Nothing is more infuriating than sitting over an ice hole outside, freezing your butt off, and not catching anything. This feat can be especially common when chasing basin-roaming crappies early in the ice season. Wired2fish staffers Kobie Koenig and Nick Dumke show how to avoid this bore by staying on fish at all times with Humminbird MEGA 360.
TACKLE USED (retail links)
- ELECTRONICS – Humminbird ICE HELIX 9 MSI+ GPS G4N MEGA 360 Bundle
- ELECTRONICS – Humminbird ICE HELIX 7 CHIRP G4
- JIG – VMC VMC Tungsten Wax Tail Jig, 1/16-ounce, Glow
- SPOON – VMC Flash Champ Spoon, 1/16-ounce, Glow Pink Fire UV
- ROD – 13 Fishing Tickle Stick, 27″ Ultra-Light
- REEL – 13 Fishing Black Betty 6061 Inline Reel
- LINE – Sufix Ice Fluorocarbon, 4-pound
- AUGER – StrikeMaster Lithium 24v LITE, 8-inch
- BIBS – StrikeMaster Surface Bibs
Efficiency is definitely the name of the game when ice fishing crappies. Hunting down schools of panfish across a vast basin can take a great deal of energy. Koenig and Dumke minimize time and effort by using Humminbird MEGA 360. Instead of drilling dozens of holes, the guys drill one hole, get a full picture of what’s around them, and then go from there. With one guy carrying an auger, ice unit, and rod in hand, and the other with the MEGA 360 unit, it becomes a two-man spot and stalk mission.
Once a school is located, both Koenig and Dumke get to catching. When catching begins to slow, a quick scan around with the MEGA 360 tells you which direction the school moved to, and the process is repeated.
Although electronics help find the fish, ice fishing gear can be equally as important. Both Koenig and Dumke keep their setups fairly simple when ice fishing crappies. Between a tungsten jig and plastic and a small spoon and wax worm, your bases are pretty much covered. Mid-length 27” ultra-light rods provide maximum sensitivity when fishing in 25+ feet of water, like on this particular day. Koenig harps on the benefits of using an inline reel to reduce line coiling and allow the bait to get to depth faster.