For jigging, an ideal setup would be a small stout rod 24″ to 36″ in length, a reel with a good drag (could be level line reel or an open-faced spinning reel) with at least 12 pound test, and a Swedish Pimple or Lead Fish lure, sized anywhere from a third once at 2″ up to a one and five eighths ounce at 4″. This equipment is good for Pike, Lake Trout (Togue), and big fish in general. Adding a steel leader for Pike fishing is essential. There are many lighter jigging setups for Brook Trout, Panfish, Crappie, and Yellow Perch. These smaller fish require small jigs and smaller, more sensitive rods, such as a teardrop, spindrop, hot heads, or eye drops. Also use a lighter test line for smaller fish (four to eight lb.). Hundreds of small jigging lures are available. Tip those lures with a small tail of a bait, a maggot, grub, or worm. For the larger Leadfish or Swedish Pimple, tip the lure with half of a minnow, preferably the tail end. When you get out on the ice and the limit is five lines (as it is in Maine), set four traps, and right around where you camped out, cut a hole and start jigging. You’d be surprised when you can catch with a little patience.
Monday, December 19, 2011