Ice Fishing Tip #6 – Stay in the Light

Ice fishing at Sunset

This is the sixth installment of's ice fishing tips. This one reminds you to "stay in the light". 

"If you only have a few hours to hit the ice, maximize your time by heading out when the fish are feeding most actively. Key here is the amount of daylight reaching the water column—and the type of fish you're targeting. Species such as walleye and sauger feed most intensely at dawn and dusk, for example, while crappie, perch, pike and whitefish are most active in the middle of the day. During winter, in fact, the light conditions beneath the ice and snow are similar to the ideal conditions during the open-water season—namely, overcast days, when most fish species feed more actively. That's why winter crappie, perch, pike and whitefish anglers often enjoy superb success on sunny winter days when the same conditions during the open-water season would shut down the fish. Indeed, the optimal amount of light that causes pike to be most active is closer to the illumination under the ice at midday in January than it is at noon in the summer."