When you ice fish, you pick a spot, drill a hole, and set up camp. Many anglers set up a shelter or tent. The work that it takes to make your beach head means you will probably spend the day on that spot.
Many of Montana lakes have little debris or other structure to attract fish. If you are on sunken Christmas trees, reefs, or edges, you may be better off. Either way, attracting the fish to you is a good option. Here are some creative ways to motivate fish to come your way.
CHUM where legal, you can use chum products to attract fish. This can be done by sinking chum /bait, down the hole in a perforated pill bottle or making a custom PVC pipe holed container.
LIGHT/ GLOW many fish are simply cruising. In a dark environment they are curious when a light beam comes into their dark world from a hole or cleared area on the surface ice. Lures that glow attract fish.
SCENT scents allow fish to locate bait. Glo scents work even better. I call them Joy Juice. Use a scent that smells like bait the fish eat.
DUST CLOUD Drop a large washer, tied to a string, onto the bottom. Lift and drop it to create a dust cloud in the silt. These mimics feeding fish and will bring in a crowd.
SPRITZ AWAY Alka seltzer like pellets can make bubble trails to attract fish. Place them in a weighted container and drop them to the bottom.
RATTLES noise attracts fish. Use lures with blades or rattles that create noise when jigged. Curious fish can’t resist.
DROP SHOT A drop shot can be a hookless spoon or a weight. Ball shaped or rod-shaped weights can be purchased. Tie them to the terminal end of your line. Add a dropper a foot or so above. You can also add a second dropper a foot higher. When the weight hits the bottom, it creates a silt cloud, mimicking fish feeding. Fish often feed on insects emerging from the silt. Use lures/baits that mimic these food sources.
Your electronics will see the fish coming to you. Watch them look at your presentation, then lightly jig to seal the deal.
Call them and they will come!