Author Topic: finding ling  (Read 2723 times)

Offline mt.redneck

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finding ling
« on: Jan 27, 2013, 12:57 AM »
Friday night I was fishing in 25 feet of water when I caught my first ever ling around 7-8 o'clock at night. we marked some fish but not sure if ling walleye or trout as we only had one bite. The spawn is about to happen I think and am not sure if that is making it slow, if they re moving closer to the creek that comes into this arm of the lake, or I just needed to fish shallower/deeper. Any help would be appreciated  :)
safe ice, tight lines and god bless!

Offline RugerRuby53

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Re: finding ling
« Reply #1 on: Feb 06, 2013, 12:31 AM »
I have been fishing Ling for quite some time now, and i cannot find any set pattern for them. I have fished as shallow as 14ft and caught them, and as deep as 40 and landed fish. I have seen them caught in the day, but i have always fished evenings to late night. I have picked up a fish every couple hours, and i have had nights were several bites came in waves of 10 to 15 minutes. I have tried sandy bottom and rocky. I just can not really pinpoint what it is that they like! I open up their bellies and find some stuffed with crawdads, and others filled with some green paste-like bugs. I have heard that they spawn in late feb and early march and prefer a sandy bottom, and prior to that they kinda just cruise around wherever. I have heard from the local biologist that during the early ice-off they see big swarming balls of them, and others tell me that you can cast into them and catch one on every cast for they are super aggressive. They are certainly a hard fish to pattern.  :)

Offline mt.redneck

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Re: finding ling
« Reply #2 on: Feb 06, 2013, 08:42 AM »
thanks for the info  :)
safe ice, tight lines and god bless!

Offline IceTroll

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Re: finding ling
« Reply #3 on: Feb 15, 2013, 09:50 PM »
I have found them in and around submerged tree's and vegetation in bunches. Go figure. Shallow seems to be best through the ice. Best depth for me has been around 8 feet but I have caught them as deep as 20.
Being in the great outdoors is not a matter of life or death. Its far more important than that!

Offline RugerRuby53

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Re: finding ling
« Reply #4 on: Feb 16, 2013, 10:16 PM »
That is interesting... The lake we fish them in really has little for underwater structure. It has rocky bottom in areas, and sandy/muddy in others. It has quite a variety of shoreline contour and depth variety. I been playing around a bit trying to eyeball the shoreline looking for coves sand bars and things of that nature. I have had fish on the camera everywhere i fish, so i cant really pinpoint what habitat it is that they really prefer. :)

Offline IceTroll

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Re: finding ling
« Reply #5 on: Feb 17, 2013, 05:03 AM »
Well, where I have found them in droves around vegetation is in the Big Dry Arm of Ft. Peck. Specifically around North Rock Creek, Nelson and Macguire. That whole side of the lake is a submerged forest and is full of vegetation and the Dry Arm is where the Ling primarily spawn in that Lake. Not saying they dont like vegetation free structure but I have caught the heck out of them in that thick stuff. It somewhat stands to reason too that a predatory fish would live in and around tree's because of all the smaller prey fish that tend to hide in vegetation. In a lake with limited vegetation and/or structure they probably do what all the other predators do. Follow the bait fish. I think you might have hit the nail on the head RugerRuby. Not sure Ling have a prefered HABITAT.
Being in the great outdoors is not a matter of life or death. Its far more important than that!

Offline RugerRuby53

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Re: finding ling
« Reply #6 on: Feb 17, 2013, 12:21 PM »
Ice troll, have you ever opened them up to see what they have been feeding on? I have found that some will have small crawdads in them and others will be full of this greenish paste like stuff.. I am guessing the green is a bunch of bugs of some sort.. So being that some have had crawdads in their bellies, i have been fishing areas with somewhat a rocky bottom.. I hear they move in to the shallows to spawn, but i get a lot of mixed info as to when they spawn in our lake (Clark canyon in Montana) some say end of Feb, others say its later when the ice is off end of March...

Offline IceTroll

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Re: finding ling
« Reply #7 on: Feb 17, 2013, 04:45 PM »
I have opened them up and I have also found a variety of stomach content ranging from probably aquatic bugs/larvae to fairly large fish and everything in between. I just have never been able to figure them out enough to target them specifically and pretty much just catch them while fishing for the Northern, Lakers and Walley at Peck. I am delighted when I do find the Ling though because I personally believe they even surpass Walleye for table fair, especially when fresh. I firmly believe that Ling are the Hyena of the Lake. They are the ultimate opportunists and are equally content to chase and kill as they are to scavange. Anyone that thinks Ling are not powerful predators and simply a scavanger fish are totally wrong.
Being in the great outdoors is not a matter of life or death. Its far more important than that!

