in the ice, and it doesn't affect them, even when my bait is only 3ft away, right under the ice.  However, if I was going to be walking around on the ice for some reason, especially near the holes, I'd consider covering them. 

Offline NH Trout Fisherman

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #7 on: Jan 10, 2017, 10:57 AM »
Ive often wondered about this myself?

I own them but very rarely use them. Only in extreme cold with driving wind where there is no other way to keep snow out of the holes.

Otherwise I am very meticulous and regularly clean and check my lines every 20-30mins or so to make sure the holes are free of ice and my bait/ presentation is still good.

Although I am not sure whether the light helps or hurts? I will add that I have noticed a big difference when I check my bait and make sure it stays nice and lively.  If it is just sitting there "hanging" so to speak I notice that the trout prefer a lively/struggling bait fish as opposed to a lifeless one.
 

Offline jibbs

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #8 on: Jan 10, 2017, 11:01 AM »
Ive often wondered about this myself?

I own them but very rarely use them. Only in extreme cold with driving wind where there is no other way to keep snow out of the holes.

Otherwise I am very meticulous and regularly clean and check my lines every 20-30mins or so to make sure the holes are free of ice and my bait/ presentation is still good.

Although I am not sure whether the light helps or hurts? I will add that I have noticed a big difference when I check my bait and make sure it stays nice and lively.  If it is just sitting there "hanging" so to speak I notice that the trout prefer a lively/struggling bait fish as opposed to a lifeless one.
I could of used a chain saw on a few of my holes at the end of the day last weekend...my trap tending isn't what it use to be  ;D
when chuck norris played golf for money, chuck marked down a hole in zero every time, the golf pro said, "chuck: you can't score zero on a hole." Chuck norris turned towards the man and said, "I'm chuck norris, the man proceeded to pour gas over his body and set himself on fire because that would be less painful than getting roundhouse kicked by chuck norris....chuck norris roundhouse kicked him in the face anyways

Offline SALMONEMIA

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #9 on: Jan 10, 2017, 11:04 AM »
Ive often wondered about this myself?

I own them but very rarely use them. Only in extreme cold with driving wind where there is no other way to keep snow out of the holes.

Otherwise I am very meticulous and regularly clean and check my lines every 20-30mins or so to make sure the holes are free of ice and my bait/ presentation is still good.

Although I am not sure whether the light helps or hurts? I will add that I have noticed a big difference when I check my bait and make sure it stays nice and lively.  If it is just sitting there "hanging" so to speak I notice that the trout prefer a lively/struggling bait fish as opposed to a lifeless one.
good point Keith.  I also check lines every 20-30, I have found my bait to be non lively or all tangled up at times. If goes un attended to long you risk missing a good one. when flags are not popping I make my rounds every 20-30.
Salmonemia

Offline SALMONEMIA

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #10 on: Jan 10, 2017, 11:05 AM »
I could of used a chain saw on a few of my holes at the end of the day last weekend...my trap tending isn't what it use to be  ;D
when its slow cold and boring sometimes tending the holes is all that keeps me sane out there.
Salmonemia

Offline dickbaker

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #11 on: Jan 10, 2017, 11:18 AM »
 ??? ::) I can't count the number of times I've checked my shiner, put it back down, and immediately had the flag go off!!
Dick

Offline MikeSJ

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #12 on: Jan 10, 2017, 11:20 AM »
Some great points here.  As far as the light goes, I have noticed, especially on bright/warmer days small midges hatching up through the holes I have been jigging in.  Now I know for a fact that trout feed on midges but so would smaller baitfish. Yes the fishing was good for me.   There have been times when the snow was fairly deep and I would shovel an area around the hole to purposely let more light in.  I have yet to get out and fish here in NH  but this was a regular occurrence when I fished in Utah, Idaho & Oregon.  When the bugs/bait are active so are the trout.  The trout just under the ice are probably/maybe chasing bait that is after the hatch.  Just an observation and my 2 cents ::) ;D

Offline Roccus

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #13 on: Jan 10, 2017, 11:32 AM »
great answers... thanks everyone for participating.. I stated earlier that I don't use them.. I should have put up the caveat that I own 6.. and when the days come that the snow fills the holes I use them ( obviously I anticipate the conditions)...it's just one more tool in the tool chest when the weather and conditions are extra ugly...mine are 12" X 12" and are 1/4" plywood with  SHEET OF 1/4" poly screwed to the bottom a lenth of 1/2" rope is attached to a through hole opposite the slot..

