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The Hottest Baits for Lake Simcoe


The Hottest Baits for Lake Simcoe

1. Williams Whitefish and William's Ice Jig - Williams 


www.williams.ca

The Williams "Whitefish" and "Icejig" are without a doubt the most popular line of spoons used by Simcoe anglers. These two styles of spoons continually produce healthy numbers of whitefish and lake trout. These spoons are meant to mimic a wounded baitfish with its up and down fluttering action, imitating  an emerald shiner, smelt or lake herring. Available in a smooth finish, hammered design and gold, silver or "half and half" combination, these spoons are simple to use and produce big fish. When fishing for whitefish, stir up the bottom, rest the spoon and jig it off bottom. Try shorter jigs to entice finicky biters.In some instances, fish will hit the spoon as its fluttering to its original position, ensure your line is tight as the spoon flutters down so you can feel the hit when the fish bites.

Modify Your Spoon:

Under heavily pressured situations and during the middle of the ice fishing season, fish tend to shy away from conventional baits and may become less aggressive. Fishermen can either try to find active fish or modify their existing bait. Try to "experiment" and either switch up for less conventional baits or modify more popular baits to rekindle the interest of heavily pressured fish. 

With the WIlliam's spoons, the bottom treble can be tipped with a minnow head or one or two small emerald shiners. Some anglers thread a small tube jig or small jensen egg onto the treble or tie on maribou strung, feathers, flashabou or bucktail materials to add that extra bit of flash. In some circumstances, anglers will experiment with reversing the spoon by tieing their main line to the opposite end of the spoon and switching the treble hook to change the fluttering action. 



Old school Simcoe anglers will remember how effective a pearl fished 8 to 12" below their spoon worked for Whitefish. It's still an effective technique and one you should consider trying if the bite is tough. Other techniques include tying on a small tube jig or any jig for that matter with an 8 to 12" fluorocarbon leader below your spoon. 


2. X-ZONE Mega Swammers  *NEW

A new bait to Lake Simcoe Icefishing, the X-ZONE Swammer proved to be a killer bait last icefishing season and has become the new soft plastic "go to" lure in Lake Trout anglers tackle boxes. This life like minnow design mimics an emerald shiner and can easily be fished vertically. Many anglers thread a 1/4 oz to 3/4 oz jig head through the front of the bait and fish it suspended or just off bottom. 


3. Badd Boyz - Magz Mfg.

www.magzmfg.com

Badd Boyz have become a popular ice fishing bait for whitefish and lake trout. Crafted by a local tackle shop owner in Barrie, the Badd boy was produced to mimic a small bait fish grazing on bottom and are available in a wide range of colors and sizes. Badd Boyz are usually tipped with livebait (shiner) or artificial plastics. One of the most popular techniques is to thread a 1 -1.5" tube jig up to the middle of the bait.

For whitefish, these baits are best fished on bottom. To lure in fish, lift the bait a foot or two and drop it back on bottom. This will stir up a cloud of fine sediment and will gather the attention of any fish in the area. This is often called "crashing the bottom". Once fish have moved into the area, quiver the bait with a nervous twitch to entice bites. Also, try using the bait a few feet off bottom for lake trout, utilize larger jigging motions to lure in fish, then entice them  to bite with the quiver technique. This technique is a great way to entice finicky fish. 

If you're using a flasher or sonar and notice a fish has entered the screen but will not commit, pull the bait from the fish by reeling it up, this will usually entice a strike. Your essentially playing "hard to get" and teasing the fish into chasing your lure and committing before the bait disappears from view.

This bait is best used for catching Whitefish and Lake Trout but will catch many other gamefish including perch, walleye and northern pike.


4. Meegs


Similar to the Badd boyz, the Meegs has become a very popular bait on Lake Simcoe. The basic design also mimics a feeding baitfish or sculpin on bottom. They've been designed with strong, razor sharp hooks for more successful hookups.Get creative and tip this bait with plastic and livebait to entice finicky biters. This bait is used much the same as the Badd Boyz as stated above. The quiver technique seems to work best with these style baits.


5. Jigging Rapala - Rapala Canada

www.rapala.ca

The Jigging Rapala is an old favorite that’s been around the ice fishing scene for countless years. It produces lots of  fish and can be used to catch whitefish, lake trout and yellow perch. Its unique design and plastic fin allow the lure to sway back and forth on an upward jig and swoop in a circular motion back to its original position. Utilize larger jigging motions to attract distant fish to the bait. Often, quivering the lure will entice a bite if the fish are inactive. Experiment with shorter snaps, jigging times and techniques until you find a pattern that works. 

Tip the bottom treble with “meat”, usually a minnow head, half minnow or perch eye for added attraction, scent and taste. Smaller jigging Rapala's work wonders for enticing aggressive yellow perch.  

