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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone had any luck catching big fish on minnows (dead of course) through the ice? I was thinking of retrieving my minnow trap and seeing what is in it this time of year. If you have had luck, any particular rig or technique that works well? Thanks.
 

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It's a little harder to make them sink when it's really cold, so you can throw a small splitshot about 8 inches up the line and that will help get it down to them...Maybe a little too fast.

There's no reason a big fish that wanted to eat would reject a small dead fish right in front of it. I bet you'll do fine.

Good luck when you try it.
 

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milenine said:
Anyone had any luck catching big fish on minnows (dead of course) through the ice? I was thinking of retrieving my minnow trap and seeing what is in it this time of year. If you have had luck, any particular rig or technique that works well? Thanks.
I tip jigs with dead minnows all winter long. This is a great method to catch large trout.... especially at Strawberry. You can also fish just the dead minnow through the ice as well. I like to suspend them over the deeper water when I do this.
 

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FC2Tuber said:
I tip jigs with dead minnows all winter long. This is a great method to catch large trout.... especially at Strawberry. You can also fish just the dead minnow through the ice as well. I like to suspend them over the deeper water when I do this.
+1! That rig up works really good on Strawberry, and other bodies of water that hold large predatorial fish...
 

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I saw this technique for the first time last weekend at the Berry. There was this lone fisherman not too far from us that was pulling up a fish what seemed like every few minutes. He landed a couple big ones and finally iced a MONSTER which I had to take a look at up close and personal. The fisherman was very friendly and told me right away what he was using and even offered a couple of minnows for me and my buddy to try. We immediately got some bites and landed a couple of fish with those minnows. I wasn't quite sure how to rig it up though....I just ran jig hook under the spine which seemed to work OK. Can anyone comment on the proper minnow rig setup?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The technique you mentioned works very well for dead minnows. It gives them a nice injured look when you jig. Here is a vid I found on youtube of ice fishing with minnows. He finally catches a big one at the end of the vid. Of course in a lot of other states you can fish with live minnows.

 

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Absolutely! People say all the time that while ice fishing you have to use a teeny tiny little ice fly. Whole minnows work very well, especially for big fish. The key is to rig them correctly if you want to catch with consistency.
I never fished with minnows under the ice until I became conviced by the success I saw people were having at Palisade, Huntington, Scofield, etc. I was able to ice my 20 inch Tiger trout one day using them, another day I caught 10 fish and half of those were over 15 inches. However, I had a REAL big problem with them just biting the ends of minnow and pulling them off my hook. So what I did was used to old tried and true stinger hook set up. I put the minnow on a big tube jig, and tie a stinger hook to the eyelet of the jig head. The jig head hook goes through the minnow's head, and the stinger hook ( a small treble about size 12) hooks into the rear of the minnow. I greatly increased my hook set rates doing that.
 

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Ryancreek,

Thanks for the detailed info about your minnow setup. I'll plan to give it a try on my next fishing trip.

By the way, where do you get your minnows, what type, and what size? I've seen some bags of minnows in various sizes and also a bottle with minnows in some type of watery solution.

Any additional advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Stay away from bottled minnows. They turn into paste and they don't "taste" or "smell" like the natural forage fish in most waters around here.

You can buy good frozen minnows (either in a ziplock type bag or on a tray and stretch wrapped) at Sportsman's Warehouse or Cabela's. There are some gas stations that also carry them like Larsen's in Orem, or the station at the junction of Hwy 40 and 189 in Heber. Smith's in Heber also carries them. I'm sure there are others, but those are my spots for them.
 

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LOAH said:
Stay away from bottled minnows. They turn into paste and they don't "taste" or "smell" like the natural forage fish in most waters around here.

You can buy good frozen minnows (either in a ziplock type bag or on a tray and stretch wrapped) at Sportsman's Warehouse or Cabela's. There are some gas stations that also carry them like Larsen's in Orem, or the station at the junction of Hwy 40 and 189 in Heber. Smith's in Heber also carries them. I'm sure there are others, but those are my spots for them.
Do you know this because you tried them? -)O(-
 

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LOAH said:
Stay away from bottled minnows. They turn into paste and they don't "taste" or "smell" like the natural forage fish in most waters around here.

You can buy good frozen minnows (either in a ziplock type bag or on a tray and stretch wrapped) at Sportsman's Warehouse or Cabela's. There are some gas stations that also carry them like Larsen's in Orem, or the station at the junction of Hwy 40 and 189 in Heber. Smith's in Heber also carries them. I'm sure there are others, but those are my spots for them.
While I still use chubs and redsides most of the time, I have caught hundreds of fish at the Berry using the bottled minnows.
 

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That's pretty impressive. I've always gotten rejections when I've tried them. The minnows in the yellow package (Great Lakes Emerald Shiners) are crap, too.

Just my opinion, though. I guess some fish will eat anything.
 

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LOAH said:
That's pretty impressive. I've always gotten rejections when I've tried them. The minnows in the yellow package (Great Lakes Emerald Shiners) are crap, too.

Just my opinion, though. I guess some fish will eat anything.
I caught my 10lb. walleye off of a tube and Great Lake Emerald Shiner, so actually, those work too.
I also caught a nice 20" bhrown out at DC with the ones in the yellow package.
 
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