Best Baits for Bream and Sunfish
Best Baits for Bream and Sunfish

Ice Fishing Sunfish

Ice Fishing Sunfish – They is great fun to catch, no matter your age. Sunfish are usually easier to catch and find than other types of fish. Sunfish are a delicious meal.

The two most important keys to catching more Sunfish are Location And Presentation. It doesn’t matter how appealing your bait is. If there aren’t fish around, it will be a difficult day. It can be frustrating to not catch fish while everyone around you is doing it. It is equally important to present the fish with the right information as it is to catch them.

This information should be used in conjunction with your own research. Talking to local anglers at the bait shop and finding out what the Department of Natural Resources has to say about a lake can help you save a lot of time and effort in finding the fish and understanding what they are eating.

You can ice fish sunfish at any hour of the day, but it is best to change the light conditions between morning and night to increase activity and feed the fish.

Sunfish Ice Fishing Area

Sunfish are still found in the same areas as they were before the ice up. They are often found in shallow weeds, and near the weed line. Particularly when weeds are mixed with shoreline breaks or points.

Mid-winter will see the Sunfish move off the structure, most often to the closest deep basin. Look for them in the same basin as the structure, and at the same depth. Sunfish are food-seeking fish. Just as minnows and zooplankton move, so do Sunfish.

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They will begin to move closer to the bays, weed lines, and in late winter. After the ice melts, sunfish spawn in dark-bottomed shallow bays. As spring approaches, you’ll see them getting closer to these spawning locations.

Let’s talk about the presentation before we move on to locating Sunfish. Do not drill just one hole. Instead, drill multiple holes to find the fish.

Modern electronics can help you locate fish quicker. Flashers (Vexilar and Marcum) can be used to see depth, fish, and structure.

SunfishIce fishing presentation

Okay, so you have found the Sunfish. Now let’s see some ways to get them onto the ice.

Jigging is the best way to ice fish. Jigging involves raising the rod tip about one foot and then dropping it back to its original position.

It is a very efficient way to increase and then drop the tip. Wait 5-10 seconds, and then repeat the raise/drop.

Dave Genz, a pro ice fisherman, has made pounding a jig a popular jigging technique. Simply put, pounding a Jig means moving your rod tip just a few inches at a time.

If you don’t have a flasher or don’t know the depth of the fish, jig near the bottom. If you can’t find fish, move up a few feet. Keep going until you find fish or reach ice with your lure.

Let’s take a look at the lure or bait you are using now that you know how to jig. Many jigs have proven effective over the years. You are welcome to try any of the jigs shown below.

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Vertical Sunfish Jigs

Flirty GirtyNorthland Tackle Doodle Bug

Horizontal Sunfish Jigs

HT Enterprises MarmooskaRat Finke Custom Jigs and Spins
System Tackle Genz WormFat Boy: System Tackle

To get a bite, it is important to use live bait. You can use either a Eurolarvae or a vibrant Waxworm to entice a bite.

You can use more than one rod when ice fishing in most areas. While ice fishing for Sunfish, I set up a second rod. This is usually done with a bobber and a lively Grubb on a small hook.

These tips for Sunfish will hopefully help you ice more fish.

Most people think luck is a combination of practice and preparation. Get out there and have fun with the practice!

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Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.