Precision Noodle - Early Ice Gills
Updated: Apr 16, 2019
Early season ice fishing is undoubtedly one of the most opportunistic times of the year to get on crazy bites; for all species of fish. A favorite of mine during this time of the year is the big bull bluegill bites (Say that five times fast). The excitement and optimism in the early season to find those bites can also be a dangerous endeavor as well. Small, protected and shallow lakes are among the first to freeze over, and like the thickness of the ice, patience to get out and ‘rip some lips’ can be thin.
With the practice of first ice safety, I spent my first trek out on to the ice for the 2018-19 ice season chasing bluegills. A cold front had set in and the fish were finicky, toning down the action to a slow, yet consistent bite. When dealing with finicky fish, a forgiving yet sensitive rod can make all the difference in detecting the lightest of bites. Most often in this type of situation, the double clutch technique can be applied. A bluegill will use its gills to suck in the bait, though may not have the hook entirely in it’s mouth. Wait another moment for the bluegill to suck it in again (hence the name “double clutch”) and slowly lift your rod to apply pressure to the hook. If there doesn’t appear to be any resisting weight, lower your bait. If the rod starts to load up and you can feel the resisting weight, you know what to do – drive that hook home!
The 28” Precision Noodle by Tuned Up Custom Rods is the most effective rod to be using for this application. It’s forgiving tip allows me to see the lightest of bites, and its slow tapered backbone kept constant pressure on the hook to keep the bluegill buttoned up. All in all, the true sensitivity all the way up the rod blank and into my hand gave me the advantage when targeting these finicky bluegill. The saying “use the right tools for the right job” couldn’t be any truer!