Offline RugerRuby53

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Re: finding ling
« Reply #8 on: Feb 17, 2013, 05:11 PM »
I couldnt agree with you more! They are a very interesting fish indeed, an i love going after them. I can sit for days in my shack fishing for them, and never get bored of it, even if its slow.. Trout however just dont hold my interest for as long. Here at our lake there are some really nice rainbows and browns, but i really am not into fishing for them that much during the ice season. As far as eating them, "poor man's lobster"! i will take eating ling over trout any day! I sure wish i had a few lakes closer by that held pike, walleye and even some bass.. I miss fishing those when i was growing up in Northern Idaho.

Here is a pic of my boy's 30"er he caught the other night!

Offline IceTroll

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Re: finding ling
« Reply #9 on: Feb 17, 2013, 05:29 PM »
That is a healthy looking Ling and a very happy face. Thats what its all about right there. The look of joy on a young fishermans face. Its a statistical fact that kids who get "Hooked" on the outdoors are less inclined to be problematic as young adults. Good for you RugerRuby.
Being in the great outdoors is not a matter of life or death. Its far more important than that!

Offline RugerRuby53

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Re: finding ling
« Reply #10 on: Feb 17, 2013, 10:34 PM »
Thanks bud, he is hooked! As long as i can keep the middle school girlies from stealing all his time, i think i got a pretty good little fishin buddy! We have been fishing all ice season together, and he had yet to land a BIG one... So this one he is really proud of! Hell i am too! LOL!! :)

Offline RugerRuby53

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Re: finding ling
« Reply #11 on: Feb 23, 2013, 09:10 PM »
The boy and i went out last night to the shack and moved it some twenty feet down the shore line, and got to a spot where a large rock slide into the lake was, this rock slide was right on the edge of the spot we had been fishing, that had  sandy/mud bottom and not very rocky. With the underwater camera, there were huge boulders everywhere... We slayed the ling.. We did not jig the bottom hard, cuz you would get snagged. and some the rocks were so big we were jigging up and down a couple feet (usually we only jig up a foot and then drop it to pound the bottom) We had fish in the camera all night! We even watched on two occasions the ling take our jig! It was sweet! :)
 

Offline FishStoriesJR

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Re: finding ling
« Reply #12 on: Feb 24, 2014, 07:52 PM »
Fishing about 8 feet of crystal clear water yesterday and had a ling swim through on the camera. I called it out and one of the guys said it must have been a bowfin. Five minutes later it was back and when it turned to my jig I leaned forward and watched it mouth and then inhale my little panfish jig. When I said I hooked a burbot, the guy had to come see for himself as I landed it. It is my first season on this lake, but he said he had never seen one in that part of the lake.

It was jammed full of 3-4" perch, one tiny bluegill and two plastic worms.

Good Luck & Good Fishing!

Jon

Offline Water Wolf

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Re: finding ling
« Reply #13 on: Feb 25, 2014, 09:20 PM »
I also have a great time fishing for burbot. The spawn should be starting any day now in this area and I will try to get out as much as I can in March for them. Nothing like sitting on the ice in the nice weather on a spawning bed of burbot. @)

In my area, during the most of the ice fishing season they are roaming in deeper waters in search of food and a typical day is us ally 1 - 3 burbot.

Once they are in spawning mode, they are thick in the spawning grounds and are all very territorial in defence of their patch of spawning area. During this time we can expect to catch multiple fish a day, with some dandy big females. 10 - 13 lbs is not out of the question with a slight shot at even bigger. 3- 5 lbs is a common size. :)

Around here burbot generally spawn on gravel or sandy points, shorelines or humps. Find an area with a bit of current and your set, but watch out for thin ice. :o During this time they are generally shallow 5- 12 feet is a good depth range. You can use any of the lures you would for pike, walleye or perch, just fish them on the bottom and really make some noise. They go over to eat the intruders and are hooked.

If the spawn is on, but your not getting into them, just keep drilling until you find them, sometimes a small move shallower or deeper will make all the difference.
Watch others around you, if you see them catching at least you know your in the right area. :whistle:

I have opened a of the full ones up and have found different small forage minnow species, crayfish, bits of wood, small rocks and stolen smelts off my rigs.
They are also generally loaded with tape worms in this area, so if I do check a stomach, it's only after all the fish are filleted. :P

Good luck ice fishing for them everyone. :tipup:

WW
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