Joel Nelson: Find ice-fishing spots right now.
SPOTS, not necessarily fish!
> Our mobility is better than it’s ever been as ice anglers, but it’s drastically limited by the need to drill a hole to gather info. So why not put in the work when it’s easy?
> Using electronics from a boat to find fish – more importantly find areas that will gather fish — is far easier on a 60°F fall day [more like 30°F this year lol] than a 10°F winter one.
> Many times these locations are consistent producers during all months, yet others are specifically good for ice, like: shallow transitions from mud-to-sand, or sand-to-rock, as well as small gravel or rock patches in shallow weeds.
> Early-ice fish push to these places, especially after sundown in clear-water systems. Spots no larger than a kitchen table can seem impossible to drill out and find, while they stick out like a sore thumb on side-scan.
> Side-scan technology could be the #1 asset to an ice angler this time of year, as few things hide from it. If you don’t own this technology, chances are you know someone who does and you could get out for a day on the boat with them.
> Harder-bottom areas generally show up brighter or “whiter” (timber, fish-cribs, or other sunken gems). Soft bottom shows up darker. You’re looking for any break or transition in the substrate – the more sudden that change is, the more valuable it can be.
> Shallow water usually provides the first opportunities to fish on safe ice, so don’t worry about anything more than 15′ at first.
> Think about how/where you access the water-body. Focus on the areas immediately adjacent to shore…chances are (even if you’re walking out) your spots will be need to be within a 1/2 mile of your access point.