Tip-Up RiggingBy Larry Smith - December 1, 2002
Monofilaments are not well suited for this type of fishing. Spool up with a quality braided line or one of the special coated lines designed for tip-ups. A 30-40lb test line is adequate. These lines handle easier in cold weather and are less prone to tangle on the ice.
For Northern Pike use a "quick strike" style braided steel leader. Available in different lengths and hook styles, they allow instant hook-sets with less chance of deeply hooking and injuring fish that may be released.
Setting The Depth
Let the fish tell you where they want the bait. Walleyes can be fussy at times and want the bait just inches off the bottom. Experiment with different depths until you establish a pattern. Once a productive depth is found make sure to mark the depth so you can automatically return to that exact depth. Simply attach a tiny clip-on bobber to the line to mark the depth that's most productive.
No matter what species of fish you're after, you can be more successful by regularly checking your tip-ups. Check the bait, change depths and move your tip-ups around to find active fish. Make sure your tip-ups are readily accessible and not too far a distance away. Many times fish will strike and move off with the bait only to drop it a short distance later. By being closer to your set-ups, your hook-up percentage will improve.