This weeks One Thing is about catching fish! Why do some fishermen catch piles of fish while others struggle? What is great about the One Thing is that it always changes. This is how we learn and become better fishermen.
Ice fishing this year has been harder due to thinner ice. Once on the ice, fish close to shore. The shallower water offers protection and more abundance of food. Predatory birds and critters can’t get to the fish as easily. The buffet line of food is fuller near shore than in the deep darker waters.
Remember that ice limits light. Fish can only see a short distance. They now rely on feel and scent. Fishing in a few feet of water means the fishermen must also consider certain behaviors.
I watched a guy cut 2 holes near the shore of Hyalite Lake the other day. He was in a spot where I was considering the same thing. He fished both holes for several minutes and left. About a half hour later, I went over to the same holes and dropped in my rig. It was less than 3 feet deep. Instantly I had a bite and I dragged out a 15-inch Brookie! 5 more drops and I had 5 more Brookies. I went to his next hole and did the same thing. Thanks Buddy!
Fish are not stupid. In shallow water, the noise of walking, shadows, cutting holes and talking will spook the fish. Once you cut the hole, let it rest. Allow the fish to settle down. When light suddenly appears in the darker water, it will attract fish. Give it time to produce before abandoning the hole. Consider stalking your hole quietly and approach so that your shadow does not cross the hole.
You may think this is dumb but… Its One Thing I always do to catch more fish.
For more Montana Grant, catch him stalking at www.montanagrantfishing.com.