Do a little DIY with your ice lures this season and pull a few extra fish through the hole.
Put On Some Prism
Prism or foil-sided tape is a nifty invention that can dramatically alter you lures appearance. Primarily used by Great Lakes trollers in search of salmon or trout, ice fishing anglers in the know are slowly beginning to realize the potential this self-adhesive has.
Since prism tape has reflective qualities it can replicate the flash and sheen that baitfish and prey give off, attracting and drawing in those hungry predators from afar. And, because it comes in long rolls or large sheets, it can be cut and formed to any shape you desire, allowing limitless customization benefits to the angler.
Depending on the water clarity, prism tape can be added to a spoon to offer more flash when murky, yet can also give your species of choice greater color combinations to choose from. Take walleye for instance. Biologists have discovered that red, yellow, green and orange are the most visible hues in the spectrum for this specie. (Snipping a square of red or orange tape and sticking it to your silver spoon could possibly lead you to many more fish!)
The other benefits of carrying prism tape with you on the ice is that it allows you to make a quick lure color change if one shade suddenly turns hot. If your buddy starts slaying the fish on a purple spoon, you can get in on the game (and hopefully the fish), by applying the appropriate color, right there in the field. Now what could be simpler than that?
Make Some Sound
We all know the importance of rattling crankbaits or how adding BB shot to soft plastics helps attract more fish. Fish will hone in on these sounds through the use of their lateral line, enabling them to locate prey and ultimately feed. Although there are some spoons and lures on the market that have sound-producing modifications, many of the flat and thin spoon do not.
When dealing with murky water, or when the fish are scattered or neutral, sound producing lures are paramount. In order to achieve a "beat" down below, I've found that the simple addition of a plastic or steel worm rattle, super glued to the belly of your spoon, will nicely do the trick. These lightweight rattles won't interfere with the fluttering action of your bait, but will add an enticing clatter to the water beneath your feet.
Regulate the size of the rattles in accordance to your bait. For an extra feature, mask the rattle with a strip of prism tape. Not only will this hold the chamber more securely, but will give off additional flash to fool the fish.
Toss in the Feathers
The quintessential aspect of a topwater bass lure is the feather-adorned rear treble. This undulating appendage provides flash, color and an added target, all excellent features to provoke a fish to strike. How about a feathered treble on the ice fishing spoons we all use?
This nifty little adaptation has accounted for many more fish for me over the years. The way I looked at it is, if it works for surface striking bass, why the heck won't it work for perch, walleye and lakers below the ice. The truth is — it does.
A feathered treble won't in any way interfere or impede with a tipped minnow. In fact, I feel that it gives the minnow a bulked-up appearance, definitely helpful and not a hindrance to the fish. If you find the feathers to be too long in length, simply trim them down to size with a pair of sharp scissors.