Ice Fishing & Swedish Pimple Tips

Ice Fishing & Swedish Pimple TipsAnglers have ice fished with Swedish Pimple lures for more than 50 years in the United States and even longer in Europe. Although ice fishing has gone modern in the last two decades with an influx of battery-operated fishing rods, electronic fish locators and glow-in-the-dark fishing lures, the simple, traditional design of the Swedish Pimple is as effective today as it was decades ago.

Fished alone or tipped with bait, the Swedish Pimple continues to produce perch, crappies, walleyes, lake trout and northern pike for ice anglers year after year.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Swedish Pimple fishing lure
  • 2 ice fishing rod and reel combos
  • Plain hook
  • Split shot sinker
  • 2- to 3-inch minnows
  • Fish locator
  • Ice auger
  • Rod holder
Step 1
Tie a Swedish Pimple to the end of your ice fishing line with an Improved Clinch knot. Hook a 2- to 3-inch minnow (shiner, fathead or sucker) just under the dorsal fin with one of the Swedish Pimple's three hooks.
Step 2
Place the transducer of your fish locator in the ice hole and turn on the locator.
Step 3
Drop the Swedish Pimple in the water to a depth of one foot above any fish that appear on the fish locator screen. If no fish are present, drop your Swedish Pimple to about one foot off the bottom.
Step 4
Snap the rod tip upward a foot, then let the Swedish Pimple fall to the previous depth on a slack line, which is achieved by quickly lowering the rod tip to the original depth. A slack line allows the Swedish Pimple to flutter enticingly like a wounded minnow. Pause 3 to 10 seconds, and then repeat for five minutes.
Step 5
Monitor the fish locator. If no fish are present, drop the Swedish Pimple to the bottom to stir up a cloud of sediment. Fish sometimes stir up the bottom as they feed, so this may attract fish. If fish appear and rise up to the lure, they may strike. Continue jigging until they do.
Step 6
Jig less aggressively if fish rise up to the lure, and then retreat. Jiggle the lure up and down only three or four inches for five seconds, then pause for 10 seconds. Hold the lure motionless if fish still don't strike. If this doesn't draw strikes, reel in the lure.
Step 7
Unhook the minnow and rip off just the head of a dead minnow. Fish are less aggressive in winter's cold waters so a downsized presentation can be successful. Lower the lure as before and jiggle the Swedish Pimple three or four inches. Monitor the fish locator.
Step 8
Reel in your lure if fish appear on the locator but still don't strike. If multiple lines are legal (most states allow multiple lines while ice fishing) drill another hole with an ice auger about three feet from the first hole. This close proximity should ensure you can see both lines on the fish locator.
Step 9
Tie a single hook to the second fishing rod and pinch a small split shot sinker to the line a foot above the hook to help lower the bait. Hook a minnow just under the dorsal fin and lower the bait to one foot above the level where fish have appeared. Place the rod in a rod holder or on the ice.
Step 10
Lower the Swedish Pimple baited with a minnow head to 1 foot above the fish in the first ice hole. Continue jigging to attract fish. Fish may strike the Swedish Pimple. If not, the flash and vibration of the Swedish Pimple may attract fish, which may strike the motionless live minnow on the second rod.

Tips & Warnings

Experiment with different lure colors if fish appear on the locator but don't bite.
Try smaller lure sizes when fish are finicky.

Article Written By Joe Shead

Joe Shead is a freelance writer specializing in outdoor writing. He has written for numerous national and regional outdoor magazines on various topics from hunting to fishing to his pet subject, shed antler hunting.

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