Updated August, 2010
Odds & Ends
Note for 2012 Update. I now have made a number of ice fishing
audio Cds for those of us who don't like to read books to learn
from. Learn while driving to work or at home – wherever you
wish! These are NOT fancy, and are in the first person, like I as
your fishin' bud was sitting with you, looking you right in the
eye as I give you the information you need and want to enable you
to fish and excell at it. I'm adding to the title/subject list all
the time – so email me for a list of the topics available
and pricing – they are not yet listed on my website.
By John A. Vance,
Environmental Eng. Tech.,
( Author's note: I hope you learn a lot from this write up on how to fish these specific jigs - and others ( in most cases the principle's the same) - but if I've 'wet your whistle' for more information, or if you need further clarification, please consider purchasing the books I've written on the subject that is most closely related to your fish or needs. In most cases you'll find the info you need in my books. My writing style in the books closely resembles my writing style here. I invite purchasers of my books to contact me with any special needs they may have to clear up whatever area they don't seem to understand - will the author's of any of the other 'outdoor' books you have do the same? This is one of the reasons I am regarded as a 'working' outdoor writer - I'm of, and still belong to the 'grassroots' folk who purchase and support me - with humble appreciation - and with MY thanks - John A. Vance)
Like everyone else, I was ( and still
am, I suppose) looking for the 'perfect' ice fishing jig - have I
found it? - NOPE!!! for sure not! I don't think there is a
perfect fishing lure of any kind, for that matter.
Usually, the actual cost of the ice jigs you'll use for ice fishing, in the VAST MAJORITY OF CASES, will be the LEAST EXPENSIVE item, relative to the OVERALL of the gear you use - and have - for ice fishing. Even the gas you use to get to your ice fishing 'hot spot' will likely cost you more than a package of these decent high quality ice jigs! So, if you can afford it, spend a few more pennies on 'em and go with the best. You'll catch more fish overall and not have the grief of being driven nuts trying to figure out 'which lure/jig' you should use - end the second guessing of yourselves, fella's! And let me also tell you right up front - I'm here for you if you need further dialogue/discussion about anything you read here - or my product line. It's what I do, now I'm semi retired - and I enjoy every second of 'chatting' with you guys. Just know I'm here for you throughout this whole process.
If you're an ardent ice fisher over the age of eighteen (18) and can't afford to purchase my ice jigs - write me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org and perhaps I can help! I want all fellow ardent ice fishers to be able to use my jigs, and I enjoy young folk - the life-blood of ice fishers everywhere!
( If/when writing for more info, etc., please use a specific related title in the 'subject' area of the e-mail - this will help me quickly determine that your message is not spam - which I get hundreds of daily - this will make sure I don't delete your message without opening it! - John A. Vance)
With the three models here, THE TICK JIG; THE TEETER TOTTER JIG and THE SUNFISH JIG -AND IN THE simple but very effective 'GLOW on BLACK COLORS - which admittedly don't look like much - ARE THE BEST ICE FISHING LURES I'VE USED DURING MY 40 + YEAR ICE FISHING and FISHING CAREER - BAR NONE! The 'glow on black' which I've personally developed is more of a concept than an actual color combination. As well, it's not just simply 'glow on black', but the proper combination of, and sizing properties of each of the individual three components/concepts used - which I alone came up with using my lifetime's savvy, education - and thousands of trips fishing and thousands upon thousands of R&D hours and DOLLARS! And not one cent came directly or even indirectly from the government or any big business!
As I write this during the process of updating my
web site, I need to tell you that I have further developed a
number of specialty products such as the 'Feeding Minnow Flash'
concept for ice fishing - which is better than chum. This
product is also at my product page. I have also written a book on
this and the actual 'flash attractors' for those who wish to dare
go to a place far beyond where most ice fishers ever will - these
are for the truly ardent folk that wish to simply 'rule' out on
the ice - and of course, for 'pro' ice fishers who have to produce
fish consistently for their clientele. They are not particularly
expensive, but you need to learn the nuts/bolts of the whole
process - and devote some time to learning and understanding - at
a very in-depth level. I urge you to, if you are so inclined, to
come here to my area during your summer holidays to learn these
techniques - you'll be glad you did. I can arrange for cost
sharing - so you can achieve a higher level of excellence being
able to 'one-on-one' with me due to less people. You'll
learn whilst on holidays - and have some fun - and be able to
ready yourself for the winter!
