Leave the fishing pole at home, you won't have time for it! Grab your underwater camera and your hand held gps then head for your favorite waters! Now is the time to find that piece of structure that holds fish for your early season ice fishing and maybe for late season too.
The first time I use my camera, I was looking for structure on the Mississippi River. That's right..the Mighty Muddy! The structure I was looking for was depressions or what some folks would call "holes" and under water tree snags. My secondary thought was to look around and see where the fish were. You've heard that saying that 90% of the fish are in 10% of the lake? Well, it's true!
If you haven't check out this YouTube video
, you might want to. It's the end result of about 2 hours on the river last January. This same technique can be used right now on your favorite lakes.
The first part shows some sheephead, a crappie if you watch closely and a school of shad. Shad is bait. Almost every very fish in the river loves shad. Mark that spot on the gps and label it SHAD 1.
Next there's walleyes and sauger with one gar mixed in. Finally into a pile for wintering flathead catfish.
Ok, I saw the fish and I know where they are, what else? If you are like me when watching the video for the first time, you were watching the fish and not watching the structure around the fish or the bottom make up. Once I started taking notice, I found other areas that were made the same way. These areas held similar types of fish most of the time.
Speaking of watching the bottom, this is a very good time to keep an eye on your sonar unit. I noticed every time I motored over one area on the St Croix River, there were small black "bumps" on my fish locater. When I used the camera in that area, I found those bumps to be clam shells. Here I've been boating over a very good walleye/sauger spot all of these years!
Use the ice fishing camera to your advantage this year. Find the fish locations now to increase the chances of your winter fishing success. Who knows what else you'll find in the depths of your favorite lake or river!
I have a couple slightly used anchors for sale! LOL!