Tricked-Out Ice Fishing Lures


Okay, living in Southern California, I’ll be the first to admit I know absolutely nothing about ice fishing. Even growing up in Western Washington, winters were relatively mild, so no frozen lakes. However, just like the angler in the article, I’m a lure tweaker. How can you possibly use a lure as-is, straight out of the package? For the lures we use here in Southern California, bending them, changing out the hooks, gouging out the holes more … it’s all part of the program.

In this article, Outdoor Canada fishing editor Gord Pyzer describes some of his favorite lure tweaks to up his catch count ice fishing.

gord_icefishingLike most anglers, I am a tinkerer at heart, rarely fishing with a new lure straight out of the package. To me, it seems like there is always something I have to modify, especially when I am fishing in the winter. I alter, tweak, and generally mess around with my lures more when I standing on hard water and fishing through a hole in the ice than any time in open water season.

Sometimes the changes involve major surgery, but more often than not they’re cosmetic operations. This includes tasks such as replacing the bronze and nickel hooks that come on most lures with premium, sharp, red Gamakatsu ones. It is a trick that has stayed with me for years, ever since the first time I fished with Kevin Van Dam on TableRockLake while I was working on a magazine assignment.  KVD opened up his tackle box and imagine my surprise when I saw that every one of his lures sported a red hook. Even his tube jigs were custom-poured around blood-red crimson hooks.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Photos: Outdoor Canada

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Joe Sarmiento
Joe is an avid saltwater angler. He grew up in Washington State on the south end of Puget Sound where he first started fishing as a boy catching perch, flounder, rockfish, and occasionally salmon. Today, Joe lives in Southern California where he fishes off beaches and jetties, kayaks, and sportfishing boats. Joe writes about his saltwater adventures in the SoCal Salty blog, and for Western Outdoor News.