It pays off to get all your gear ready in the light and warmth of home
I was chatting with my buddy Wil Wegman recently about ice fishing—I think every conversation Wil and I have eventually gets around either to that subject or Ontario’s Lake Simcoe—and he mentioned something that I thought was so simple, so straightforward and yet, so profound.
Like I do, Wil pre-rigs multiple ice rods before he heads out fishing, so he has covered as many bases as possible.I am rigging up lake trout rods, as we speak, and I’ve already tied a 4-inch white tube jig to one rod, a Rapala Jigging Shadow Rap to another and a half-gold, half-silver Williams Bully Spoon to a third.I even have an “outlier” rod, rigged with a Meegs Jig tied to the end, in case I run into a school of whitefish grubbing on the bottom.
As Wil brought to mind, however, most ice anglers also carry three, four or five rods, but they stuff them unrigged into a rod bag with the good intention of tying on another lure once they get out onto the ice. Unfortunately, we all know what happens with good intentions once the thermometer starts plummeting, the wind begins howling and we lose touch with the ends of our fingers. It’s even worse when we’re ice fishing with two-, three-, and four-pound test lines in low light conditions, early in the morning or after sunset, and have to tie knots to tiny lures. The rods stay put in the bag and we tough it out, jigging with a single presentation.
When you have multiple rods pre-rigged, however, and all you have to do is unzip the case and grab one, you’re much more inclined to do it. So now when you spot that dozen or so whitefish pull in and start feeding below you, you’re much more likely to grab that Meegs jig rod that you set up.