TICK JIGS - This was the first jig that I worked on and developed - or more correctly - the actual colors and 'methodology' mentioned here - and now what I now call 'Glow on Black' in both of my "Ice Fishing Basics" and 'Just Crappie' books ( and in several of my other books and numerous 'outdoors' columns and audio Cds as well). Indeed, OVER TEN YEARS( now over twenty two years of R&R as I update this page in 2012!) OF RESEARCH went into this excellent color combination and concept - which uses both science and proven field experience in the development - AND IS WHY THEY WORK SO WELL! I used all of my savvy as a 'pro' fisher, and my education as an Environmental Engineering Technician to come up with this fish-deadly combo - I didn't just try colors until I hit a productive array - as many tackle manufacturers do - and which are often primarily aimed at 'sale-ability' rather than time tested 'fish catch ability'. No doubt you've seen tackle shop walls with such a fantastic ( and costly) assortment of 'nice looking' ice fishing jigs - designed and painted up and 'look good' - and sell - to you as the fisherman! The ticks, teeter totters and sunfish jigs found here on my ( and ONLY ON MY PAGE) may not look like much to us fisher folk - but the bottom line is - THEY CATCH FISH - BIG TIME - CONSISTENTLY!
I'll detail each of these jigs now, and give you the basic fishing information for each that you need to catch a variety of fish. Yes - the 'in a nutshell' directions are on the package of each of these jigs - but if you are ardent, you'll be wanting more information on using them - here it is ... and oh yes - EVEN MORE fishing detail can be had in my Ice Fishing Basic and Just Crappie books as well - which gives you all of the 'BIG PICTURE' needed for consistency at catching fish in almost any North American fresh water you will be fishing!
Now in 2012 I've added a number of audio Cds for both open water and ice fishing. These are great for the guys who don't like reading books, and are a superb way to make yourself more efficient, especially you fishers who commute to work and can listen to them during your drive! These too are unique, not fancy – just pure knowledge and inexpensive...contact me for more details.
As well, I will put on
specail workshops for you if you wish to come to my area for your
summer holidays. Get together with some like-minded people such as
either your family of fishin' buds and come up for a custom
workshop on the topic and duration of YOUR choice – when
convenient for you! We have a squaky-clean campground three
minutes from where I live, and a mom/pop motel for those who don't
like camping. The campground has excellent shower facilities and
can accomodate Rvs, tenting and have small cabins available (
formerly a KOA) . This camoground is situated on the Serpent River
and access onto the North Channel of Georgian Bay! We have
numerous ATV trails, too, as well as hundreds of fishable inland
lakes with many fish species available. Give me a call for pricing
and details – it's a great way to learn, have a 'northern
experience' on your holidays and do some learning on a one-on-one
My fishin' buds that really pound
on the perch FAVOR the LARGER tick jig, and
in deep water use as little extra weight as possible so as not to
destroy the tick jig's sensitive but wild darting action, nor the
delicate bites when perch are neutral or negative. The large tick
jig weighs the same as the previous medium size tick, but the
large tick comes on a gold size 6 hook which allows for bending
down of the barb easily. The larger hook also accommodates a
larger piece of live bait or small tube jig for those that
need it. If bending down the barb be
sure to keep constant 'up' pressure/movement on perch when
bringin' them in so they
don't 'flip off' PREMATURELY in the water. This
'easy' flip-off is desired once out on the ice though, allowing
anglers to get their rig back into the water and down into 'the
kill zone' more quickly - offering more fish per trip - and other
'reasons' that only the most productive anglers seem to know and
With all of the jigs found here - you can catch 'major fish' relatively inexpensively - when compared to the costly 'other' lures these simple ice jigs can replace. In fact, with an assortment of the jigs found here you can easily catch as many, and often MANY MORE crappie, perch, 'gills, smallmouth bass, walleye and trout than on your whole expensive tackle box full of tackle that you likely have now - and they'll all fit easily ( even with a few extra weights or slip sinkers) in a small pill bottle! Don't get me wrong here - I'm not suggesting that you get rid of, nor that you don't use the tackle you already have - just that you can have excellent fishing results using these small jigs - rather than spend big bucks filling your tackle box with other much more costly lures! Lets face it though, for open water these jigs just wouldn't be a good alternative for trolling or for much drift fishing - albeit they do work well for slow drift fishing.
Not only that - these "Glow on Black" TICK, TEETER TOTTER and SUNFISH jigs ( 'Glow on Black) ARE NOT sold by ANY of the big chain stores!
