For many, finding fish through a sheet of ice is the same as dropping anchor and committing to the location of a set line. If the fish aren’t there, you’re not going to catch them. So how do you find fish?
Professional angler and renowned Mille Lacs Lake guide Tony Roach is a huge proponent of ice trolling, aka actively moving and drilling holes until he connects with the fish. Like open water fishing, efficient searching begins with an inspection of lake contours. For Roach, his ATV becomes the boat and he begins by driving contours using GPS mapping, then drilling them out. Adjust shallower or deeper until you contact fish. He also stresses the importance of transferring open water waypoints and icons to your ice GPS – critical bottom information like transition zones and rock piles aren’t visible through mapping alone and are often key fish holding spots.
Fishing gear used:
- Lowrance HDS-7 Fishfinder
- Polaris Sportsman 570
- Roach’s Guide Service
- StrikeMaster Lithium 40v Electric Auger
- Striker Ice Predator Bib
- Striker Ice Predator Jacket
Don’t forget to check our article on other ice fishing essentials.