Author Topic: Just under the ice?  (Read 763 times)

Offline jiignut

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Just under the ice?
« on: Jan 06, 2021, 05:50 PM »
Iíve been reading about fishing just under the ice for trout. Apparently over any depth for the rainbows and in shallower for browns I think. Of course thereís no set rule but what is the basic idea of just under the ice? Few inches, a foot or two?
Is light from the hole coming down on the bait a hindrance or advantage? My main target is browns and finally confirmed they cruise shallow a lot along shore seeing them on camera when Iím jigging out deeper with camera facing shore. Very clear water, I can see far. Last couple times Iíd set a tip up or two in shallower water, (4-6í) bait half way to bottom and back off and jig in deeper, whole column. No luck except nice perch. Thanks for reading. Hoping I get some advice.

Offline adkRoy

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Re: Just under the ice?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 06, 2021, 06:02 PM »
When going for rainbows I like to set up the bait 6-12 inches below the ice. I've gotten them in as little as 3 feet of water and as deep as 30 feet. always just below the ice.  The only brown I ever caught was on a tip-up set halfway between the bottom and the ice in 40 feet of water. Light didn't matter so much as size of the bait. I found the smaller the shiner the better.
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Offline pooley

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Re: Just under the ice?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 06, 2021, 06:05 PM »
Top 15 feet of the water column, from just under to 15ft. Shallow water too.
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Offline jiignut

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Re: Just under the ice?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 06, 2021, 06:10 PM »
Thanks Roy, I read your older post about 1-3í under. But good to hear as close as 6-12Ē because I never tried that, seemed wrong and weird for some reason. But thatís why I asked. Thatís more like just under the ice. Canít wait to give it a try.
Poley, do you have luck within the 1í under ice?

Offline adkRoy

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Re: Just under the ice?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 06, 2021, 06:13 PM »
They are a predator fish and like to cruise just below the ice.   The biggest rainbow I ever caught came when I just put the bait in the hole. As soon as it cleared the bottom of the ice, bam, it hit.  22 inch rainbow. 3 feet of water.  ;D  Another fish that likes to cruise just below the ice is landlock salmon. Same set up. bait just below the ice.
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Offline jiignut

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Re: Just under the ice?
« Reply #5 on: Jan 06, 2021, 06:17 PM »
Iím getting excited. Get to try something new to me and hopefully more successful. Itís all good.

Offline Trophyman1

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Re: Just under the ice?
« Reply #6 on: Jan 15, 2021, 10:42 AM »
I fish Mallet Pond quite a bit for the trout we normally fish about 7 foot down the water depth is only 9 to 10 foot in that Lake we seem to do a little better fishing deeper and that specific body of water

Offline slipperybob

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Re: Just under the ice?
« Reply #7 on: Feb 10, 2021, 06:09 AM »
Rainbows just under the ice and rarely do I catch them deep but sometimes 15 feet under even over deeper water.
Browns usually 4-5 feet deep and all the way to 25 feet deep.

I've had rainbows swim up the ice hole I drill, take a peek at me and slap their tail on the surface.  Next time I'm gonna put a bait right there on the surface or a bb gun ready.  :P
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Offline zcm_82

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Re: Just under the ice?
« Reply #8 on: Feb 10, 2021, 06:14 AM »

I've had rainbows swim up the ice hole I drill, take a peek at me and slap their tail on the surface.  Next time I'm gonna put a bait right there on the surface or a bb gun ready.  :P
I've had catfish do that several times. I didn't know trout were peepers, too. Tbh, it has scared the crap out of me a couple times when I wasn't paying attention. 😂

Offline flagup!

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Re: Just under the ice?
« Reply #9 on: Feb 11, 2021, 01:35 PM »
 I catch all of my rainbows and browns on jaw jacker type tip ups.  I usually put all of my tipups close to shore 2- 5 feet. I keep my leaders light and short. 2'-3' of 4 lb floro.  and  usually drop the line down till the swivel is just below the water line but not below the ice.  Otherwise, swivel gets stuck if the hole freezes and if its below the ice the shiner is sitting on bottom.    Rainbows seem to like sandy bottoms and small baits.  Browns seem to prefer rocks weeds and shiners.  Some times I'll venture out and free swim shiners in deep water and limit them to 5 feet below the ice and catch some.  With the jaw jacker its hard to sound bottom so always keep them high.  Definitely seem to catch more fish shallow.   Think covering the hole is good idea, I don't think they like moving shadows.  I just stay far away.  I'm not sure why trout like to cruise just under the ice and in shallows, but I' think it's because they can.   I know rainbows are much more tolerant of colder temps than other fish and that's where they are hanging out; up high and in shallow.  Better food source.  I would definitely go shallower with small shiners and if using tip ups I would put a rubber band on you line and around the to set the hook early.   That brown in my profile 24" + about 5 more big browns were caught in less than 2 feet of water surrounded with boulders all caught on small shiners and ignored the bugs I had on other rods.
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Offline Gamalot

