Search the Weed Lines for First Ice Pike

It is a well known fact, first ice is the right ice for us ice fishing fools. And when it comes to our predatory friends, the Northern Pike, there is no faster action then the first time you are able to step upon the frozen goodness of winter. But, just like any fishing, having pinpoint location can mean the difference between a great day and an average one. And for dynamite first ice pike action, this means locating the various turns and points along a lush weed edge on your favorite lake(s).
Total Solution Technique
For most serious ice anglers, finding these cups and points along any weed lines means getting down to business in the fall. It is as easy as keeping the boat out of storage a little longer to search out these key areas. Slowly drive along the weed edge and mark waypoints into your GPS as each cup and or point is found. Pay special attention to the greenest weeds possible that are closest to the deepest water access, these are MONEY. Now, I know some of us cannot get out for these last minute fall scouting missions, but don’t fret, you can still pinpoint these locations. Just be prepared to drill a few more holes to find these ambush areas.

After having a few high percentage areas located in a general area, now is the time to start setting the trap. Essentially, we want to maximize our efforts and hit these areas by storm. These means employing both set-line and jigging tactics, so check your regulations for the max number of lines you are able to use. Start by placing your set-lines (tip-ups being the most common) in a few of your key locations, varying the depths of your baits and then stand watch as you jig the highest percentage spot. Things should heat-up quickly as you employ these tactics together, where sometimes you are running constantly to catch fish one after another.

Total Solutions Equipment
For your tip-ups, spool with 30# Ice Tip-Up Line and terminate it to an adjustable quick strike rig that can be easily made by using 40LB Sevalon Nylon Coated Berkley 7-Strand Wire teamed with size 6 treble hooks. To make quick strike making easy, check out the pre-packaged Berkley Leader Making Kit for the essentials, minus the 7-Strand and hooks.
And for your jigging tactics, I would suggest spooling with 20lb Berkley FireLine Crystal that can be tied direct. But, to prevent bite offs, a short leader of 15lb Berkley Steelon Coated Wire can be used. For baits, a variety of Berkley Gulp! products work great for pike through the ice. A favorite of mine is a simple darter head jig teamed with a 4” Gulp! Minnow or 5” Gulp! Jerk Shad vertical jigged on the weed lines. Favorite colors would have to be Pearl or Chartreuse Shad.

Berkley Sevalon 7-Strand
Coated Wire 

Berkley Leader Making Kit 

Berkley FireLine Crystal 

 4” Gulp! Minnow

Berkley Steelon
Nylon Coated Wire


5” Gulp! Jerk Shad 


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