THAT BLEW! Did you feel the shift yesterday as those nice southerly winds turned to harsh northwest gales? There were decorative Christmas deer from Bismarck that ended up in Lincoln, we’re pretty sure. Warm temps and windy days aren’t good for making ice (or for the current ice we have) so play it cool and wait for next weekend’s forecasted fall into the single digits before heading back out on the hardwater. In the meantime, we get you keyed in on ways to detect the sometimes subtle bites of winter in today’s Three Things.
(Featured Photo: Spring & Sonar. Employing a spring bobber will help detect bites when a fish moves up the flasher screen. Simonson Photo)
WEATHER (Bismarck Forecast):
Today: Thu 11/30 – Out like a lamb. Hi 47, Lo 29, Winds W@10.
Tomorrow: Fri 12/1 – Continued warmth. Hi 48, Lo 26, Winds W@14, G20
SOLUNAR (Bismarck Times):
Sunrise: 8:07AM Sunset: 4:56PM
Moonrise: 3:34PM Moonset 4:00AM
Overhead: 10:18PM Underfoot: 9:52AM
Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous (88% Full)
EDGE HOUR: 3:00 – 4:00PM. With the growing power of a nearly full moon rising, light winds and warm temps, today’s Edge Hour is the best time to be outdoors. You have our permission to bail out of work early!
SPRING FEVER. Nothing detects a bite better than a spring bobber. While it’s particularly employed for light-biting panfish like bluegills and crappies, a spring bobber can pick up the takes from perch and walleyes as well. Using a rod that comes with one or adding one to your favorite combo will help you detect the subtle inhales that even aggressive panfish exhibit under the ice. Watch them move up your sonar screen, then watch the spring for the slightest bounce and set the hook!
LEAST RESISTANCE. Having a properly weighted slip-float rig is key in giving finicky fish under ice a realistic presentation with limited resistance on the take. If a float is too buoyant in comparison to the offering below, it can cause fish to let go of the bait. Use an extra split shot to weight the slip-float down, or if using a trimmable foam bobber, like the Ice Buster, cut it down to about a quarter-inch above the water’s surface to make running off with your minnow all the easier for the fish below.
DEAD MEAT. An ice rod with a soft tip and plenty of flex makes a great deadstick rod. Options abound for the popular ice angling technique which uses a rod with a lighter, super-flexible top third that telegraphs the movement of a struggling minnow and bends easily to the bite of a fish below. Typically painted in a chartreuse or orange up top for ease of visibility, the rod should have enough backbone below the flexible portion to power both pike and walleyes up the hole, however.