every predatory game
fish uses a
method of foraging scientists have named "search imaging". This method
of seeking prey enables the predator to hunt throughout the lake in
search of prey. More often than naught a bait fish will stir up the
bottom as it flees a large predatory game fish such as northern pike or
walleye. The most successful predatory fish will use this method of
"search imaging" to associate the stirred up bottom with bait fish
activity and in turn will enable them to be successful in filling their
The method of banging the bottom in ice fishing is invaluable to the
ice angler. Because of the narrow area you have to work with, straight
down the hole you just drilled, it rarely happens that you lower your
lure directly into a school of feeding fish. More often you need to
attract a fish from a distance. By using this method of stirring up the
bottom sediment you should be able to attract more fish to your
presentation. This method works best over an area of soft bottom. It
can work on hard surfaces such as rocks or hard bottom. Predatory fish
will also investigate the noise created by the lure clicking and
clacking over the hard rocky area.
Once the predatory fish has zoned in on the sediment you have stirred
up, they are in the vicinity of your bait. Use this opportunity to
trigger a strike on your lure.
Do not overdue this method of attracting fish to your area. Many times
an angler will get overexcited using this method and will stir up too
much sediment. When this occurs visibility may be reduced to the point
where you as well as the fish you are trying to attract will not be
able to see the bait or lure.
If you are able to master the method of banging the bottom, you will go
a long way to increasing your chances of catching more fish throughout
the ice fishing season.
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