Ice Team

2012-2013 Ice Annual

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Q&A // CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 CADENCE FROM THE MASTERS the water clarity is amazing, so you can see down a long way. This allowed me to learn from what I was doing — or should I say learn from what I was doing wrong. Trying this, and trying that — it eventually led to the right actions to get the fish to bite. We found that right rhythm, or should I say "swim." Another impor- tant thing to remember is to not stop what you were doing that got the fish to approach in the first place. Meaning, if you're working the jig a certain way and a fish shows up on your Vexilar and is about to commit, don't stop those movements. Too many times do I see anglers stop what they were doing once a fish shows up on their Vexilar. They hold the bait still and wait for the bite. I do just the opposite. I keep the bait moving and sometimes even begin to pull the bait away and play a game of cat-and-mouse. Drives the fish crazy and oftentimes seals the deal, even on negative fish. Genz: Without a doubt you need to keep that bait moving. This will also help avoid a spinning jig. If you keep it active then it stays straight. I also like to close my eyes once a fish shows up on my Vexilar and I rely only on my sense of feel. It's amazing how well you perform (in regards to jig movement) when you're not star- ing at the Vexilar knowing that a fish is sniffing your bait. This technique has helped me build confidence in knowing that a fish will still strike my bait even though I continue to keep it moving. You can turn sniff- ers into biters this way too. Quivers, shakes, pops… I try to incorporate several different movements until I find one that works, and then I try to duplicate those movements until I get the desired results. This is cadence fishing. Johnson: You mention that there are different types of movements. Is there an easy way to control jigging movements to ensure that you're not over-jigging and getting a negative reaction from the fish? Smith: I'm always moving. I can't sit still for the life of me. But I've found that adding a spring bobber to the tip of my rod has helped me soften my jigging motion. The spring bobber acts as a "cushion" and absorbs some of the action. If you're jigging too erratic, then the spring bobber tends to slow things down. It allows some room for error when jigging. Most anglers see them as strike indicators, but they are dually important as a critical part of your jigging system too. This is a great way to slow down your approach and achieve that "Okoboji swim" that I value so much. Genz: Another method would be to slide on a slip-bobber without a knot and then tie your jig onto the end of your line. Drop your jig down and let the slip-bobber rest on the water in a vertical position. As you jig, try to keep that slip-bobber from bouncing from side-to-side. Once you can master that then you've typically mastered how to slow down your jigging sequence. This is a great way to teach you how to "pound" the jig without it being too erratic. The slip-bobber has little purpose other than a training tool at this point. And of course, by paying close attention to your Vexilar flasher you can also determine how fish relate to cer- tain jig movements. If fish dart-off, then change up your approach. Your Vexilar won't lie. Smith: Most of us don't realize how spoiled we are. Modern ice 18 ICE TEAM.COM >> THE ICE ANNUAL fishing tools have allowed us to achieve the desired movements and results much faster than in the past. We have better rods, reels, line, jigs, the list goes on. We also have better resources at our fingertips and we better understand what needs to be done in order to catch fish. I'm a firm believer that most ice anglers know what they need to do, they just don't always practice what they read in a magazine or see on TV. The tools are there, you just need to be willing to experi- ment and try new things, along with building confidence in what you are doing. Genz: Expanding on modern gear and the tools we use, the action of the rod can make a big difference in jig movement too. A stiffer rod gives you more control and really allows you to slow things down. A flimsier rod doesn't give you as much control and you're more likely to make mistakes. Most pan- fish anglers think they have to be using an ultra-lite rod, but in fact, a light action, or even medium light action rod is a better choice when trying skills. You want complete control of your jig's movements. Your rod also needs to properly balance with your jig. If you're fishing a heavier jig but too light of a rod then you lose control. Same goes for a light jig and too heavy of a rod. You need to find that balance between rod choice and presentation, especially with the popularity of tungsten in recent years. Light action (and even medium light should be used with a lot of tung- sten jigs. Action and profile is the most important when looking at the right presentation, and you need the right tools to do it. action) rods to hone in your jigging

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