Tips for sight fishing on the ice

Sight fishing is when an angler can look into the water and see the action taking place.  This allows the fisherman the advantage of seeing how the fish are reacting to his/her bait.  Sight fishing also allows an angler to look down in the water to see if there are fish in the area.  This is a huge advantage for an angler.  If the fisherman is not seeing fish, he/she can move on to a better area.

Sight fishing on Fletchers Pond
Sight fishing is an awesome experience but can be made better by following a few simple tips

When setting up for sight fishing, the hole is the first thing an angler needs to think about.  If the hole is too small, the angler will have to lean over to see the fish.  This is a real pain in the back and can either shorten the trip or ruin the next day.  When I first started sight fishing, I used a five inch hole.  As the fish started coming in, I would have to rotate all over to see the action.  I now spud out a big hole and sit back and watch the action come to me.

A big hole allows an angler to see the fish sooner.  This allows the fisherman to react faster and lure the fish into biting.  A lot of times, the hole will be filled with small perch staring at the offering.  The bigger ones will be hanging further out, watching what the small ones do.  If the hole was small, an angler might not know the jumbos where in the area and move or get sloppy with the bait.

Picking the right equipment is important when it comes to sight fishing.  Shorter rods are better when sight fishing than long ones.  The long rods will force the fisherman to sit further away from the hole or angle the rod down towards the hole to keep the line vertical.  Both of these tactics will make the angler bend at the back, making the fishing uncomfortable.
Although sight fishing allows an angler to look into the water and see the fish.  The fisherman needs to be able to figure out what he/she is seeing.  I am not a big believer in constantly switching colors or baits.  However, if the fish tell me to, I will be the first one to tie on something new.  If I am seeing big fish that aren't biting, I will try a different color or bait.  Sometimes, this little tweak will trigger the bite.

When sight fishing, the most important tip is to not set the hook too early.  However, this is easier said than done.  When I first started sight fishing, I used to always have this happen to me .  I would get excited when I saw a big fish bite.  Instead of letting the fish engulf the bait, I would set the hook before it was time, and actually pull the lure away from the fish.  I now wait until the fish flares its gills.  Most fish do this right before engulfing the bait.  When I see the fish do this, I will get ready to set the lure.

Sight fishing can be a great way for a beginner to learn the sport of fishing.  If you get the chance to experience sight fishing, make sure to pay attention to how your bait works and how fish react to it.  It will make you a better fisherman.  Sometimes, that is the difference between a empty bucket and a limit of fish. 

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Emily Lopez said...

Great tips. You nailed it.

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SimonaGabriele said...

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