What is the best tip up set up to use for ice fishing pike? (i.e line, hooks, bait, etc)
Pike Ice Fishing Tips
I totally agree with Reba’s Daddy when it comes to using hot dogs late season. The cheapest, oilyest, dogs that would kill ya if you ate em all the time, work best. I snip the ends off to release more scent. Great for big pike. The only reason I don’t use them more is that you will never get a bass or walleye on them.
Don’t throw out those dead large shiners in late winter. I rip open the belly, pull the guts out to hang and hook in the back so the shiner hangs naturally horizontal one foot off the bottom. Do just as good or better in February as I do with live shiners
I’ve never used anything but shiners. Most of the places I fish I’m targeting pike and bass (I fish with my boy so it’s a numbers game).
I use 30# flouro leaders with a single treble hook.
That said, I’m interested in trying dead bait. What exactly do you guys use and where so you get it?
I use dead bait on the bottom or quick strike rig for bigger baits. I normally out fish guys using live bait 3 to 1. The fresher/oily the better! I normally squish the bait a bit to get more scent in the water. Like others said about every 15 mins if I havent got bite I’ll jig the tip up a bit and normally you’ll get a bite shortly after that. Also use 40lb floro leader. If it’s really slow I chum the hole with tiny chunks of cute bait.
I have some smelt and hot dogs packed for tomorrow. I will be fishing a lake that has produced some really nice pike for me in the past but has been pretty dead the last couple of years. Not sure if the population is at the low end of a cycle or if they just didn't want what I was offering. No live minnow for me tomorrow. Hot dogs and dead bait! I'll post back if I have success.
If this works, it'll be great. I can get smelt cheap where I live and the $0.99 pack of hot dogs is a lot more reasonable than the $7 a dozen shiners I usually buy up north.
After talking to a guy who owns a bait shop a few years back i use hotdogs under my tip ups.Since then my success rate has increased dramaticly.I have been catching a lot more keepers.Late ice last year on Lake Emily i had 10 flags,landed 3 northerns the smallest at 31 inches,biggest was 38.In 3 trips to the ditches this year I out fished every one who was using live bait.I caught 5 northerns with 3 over 28 inches.I try to find hotdogs in the 4-5 inch range if i can,otherwise i get longer ones and break them in half and hook them on a red treble hook.Laugh if you like but hotdogs have out fished any live bait i have used.
re: jigging for pike
One thing you learn when muskie fishing is that even small pike will attack baits that are very large. When I jig for pike in the winter I’m using big stuff. Bondy baits, fuzzy duzzits, large rattle baits, large tubes, etc. With this stuff you won’t be using a medium rod...it’s gotta be a heavy rod with heavy line. 80lb power pro and 100# mono leaders. Basically a muskie set up on a jig pole.
On a handful of different lakes my approach is a complete 180 from the norm. Tipups are set out for panfish and I’m jigging for pike. If you’ve never targeted panfish exclusively with tipups you are missing out on a ton of fun....likewise, if you haven’t targeted pike with a jig pole you are missing out on a ton of fun.
I’ll drop a camera down and the way pike will swarm a rattle bait is a hoot. I’ll assess the size structure and stick with a rattle bait until I see bigger fish in the area. Then I’m switching over to a bondy or a fuzzy duzzit and my presentation is a but more subtle. With a rattle bait I’ll work it hard...with the others it’s a bit more finesse. One real neat aspect of this approach is that a rattle bait or something bigger will hold the attention of the pike and my panfish tipups set a decent distance away won’t be bothered and the smaller fish can focus on those without getting chased off.
When I do target pike with tipups I exclusively use dead bait and I’ll actively work those lines. It’s not a Ronco “set it and forget it” rotisserie. Every 10-15 minutes I’m lifting the dead bait up a few inches and setting it back down. Most will just leave it soak all day but pike will stare down food for an ungodly amount of time. By moving them you can often trigger a reaction that you wouldn’t have had if they’d just sit. So many strikes happen within a minute or two of that dead bait lift that it’s counterproductive not to do it. Plus, by keeping tabs on dead bait you can quickly tell if any pike are in the area. Panfish turn into gluttons on deadbait by eating the bellies out of them but they won’t do this if pike are anywhere in the vicinity. If you notice the guts chewed out of your deadbait you can forget about pike for the day and you might as well switch gears and target panfish.