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How to catch steelhead through the ice


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I fish in less than 10 feet of water. I am on the ice and set up at least 1/2 hour before daylight. Use the hand auger a gas auger will spook the fish in shallow water. I have tip ups with 8 pound line just enough weight to get a spawn bag to the bottom about 16" up from a #14 treble hook. On that treble hook I have a spawn bag the size of your fingernail. I also use ice rods with spawn bags, set the rod on a bucket with the bail open and a rubber band in the end eye. When the fish runs the rubber band will pop out and do not stand near the hole. I also rig ice rods with a small orange or red tear drop and a wiggler or wax worm with a bobber just big enough to float your rig. You will want to be off any stream or river mouth that has a natural run of steelhead even some that do not will have enough feed flowing into the lake that trout are attracted to the area. Northern Michigan and the UP have areas that offer super good ice fishing for steelhead coho and lake trout. I am sure to be out there as soon as we get good ice, the gear is ready to go. Mornings work best for me but I have caught them mid day and evenings as well you just have to work a little harder

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I have never tried a slammer board but I will try anything. I do not have a problem with hit and runs on the tip ups. I usually connect with the fish but I always leave it go for a couple of minutes after the flag goes. I am going to make a new type of tip up device this winter for ice fishing, if it works out you might see it in cabelas soon.

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