GENERAL FISHING TECHNIQUES
for all of these jigs is much the same for any given
fish species - but be sure to pay
attention to the HORIZONTAL PRESENTATION that
the teeter totter and sunfish jigs use - and
why - it'll give you more
consistency and put way more fish in the box for ya! ( again - if
you are an ardent fisher - you'd be wise to get my books on the
fish you're after). In all cases your
fishing success and time to hunt-out fish will be dramatically
improved with an ice fishing fish finder such as a Vexilar!
Usually, with each order of ice jigs, I also send along a free
sample of Line/Depth markers - and directions - and these can be
put to excellent use by those without a fish-finder, especially -
and all the better if you do!
If using a bobber, for a bit of
action, if you can't as easily thrum or
shimmer your jig( say a second line), instead, simply and very
subtly, tap the top of the bobber - but don't over-do! This will
put a small amount of action in the jig below - and remember
- what looks like a little to you
where you are - will be a LOT on the actual jig - so again - don't
over-do the tapping, shimmering or thrumming actions for crappie!
Too, after thrumming, shimmering or tapping, I'll often let the
rig sit motionless for a minute or so, then slowly raise it up a
foot or so, then slowly drop back down - this seems to entice
neutral or negative fish. Most often,
if the fish aren't neutral or negative and the bite is hot - you
won't need to go to these extremes - only when the going is tough
pumpkinseed fishing techniques using tick, teeter totter and
sunfish jigs. While generally,
fishing techniques are similar
as for crappie - most
assuredly they are not at all the same.
Pike and Trout fishing using ticks, teeter totters and sunfish
jigs. for the most part these
jigs are a bit small for consistent fishing of most of these
larger fish, but you will catch them on 'em, and they work well,
and there will be times when you get into these fish unexpectedly
- and well - you might as well make
the most of it! Now, as I update this page
August, 2010, I'm glad to be able to tell you that larger sizes of
most of these jigs are available for these larger fish. I also
have special coloring for them for these fish - when taken in
shallow water. For any under ice fishing in water that's deeper
than say, eight feet, best use my 'Glow On Black' colors - they
If your minnows are lively you should
see your line being moved around the hole as the minnow is
swimming around with it easily, especially in the case of the
larger three to four inch minnows you should be using for pike and
walleye. Too, to add extra color and flutter to your offering,
especially for all of these larger fish, tag on the thin tail
piece of a twister tail or tube tail - just half inch to an inch
piece only - not too much, and just the thin wiggly part!
I have also developed some mighty amazing dropper spoons and
action oriented spoons which are extremely light - so as NOT to
give appreciable extra weight to the presentation. They WILL ADD
fish to your catch'
If have trouble with these jigs ripping out of the fish's mouth, try tying on a second stinger hook, and leave it baitless. Too, be sure to set the drag on your reel a bit lighter.
WHEN ICE FISHING: IF GOING IS TOUGH - FOR ANY FISH SPECIES - BE SURE TO VARY YOUR PRESENTATION AT EACH LOCATION/HOLE - and be sure to try various depths also - then - move on if no fish are hitting or trying but missing your offering!
- one of the mildest
flavored - and sought after fish by ice anglers! Perch are indeed
a schooling fish, and once the school is in your vicinity - the
bite is on! Long time perch fishers know that you
must get that bait back into the water as quickly as possible when
the perch are hitting, and the larger
size six ( and now a size 4 is available) tick jig allows you to
do this by slightly pinching the barb. Once pinched, when the
flopping fish is up and out of your hole, you
simply move it away from the hole so it can't flop back into the
water and be gone, then you let the line go slack and the perch'll
flip and most of the time dislodge the hook itself!
If this doesn't happen then you simply and quickly
unhook the fish - no messing or fiddling or twisting around with
the hook. BUT THERE
IS A MAJOR TRADE-OFF! Because
the barb is pinched down you'll lose more fish during the fight -
most fishers that use this method of fishing horse the fish up and
out of the hole as quickly as possible so that the line won't go
slack - if the line goes slack during the plating of the fish -
it'll flip off - and be gone! It
takes a while to master this technique.
FISH - ON!! -
John A. Vance, Environmental Eng. Tech., & Outdoor Writer
(member Outdoor Writers of Canada) and 'Pro' guide emeritus!
HERE TO PURCHASE MY BOOKS, TICKS, TEETER TOTTERS AND SUNFISH JIGS!
my thanks for putting bread on my table. AMEN.