Riege: Using a new tackle arsenalPublished 6:21pm Wednesday, November 13, 2013
By Bob & Ginny Riege
As the Psycho Shad fell through the water, my portable Vexilar flasher picked it up and tracked its descent on the screen. I stopped the spoon a foot off the bottom. After pausing for a moment, I lifted the rod tip one inch and let it drop.
After about five minutes of this type of action I was ready to move to a new location, when all of a sudden I noticed a wide flash at about 20 feet. I quickly released the spool and watched the Psycho Shad sink to about 18 feet. The perch immediately rose to the lure and I tightened the line and set the hook. A nice jumbo perch poked its head into the hole in the ice and I was off to a great day of ice fishing.
I quickly grabbed my other rod rigged with the Speed Spoon and threaded on waxies and sent it to the bottom within a second or two I had another perch right on the edge of the hole and I knew that these lures were going to work well.
Being a professional angler on the Clam Outdoors Team gave me the rare exception to field test and to use the new line of Clam Pro Tackle.
Lures for ice fishing are like the stars on a clear night, they seem to be infinite in numbers. Even in the summertime, my local bait shop devotes a whole wall to various sizes and colors of teardrops and ice flies. Most lures are designed to be fished with live bait. The lure attracts the fish while the bait satisfies the fish’s sense of taste. One only has to look at this combination to realize that a jig on the end of a pole needs to be moved around if it is going to act as the attractor.
Leading the arsenal of the new tackle line is the Drop Series of jigs. This line of jigs are made with tungsten instead of lead and with that you are going to have some remarkable results. The Drop Series jigs are denser than conventional lead jigs and have a faster drop rate. These jigs can get through that pesky slush and show up on your electronics faster, plus they will get you back down to the active fish quicker and easier than other jigs on the market. While using these jigs I can concentrate on a school of fishing and catch more from that specific school before it moves on.
The Drop Jig is probably my favorite one from this series. The round head design and the positioning of the hook allow me to present both artificial and live bait to the fish. There are many other jigs in this series of tungsten jigs. For example there is the Dingle Drop that has a swingin ball attached to the hook and draws inactive fish in for a closer look. The others in this line include the Ant Drop, Maggot drop and Duck Bill.
The Duck Bill has a prominent bill that protrudes so the bait actually glides forward and lurches, as it is being finessed jigged . If you speed up your cadence and this jig will dance to trigger a reactionary bite.
Plastic or artificial baits are well suited for these Drop Jigs, but the Maki plastics from Clam Outdoors are so life like. The tentacles undulate in the water even without moving your rod. The Jamei and Maki along with the Polli are my favorites. You won’t have to worry if your bait is alive if you decide to use Maki plastics.
With all of these offerings of jigs and plastics one quick and easy way to organize them is in an Ice Armor Jig Box. These boxes are small and compact. They have a plastic see through window and you can organize your jigs, rigs, plastics etc. according to size, color or specific species of fish. These boxes are not your typical tackle box, but instead they are small enough to fit in your pocket or jacket and easily accessible in the coldest of days on the ice.
One of my favorite aggressive fish tactics is to take a Clam Blade Spoon or the Blade Jig and work the rod tip so the lure has a very erratic action. Hop, skip, and bounce the lure. When an aggressive fish hits the bait you’ll feel it. If the fish are in a neutral mood they will often hit a bait so lightly that you don’t even feel it. Scale down your rod and line size to compensate for the light bite. I might also go to a reel that has four-pound test Vicious Ice Fishing line.
Rounding out the arsenal of the Clam Pro Tackle line is the line of BigTooth quick strike rigs. If you are looking for big pike, musky or large walleyes select Zero Rigs, BigTooth, or Baby BigTooth. Hang a sucker minnow or smelt under your favorite tip up sit back and when the flag pops you will be glad you have the BigTooth in your arsenal.
For more information on Clam Outdoors and its excellent products go to www.clamoutdoors.com. Hope to see you on the ice!