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Eight Tips To Catching Trophy Size Fish Consistently

  WARNING, catching trophy sized fish can be addictive. Nothing beats the rush of landing a monstrous fish. The satisfaction of realizing all your hard work has paid off, is very rewarding. Listed in this article are  the best ways to land that fish of a lifetime.
To start with, GET OFF THE BEATEN PATH. Unfortunately this usually means driving a few hours north,but there are a few gems closer to civilization. Usually, the more effort required to get there the better. Lakes with no road access can be killer, but not always. Some suffer from frequent summer and/or winter kills,others just don't produce trophies for reasons unknown. Trial and error is just part of the game, but research goes a long way.

 Next, do your homework. Finding B-I-G fish involves more planning at home, than it does on the lake. Shear luck should not be your ace in the hole. A plan of attack is key. Start by doing some research on the particular species you are targeting. By this I mean scanning through good reference books such as the Alberta Fishing Guide. They sell them at many retail and service stations all over the province. This publication has a listing of over 1400 lakes and rivers in Alberta. For each lake it tells you what kinds of fish,how big they get,and directions to these lakes. Start with highlighting these big fish waters.
  The next step involves getting some hydro graphic maps of the targeted lake. These can be bought at any Alberta Registry Office. Another good resource is the Lakes Of Alberta Directory, it lists over 200 lakes in this volume. Study these maps before you head out so that you have a game plan ahead of time. But don't forget to take them with you for reference when you're punching holes in the ice. Look for obvious changes in structure. Points adjacent to deeper water,   Underwater humps, rock outcroppings,drastic changes in depth, and inlet creek mouths ( especially at last ice in the spring) are all good places to start.
   Now find some good aerial maps on the web if you are heading to a lake with no road access. These are usually free for the taking. You can find oil roads, cut lines, creek and river crossing, everything you need to get you there safely. Another good source of route planning can be found in the Back roads Map book series. Also widely available. These  resources are priceless. An ATV or snowmobile is pretty much a must have. As is a wall tent and stove for over night trips.

 I find that these first few steps are by far the most important, of lesser importance is your preference of fishing  methods. But you can't beat the good old bait and jig head method. Some days when the fish are more aggressive, spoons such  as Williams,and Len Thompson, jigging Rapalas and the like, will induce some powerful strikes as well. Tip ups with large  bait(I'm talking 8-10") can be lethal when the fishing is a little slower. Don't get caught in the sit and wait for the fish  to come to you syndrome. If they are not taking what your offering, MOVE. Drill lots of holes at different areas that you have  targeted on your maps. Once you find the big ones then you can refine your presentation. Sometimes they'll hit with reckless  ferocity, other times just a change in color, size, or a less aggressive jigging style will coax the finicky bites. One other point I'd like to touch on is landing a trophy sized fish. The biggest mistake I see is trying to land a big fish when it's still green. The excitement of having a huge fish on the line causes panic. TAKE YOUR TIME. Wait until the fish has exhausted it's self.A large number of trophies are lost right at the hole. When she's played out the body will be in a more vertical position, therefore the head will start up the hole much easier,and the fish won't thrash wildly when you try to lift it out of the hole. BE PATIENT and it will come to you. Sadly,losing a few trophies is the best way to learn this. Just like anything else in life, our mistakes are a powerful learning tool.

 Some other items that will make you more successful are; a power auger at least an 8",underwater camera system to see if  fish are present if they're not on the bite,a portable sonar if your fishing in deeper water,a portable shelter for those cold winds that come out of nowhere,a GPS for marking those secret spots for next time, of course a cell phone,a variety of tip ups,2 or three rod & reel combos (light,medium,heavy action),the warmest clothing you can afford, sunglasses,camera,a head lamp for those night biters, and loads of patience.
 One other issue i find very important (especially Walleye) is time of day. Some lakes the big fish ONLY bite during the  morning and evening twilight periods exclusively,for maybe a half hour. At one of my favorite Walleye lakes,i don't even try for them midday. I fish for pike while the sun is up. But it's a whole new world when you can hardly see in front of you. Time of year can also be very important. The single best time, by far, is last ice. Huge numbers of big spawners congregate in the shallows at inlet creek mouths waiting for the ice to melt, to begin spawning. Pardon the cliche,but it's like shooting fish in a barrel.

 To sum it up I will list these points in order of importance; 

   1) Get off the beaten path               
   2) Do some research with good reference books.
   3) Get hydrograghic maps, and study them.     
   4) Find some good aerial photos to plan your route 
   5) Drill lots of holes, move around.     
   6) Focus on first and last light.   
   7) Vary your presentation,size and color

Introducing the Evolution in Ice Fishing Cameras!
The Micro View Ice Fishing Underwater Camera System

  • 3.5” LCD Screen
  • Colour Camera
  • IR lights – auto light sensing
  • 20 meter Cable
  • Integrated Cable Management
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Fits Easily in Pocket

                                                           Any questions or comments, or to inquire about a guided ice fishing trip please contact Lawny at

 Lawny Felske has been an avid Canadian angler for over 20 years. Lawny states I've always been very passionate about the outdoors.  Didn't get involved with ice fishing until I was probably 20, but I was instantly hooked. Learned alot over the years by trial & error. But that just makes success all the more sweet. Really enjoy sharing my experiences with people who are as enthusiastic about fishing, as I am.

Article Source :Lawny Felske

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