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Re: Just under the ice?
« Reply #10 on: Feb 20, 2021, 06:32 AM »
When I had an AquaView camera setup I put the camera down about 5 feet away and looking right at my shinner that was about 5 feet under the ice. I watched nice trout come right up to the shinner and not touch it but they all seemed to come from above the bait. Slow day with no flags at all but I saw quite a few trout cruising. I hooked a heavy sinker to the fish cameras tail end causing it to tilt upward and I could see the bottom of the ice that looks like the surface of the moon with lots of craters. As I twisted the camera cable to spin it around I noticed something stuck to the ice bottom and I had to drill another hole to get closer and see what it was. It was a big helgramite about 2" long just stuck and clinging on. In another hole I saw what looked like tiny snails clinging to the bottom of the ice. I don't usually keep fish I catch but a few days later I did get a brown about 18 inches and brought it home so I could see the stomach contents. Sure enough he had 2 big helgramites and a bunch of crunchy snail shells and the remains of a big crayfish but no signs of any shinner remains at all.
I think it all depends upon what food is available in the lake you are fishing. It could be that helgramites and snails are easy pickings and an occasional crayfish is a good dessert. The browns seem to be cruising just under the ice looking up to see what snacks are clinging on to it. I never did figure out why they would swim right up and sniff my shinner but never eat it. I just figured they can see the line or hook or maybe something just did not look natural and move on. 
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Offline flagup!

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Re: Just under the ice?
« Reply #11 on: Feb 22, 2021, 06:55 AM »
Very interesting find.  I caught some nice rainbows a few weeks ago shallow and just below the ice.  They were all filled with the largest caddis larva I have ever seen.  They were 2 to 3 " long.  Now im wondering if they were on the bottom or stuck to the ice like you said.
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Offline Gamalot

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Re: Just under the ice?
« Reply #12 on: Feb 22, 2021, 07:21 AM »
Very interesting find.  I caught some nice rainbows a few weeks ago shallow and just below the ice.  They were all filled with the largest caddis larva I have ever seen.  They were 2 to 3 " long.  Now im wondering if they were on the bottom or stuck to the ice like you said.

I looked up Caddis and Helgramites, close resemblance but I post here a picture of the bugs I see clinging to the underside of the ice and in the bellies of the browns I catch. I saw these fairly close to shore but the water depth varied from 2 feet to over 12 feet near steep drop offs. The trout had lots of these bugs in his gut along with some sort of snail critters and a crayfish skeleton with the claws still in tact. I do wish I had the smarts to retrieve a photo from what I saw on the Aquaview but that is another story. Those here who have cameras might do what I did and tilt them up to view the underside of the ice. Lots of critters might be seen clinging to the bottom of the ice.

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Offline flagup!

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Re: Just under the ice?
« Reply #13 on: Feb 22, 2021, 07:35 AM »
Thatís definitely a helgramite.  I wasnt suggesting you might have seen caddis instead of helgramite.  Iím just curious if other lakes have other bugs stuck to the bottom of the ice.
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Offline Gamalot

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Re: Just under the ice?
« Reply #14 on: Feb 22, 2021, 07:51 AM »
Thatís definitely a helgramite.  I wasnt suggesting you might have seen caddis instead of helgramite.  Iím just curious if other lakes have other bugs stuck to the bottom of the ice.

Sadly, I sold the camera shortly after buying it because I wanted to fish rather than watch TV on the ice. I only used the camera in one lake that had very clear water and bugs and a few lakes that I couldn't see much at all in because water was murky. I would suspect that some lakes do have bugs crawling while others might not. I would think a trout has to be pretty hungry to swallow a big crayfish that was probably close to 2.5" long. Also after viewing how helgramites evolve it is possible the stuff I called snail shells might very well be the outer cocoons the helgramites cover themselves with prior to emerging.
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