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Posted by Don on April 7, 2010 with No Comments

A Reminder on How to Catch Suspended Fish

 A friend of mine phoned to report on a recent ice fishing trip to Strawberry.  Upon hearing his report, I decided some reminders on how to target suspended fish might be in order.

 Brent Daybell, of West Jordan, Utah told me he knew the fish were suspended between 15 and 20 feet in 30-plus feet of water, so he tipped a small white jig with a meal worm and dropped it down the hole. “My bait didn’t even get half way to the bottom before a 19-inch cutthroat took the bait,” he explained.  “I thought, wow, this is going to be a great day.  But then, over the next four hours we only caught seven more fish between the eight of us – I was pretty disappointed.”

 Reports like this are common this time each year so allow me to suggest a solution that has worked for me and many of my ice-fishing mentors.  My friend got the first hit while his bait was falling, which tells me the fish wanted a moving or twitching bait, not one that was stationary.  I have found that when fishing for suspended fish, I’ve needed to shake the bait or lift and drop the rod every few seconds just to entice a strike.

 Fish suspend off the bottom when they’re feeding, or if a change in the weather makes them feel more comfortable closer to the surface.  Experiment with depth even to the point of keeping your bait less than five feet under the surface.  I’ve seen fish come from several yards under a bait to hit it right at my feet.  Don’t just assume that any fishing report (even mine) is entirely accurate.  Let the fish tell you where they are and what they want through the experimental process.

 Next, be wary of using another’s hole when fishing.  The fish could have grown accustomed to the baits coming through that hole.  Suspended fish move around more than bottom fish, so if you go thirty minutes without a strike, you should move and drill a new hole.  My friend and his group stayed on the same eight holes for the entire time.  Don’t do that if you’re not catching fish . . . please.

 Finally, I’m convinced that suspended fish are curious but cautious so it pays spray your offering with an attractant that masks your human scent.  My personal favorite is garlic, but any attractant (within reason) should work.  Armed with these tips, you should begin to catch fish even when they’re playing hard to get.

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Don Allphin 1167 North Geneva Road Provo, Utah  84601 801-358-5583 don@donallphin.com  I graduated from Brigham Young University in 1979 in Spanish, History and Latin American Studies.  My wife, Jeri and I then moved with our young family to Texas and I went into business, retu...

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