I like to divide the water column into 10-foot zones. If I’m jigging in 40 feet of water off the end of a point, for example, I drop the tube to the bottom, reel it up a foot or two, then use my wrist and arm to briskly lift it up a couple of feet before pausing. If I don’t feel a hit, I’ll let the tube fall back down and pause, then repeat the procedure. If I don’t get a bite within a few minutes, I’ll reel up 10 feet and duplicate the process. And on it goes until I’m jigging the zone immediately under the ice. After that, I move on to the next hole to do it all over again.
When you strain the water column this way, you discover two things. First, there’s always a favourite depth the fish are using each day. But perhaps more importantly, many lakers cruise just under the ice—relating to it as if it were the bottom—ready and willing to smash your lures.