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Tag Archive | "Chip Lear"

Ice Fishing with Chip Lear 


Dave Slager, pro staff member of Stopper Lures.

by Jack Payne

Chip Lear, of Leech Lake in Minnesota, spends considerable time on the ice. Often Chip will be on the ice in November and continue thru March. In addition, he has his own web site newsletter (Fishing the wild side.net).

“Each lake is different and unique from another lake, thus one must adapt to the changes and that is what makes fishing fun,” said Lear. Chip further stated that when panfish are the target he looks for vegetation. 

Vegetation must be alive and healthy. Dead vegetation has limited drawing power. “Electronics are a must and I really don’t care what type of unit you have, just be able to read weeds, sand and fish,” said Lear.

Walleye and pike anglers should look for the edges of good vegetation, humps, islands, points and turns. Panfish anglers will need to search out deep water haunts once the vegetation dies or when the pressure pushes the fish outward. Keep in mind that the fish have a tendency to move to the good flats at low light conditions and drift out over open water that is adjacent to the food shelf during the midday hours.

 “I firmly believe in being mobile, fish fast, and fish hard and that the angler who cuts the most holes will often land the most fish”, said Lear. His daily game plan is hitting the ice and cutting a series of holes across a good looking weed flat all the way out, perhaps 30 feet from the deep edge of the weeds.

In addition, Lear loves to fish with a few friends. One group starts shallower than the other, a few anglers can scope out the deep points, humps, mud flats and such, while the other anglers work a good looking weed flat. With 2 to 4 anglers working as a team, locating the fish is much easier.

Another major part of his fishing is carrying at least two rods, three is better. He wants a rod rigged with a fast falling drop decent such as a Tungsten Skandia Pelkie, Tapiola or the Moon series teardrops. Another rod rigged with a lead teardrop such as a Moon Shad, Moon Glow, Slim Glitter and such.

Also, carry a few body styles in horizontal or vertical or round shapes. Different figurations and shapes will change the fall rate and the motion of your bait. Chip is on the plastic scented bandwagon. Any scented plastic bait that is super thin and vibrates in the water is his first choice. His reason is that he can control the action of the lure much easier this way than when using just livebait. Stopper Lures has the Whip R Snap and the Whip R Knocker plastics that I enjoyed good success with. I add some Pro Cure Ice scent to the plastics. Now, this does not mean that you can’t add a spike or a wax worm. Tough conditions always pulls me towards the real deal, most likely a confidence and past experience thing.

Some days the lead teardrops tipped with a spike will seal the deal. Imagine a piece of cake stuffed in front of your nose and you tell the hostess that you are full. If they leave it within an eye smell distance you most likely will snatch a sample. This is what you are trying to do on inactive fish with lead.

One other bait that should be a must carry is some type of neutral or near neutral lure. A lure that you can dangle and dance ever so slowly will trigger the most stubbornness of fish. Try a Hackle Jig, an Ice Spider or the Ice Ant from Stopper Lures. Lay that bait on their nose and let it flutter and stop. Entice hem enough times and you should get a response. 

Just remember to continue trying something different every 5 or 10 minutes if what you are doing is not producing. Early hours fish the flats, midday hit the edges or suspended fish, mix in fast drop baits with a slower drop lead bait. Try both plastics and live bait side by side. Last, try to fish with a partner and be mobile.

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