I'm  in that "shake em up" every 15 minute's club.. I like to keep the holes clear and my baits swimming... as Keith said... a swimming bait will trigger a reflex reaction from a predator..also I want to make sure my leaders are hanging straight...not twistes and knotted.. ...sitting still is a form of torture for me.. I prefer  to keep things moving unless I am dead sure on a certain set...
"A mans got to know his limitations"

Offline Roccus

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #14 on: Jan 10, 2017, 11:35 AM »
??? ::) I can't count the number of times I've checked my shiner, put it back down, and immediately had the flag go off!!
Dick

you and me both...and on more than one occasion the leader was tangled or knotted.... had I not tended the line it would have ended in heart break for certain
"A mans got to know his limitations"

Offline HuntnFish603

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #15 on: Jan 10, 2017, 12:10 PM »
Some good discussion here. I myself have never ever used a hole cover in 30 years. I have put thought into it before and have been tempted at times. But like alot of other guys, im always checking lines atleast every 20-30 minutes also. And ive always just thought it would be a big pain in the butt to deal with them. I also think i seem to do fine with light shining in, but dont really know if it affects the fish or not.
That being said,  it may be something i should have around, there's some good points made here.

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Offline DConICE

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #16 on: Jan 10, 2017, 01:56 PM »

X2 on starting this thread - thanks...

I don't own any covers but have thought about getting some... but as was mentioned - just more to carry (and I am on foot).

Though there is no consensus, it appears unanimous that traps need to be checked frequently... something I have gotten lazy with at times and results have suffered.  Thanks for the motivation to get back to basics... 

Offline Mr.Harry

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #17 on: Jan 10, 2017, 03:45 PM »
I have never used them. Personally, and perhaps erroneously, I'm inclined to think that some light coming down through the hole would only help, not hurt. For various reasons already stated. But that could be my naïveté. On a 2 Trap lake, it's not like it's real hard to maintain clean holes and proper bait-sets. However, with bow fishing in shallows and doing the old egg-seeding technique to determine Trap placement, in heavy snow or wind I guess I could see how covering a bunch of your holes might make it easier than constantly cleaning to be able to view missing eggs. But again, that much more gear to drag around. That's where my personal laziness comes in. I can't be bothered with even MORE gear. I'm continually trying to pack lighter and fish by the less-is-more credo.

Offline Arctic Addict

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #18 on: Jan 10, 2017, 03:58 PM »
I don't use hole covers at all.  I'm not too sure it makes that much of a difference in terms of fish being spooked or in the amount of extra light is either blocked or let in.  I do believe in fishing light changes (sunrise and sunset).  I think when you are a bait fish in the food web, things like structure and darkness are beneficial for survival.  I think this is why you see larger predatory fish in the same area looking to capitalize on the bait fish.  I am just not sure how much a hole cover matters to the fish.  It seems like a gimmick.
"Hope" is not a good fishing strategy!

Offline green shack

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #19 on: Jan 10, 2017, 04:43 PM »
I only use them on the coldest days and wind blowing snow but rarely. When I do use them I check the holes every 15 to 20 minutes.  I haven't noticed any difference in catching more or less fish using them.   I made all of mine out of that exercise mat that goes together like a puzzle. The mat is available at places like Ocean State Job lot.  Cheap and does the trick.  I wouldn't buy the ones available on the market.

Offline Fish Wayniac

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #20 on: Jan 10, 2017, 06:14 PM »
I made my own hole covers out of scrap rubber roof material.I cut about 14" circles out of the thick rubber and made a slit to get around the trap. It helps from the trap freezing into the hole and wind blown snow also. Im not sure about a higher hook up rate.


Offline nixstyx

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #21 on: Jan 10, 2017, 06:49 PM »
Use them when it's cold. Also picked up a couple of the Frabill Pro-Thermal tip ups for cold days when I want to concentrate on jigging. This doesn't happen too often around here, but I've been fishing in -20 temps. When it's that cold, your opinion on such devices changes rather quickly.


As for the light -- I can see them being helpful in some circumstances either in shallow water or when presenting bait right under the ice. I hadn't considered the idea that bait might be attracted to light. My thought process was always that, while fish aren't overly cautious, if your presentation looks "different" from what they're used to, that could potentially introduce some hesitance to bite.

Offline MFDIRT13

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #22 on: Jan 10, 2017, 07:09 PM »
I have had luck with covers on snow covered ice in the shallows. They work ok on windy cold days too it makes checking the hole easer for me! they are a pain on heritage traps and I see no need for them over deep water. Some times I don't use them at all just depends on my set up for the place and time. Plus when not being used they are great to kneel on when jigging.
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Offline fishsluggos

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #23 on: Jan 10, 2017, 07:21 PM »
I seem to recall some hardcore very good pike fishermen (Ron Carr, Pikekiller & Pats) swore by them. Don't recall if it was because they setup their traps and didn't tend to them. They would set their traps then moved away from them to keep noise to a minimum as to not spook the big gators.

Offline fullerbn

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #24 on: Jan 10, 2017, 07:28 PM »
Whether you use them or not i think it all comes down to having confidence in your setup and equipment.

Offline fullerbn

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Re: Hole covers... discussion
« Reply #25 on: Jan 10, 2017, 07:30 PM »
I personally don't use them but when i fish in shallow water I'll kick some slush back in the hole, as long as my ice stopper is there i have no problem with my jaw jackers working properly,  i think it makes for a more natural presentation.

 



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