How to Use Tip-Ups for Ice Fishing

How to Use Tip-Ups for Ice Fishing
Ice fishing with tip-ups allows an angler to cover large portions of a body of water and fish for different species of fish. Tip-ups come in various forms and are made out of different materials, but the basic premise of these devises is to present bait to a fish through the ice and then alert the fishermen to a strike by means of a flag that pops up in the air when the fish bites.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Ice fishing tackle Ice auger Live bait
  • Ice fishing tackle
  • Ice auger
  • Live bait
Step 1
Rig your tip-ups with braided Dacron ice line with a leader attached. Spool as much as 50 to 75 yards of braided line onto the reel and then attach a 3-foot leader composed of 25-pound test monofilament line with a No. 4 hook tied to it. Fasten a barrel swivel to the braided line and then tie the monofilament leader to the other end of the swivel. A small split shot about a foot above the hook will help keep the bait in the water and prevent it from making its way back up toward the ice.
Step 2
Drill a number of holes in the ice with your ice auger and deploy your tip-ups. Cover a large portion of the surrounding area with your tip-ups in order to find out where the "hot spots" may be. Once you have success catching fish in one spot, you can move tip-ups that aren't producing to this part of the ice. Setting up over weed beds and off of points that jut out from off the shore is often productive.
Step 3
Set your bait at different depths. Set the bait just under the ice on half of your tip-ups, and set the rest just off the bottom. Take careful note of which tip-ups get results; if a pattern emerges, set all of your tip-ups at the corresponding depth.
Step 4
Keep your line free of tangles when playing a fish. As you pull a fish in by hand, it is a good idea to have a companion either watching the line that has already been retrieved to make sure it isn't becoming all tangled up or have the person actually respool it onto the tip-up's reel as it is brought in. This will be important in the event that a large fish decides to make a run once it gets brought in close to the hole.
Step 5
Use thermal tip-ups when the weather is especially frigid. These tip-ups are disc-shaped and are designed to cover the entire hole. This serves the dual purpose of keeping light from entering the hole and spooking the fish, but even more important, it keeps the hole from constantly freezing over.

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