Lake Simcoe. You either love her or hate her - there's no in between. It's a deep clear water lake with monster fish who feed on herring and Gobies to get so big.
I'm not going to make a big long article here. I've honestly been having a hard time. While everyone else is telling me how the bite is so hot - I'm just marking fish and watching them pass me by.
Finally, I decided something had to change. I had been ignoring my - "rules" that I try and follow when fishing... and that's what needed to change. Let me explain.
What I HAD been doing was getting up early to put a full day on the lake. I gave myself a 1 hour rule. If the fish weren't biting in that hour, I'd move. And boy did I make moves! I moved around and tried different baits, bouncing bottom all over the lake. I'm surprised there's ice left with all the holes I drilled.
This brings me to the my rules. The one's I SHOULD have been following.
Rule 1. Never leave fish to find fish.
We moved around too much. There were fish in the spots that we were at and we had not exhausted our options for these fish before moving. Today, I am setting up the hut and not moving from this spot.
Rule 2. Fish the entire water column.
Don't limit yourself to one single presentation. The other times, we had only bounced bottom. We had locked ourselves in a closed minded scenario that these fish are ONLY eating gobies and those gobies are on bottom so that's where we should be. This time - I'm going to work the entire column.
Rule 3. Fish can sense any change in their environment.
This rule was actually stolen from Gord Pyzer from a recent seminar he gave at the Winter Ice Expo. Instead of hooting and hollering with baits -smashing them on bottom, ripping blades - I decided to go a bit more subtle and stick with soft plastics.
The result? Well I was able to get out for a few hours one evening and although the marks were a bit slow - I was able to get on fish. This beautiful Whitefish smacked a bait that I had deadsticked 5 feet from the bottom. I wouldn't have done this type of presentation earlier and I'm glad I decided to change it up.
Give everything a go. Don't limit yourself to what you think, or what other people are thinking you should do. Find what those fish want, and give it to 'em.