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When you plan an ice fishing trip you never know how the fishing is going to be. You can get a good idea based on how the body of water has done in the past but nothing is ever certain. Fishing quality can change from day to day so ice fishermen have to adapt to their situation if they want to make the most of their trip. I see lots of ice fishermen return to a spot because it was good a week ago and don't end up catching much. They just stay in the same spot all day and fish a 30 foot radius hoping that the fish will come by soon and things will pick up. I have found that when it's slow it's best to search out new spots that are more productive.Tournament anglers are use to cutting lots of holes in a day and swiss cheese the ice in search of fish. I know guys who routinely cut up to 200 holes during a single tournament day. They never fish an unproductive hole for long but once the fish are found they will fish that area thoroughly, concentrating their efforts where the fish are. If you can't find the fish you aren't going to catch them. I like to apply this type of thinking when I'm out on the ice and I use my JawJackers to do this.I like to spread things out. If you are on a hot spot concentrate your efforts and hit it hard, but when it slows down spreading out is the key. Normally ice fishermen can't do this. They have to keep all their rods close to them so they can see the rod tip bounce if they get a bite and also to set the hook on the biting fish. By using JawJackers I can set up rods as far away as I can see and let the JawJacker set the hook for me. That way I can effectively cover a lot larger area which routinely produces better result.
Many times I've been fishing a spot where I'm doing ok and look 40 or 50 yards away and think to myself, "I wonder if the fishing would be better over there". Normally I wouldn't be able to find out without picking up all my gear and moving everything over, not knowing if all the effort of moving would pan out. Now all I do is walk over, drill a hole, set up a JawJacker and go back to my spot and wait. If I start getting more hits and hooking more fish "over there" with the JawJacker, then I put the time and energy into packing up and moving over, and if not then I stay put.
If I am concentrating on one spot I like to set my JawJackers anywhere from 10 to 20 yards apart. If it starts getting slow then I will start spreading them out as far away as 50 or 60 yards away. This distance is about as far out as I can go without losing sight of the rod. Once in a while I will check out spots that are far enough away that I can just barely make the JawJacker out, around 100 to 150 yards. Now and again I will walk over and check the JawJacker to see how that spot is doing. These are the days I wish I had binoculars with me. I do this quite often when the bite dies right where I am. I use JawJackers to find better spots so I can concentrate my efforts where the fish are and catch more fish throughout the day.
How often have you been fishing a spot without any luck and another group of guys near you are tearing it up. You wonder what you are doing wrong and think, "am I fishing too shallow or too deep"? Am I using the right color jig or do I have on the right type of bait? All these things are factors to consider but I have found that a lot of times it's the spot. Whether those guys are over a spring, on a weed bed, over a change in countour, or on a brush pile, location is oftentimes the key. I love the ability the JawJacker gives me to fish different spots all at the same time. I can be centered in 6 feet of water jigging a flat using my Vexilar. Then 20 yards off to my right have a JawJacker set up in 3 feet of water in case the fish are shallow. Then 30 yards to my left have a JawJacker set up in 15 feet next to a drop off. The JawJacker gives an ice fisherman the ability to effectively fish lots of spots within the immediate area and pinpoint where the fish are. This ability has proven effective over and over.
A friend once told me that the JawJacker makes the difference between a good day and a great day out on the ice. Experience has taught him just how effective the JawJacker can be and without it a day on the ice just isn't the same. Use the JawJacker to find out where the fish are biting best and then concentrate your efforts there. The more fish you can get your bait in front of the more likely you are to hook up and catch those fish. Spreading out and covering more ice is extremely effective and with the JawJacker's hook- setting capabilities, it is the perfect tool to implement this strategy
Written by Matt Dungan
You Tube Video: Catching Jumbo Perch with the JawJacker