Spring bobber ice fishing

Man I hope we get an ice fishing season this year.  Last year I was only able to get on the ice only three times the whole winter.  Talk about a long three months....  This winter has been cold so far but the early snow has really hampered the ice making and now they are talking about a warm up... as my daughter says, SERIOUSLY?

Anyways, that is my rant for the day.  On to a better topic.  Spring bobber ice fishing.  One of the simplest methods of catching perch on the lake and my go to early or late ice season method.  For those of you that have not used a spring bobber ice fishing set-up before, you need to.  A spring bobber set-up is cheap and will catch fish.

One of my spring bobber rigs.

Spring bobber rigs can be found locally at most bait-shops or on-line.  I don't know the make of the ones I bought but I picked them up for a little over 10 dollars at one of the local bait-shops around Lake Saint Clair.

Spring bobber rigs come with the pole/built in base, the spring bobber, and a plastic circle reel wound with line.  I like to re-spool mine with four pound test or tie extra on because the line they use is a little heavy for perch in my opinion.

For those of you asking why I would use such a simple set-up when there are so many other new, improved fishing rods and reels out there, these rigs catch fish.  Don't get me wrong, I still use a nicer rod and reel when I am sight fishing for perch or fishing in deep water but for early or late season fishing shallow a spring bobber rig cannot be beat.

Why do they work so well?  Where I fish, the name of the game is sorting especially in the early or late season.  A typical early or late season outing sees me in 3-5 feet of water on a few inches of ice in a protected bay that has iced up earlier than the main lake or is holding ice.  The fish are schooled up like crazy but you may have to catch ten to get a keeper.

The water is not usually clear and the use of a shanty is a risky proposition so you cannot visually see what is under you to allow you to play keep away from the "dinks" waiting for a jumbo (See ice fishing Lake Saint Clair to see what that is all about) so you have to sort.

This is where the spring bobber rig comes in handy.  As many of you know, perch like to congregate around the bottom of the lake so that is where your lure should be.  A spring bobber rig will help you keep it there.  Once you find the bottom of the lake (using a depth finder preferably), turn the circle on the center of the plastic reel to lock down the reel.  This will make the line stay put when a fish bites it. 

After hooking a fish, do not reel in the line but simply pull the fish up out of the water.  Once you release or keep the fish, drop the lure back down and the bait will be in the exact same spot.  Keep doing this until the bite slows.  Once you get good, drill another hole and use a second rig.  Once you get the hang of it, it will look like you are playing music out there.

I have had days out on the lake where I had double after double utilizing the method.  Many of the doubles have been three inch perch but if you are going to sort to find fish you might as well sort through as many as you can right?  After a while, you will catch a few nice ones but when you are not you will be having fun looking like a music orchestrator pulling in "dinks" as we like to call them around Lake Saint Clair.

If we get ice this season, trying fishing with a simple spring bobber.  You will have fun and catch fish if you do.  Be safe out there!

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