Tie on a small bead or replace the stock treble with the "eyed" treble hook as shown below:

The whole idea is use the jigging rapala to attract the fish to your bait, and the small bead or minnow head is used to focus the fishes attention to one area of the bait, which will entice the fish to bite the bait. 



6. Tube Jig

Every seasoned angler should have a tube jig in their tackle box. Not only are they great for summertime bass fishing, these baits are incredible for hard water fishing. The white tube in a 2 - 3" size has been a productive "go to" bait for many lake trout anglers. 

Whitefish anglers also utilize smaller 1" sizes tied on a 6-10" fluorocarbon leader beneath a spoon for added strikes

The hollow design of a tube jig allows anglers to stuff the bodies with scent or cut bait. 

 

Here's a few tricks to make tube jigs even more effective under ice:


1. Rip the tube by slowly pulling the tentacles apart and allowing the body to tear. If you do this between all the tentacles, the action in the water is greatly increased.

2. Try drop shotting with a tube. Use a fairly large drop shot hook (No. 2) and nose hook the tube. The drop shot weight can vary from 1/4 to 1/2 oz.

3. Experiment with shades of white. At times, a bright white tube jig is best, but pearl, cream and off white have proven their worth.

4. As in the picture above, add a treble hook stinger to your tube jig to increase hook up percentages. Use a thicker diameter line (12-20lb) test to tie your treble hook to your main hook. The treble hook should be 1-2 inches from your main hook.



7. McGathy's Slab Grabber


www.mcgathyshooks.com

A family in Michigan came up with the Slab Grabber which is a wide spoon providing a unique, erratic wobbling action compared to many other more slender spoons. The main difference with the Slab Grabber is the colored bead located at the base of the hook. This bead provides an added attractant and an edge which has proven deadly, especially for larger yellow perch. 

The Slab Grabber doesn't require livebait and is best used without. It is used similarly to a spoon, jig it near bottom and wait for the bite. This bait can also be used much more slowly with less jigging action as the bead will provide attraction on its own. 

The Slab Grabber has been known for its interesting design which allows ice fishermen to simply unhook perch on the ice without using any hands. The fish can be bounced on the ice which allows the spoon to unhook itself from the fish. This takes practice and can be achieved by de-barbing the hook. This will allow for easy and painless unhooking and a chance to get the bait in the strike zone much faster.

8. Icespoon - Hali Lures

www.halilures.com

Great for Yellow Perch, Crappie and Whitefish, the spoon and dropper provides enticing flash but with the ultra small hooks and finesse to fool even the most inactive fish. Tip this bait with a maggot or half minnow and you've got yourself one of the most versatile baits on the market. One very important component which should not be overlooked is the small hooks with the built in "eye". These hooks are super sharp and small enough to catch panfish. You'll lose less fish with the treble design and the spoon and dropper will entice both active and inactive fish. Every ice angler should carry a few of these in their tackle box.

Additional Proven Baits on Lake Simcoe


Lil Foxee Jigging Minnow - Blue Fox

www.bluefox.com


The Lil Foxee is an imitation bait similar to the Badd Boyz and Meegz listed above but offers a lifelike finish, large sculpin eyes, and an enticing feather tail. Blue Fox did a great job with this bait  offering additional features including razor sharp hooks at a very competitive price. With a cheaper price tag then the popular Meegz and Badd Boyz, this bait is worth picking up. Used like the Meegs and Badd Boyz stated above, this bait is best for Lake Trout and Whitefish. 


Jigging Shad Rap - Rapala Canada


www.rapala.ca

The jigging shad rap provides all the positive benefits of the jigging rap into a larger, shad body shape. It has a more pronounced action, with a slow circle down action. Raising in a sharp "snapping" motion will cause the bait to circle faster. A quick vibrating motion can also be used at fixed depths. 


Nils Master

www.Nilsmaster.com

The Nils Master is another old favorite which provides much of the same characteristics and benefits as the Jigging Rapala. Unfortunately, this bait is not as readily available in stores but if you do come across one, don't pass up the opportunity to purchase it! Nils Master's have an extended bottom treble hook which in my opinion accounts for more successful hookups. Some anglers believe the Nils Master imparts a slightly different motion than the Jigging Rapala.  

This bait has proven deadly for lake trout on Simcoe. I've had some of my best days using this bait throughout the water column - the black/silver finish has worked best. 

Power Minnow - Berkley

www.berkley-fishing.com

An alternative choice to using hard baits, a soft plastic minnow provides added lifelike action and scent while still providing the ability to rip jig the lure and entice aggressive fish. Soft plastic baits are gaining popularity in the ice fishing market, and for good reason, they produce fish. The smaller 2" baits are deadly for aggressive jumbo perch and the larger 3 and 4" sizes work great for lake trout. Ensure you're using a vertical jig head to sustain a horizontal "realistic" presentation. 

Custom Marabou/Rabbit Tail Jigs - Haggerty Lures

www.haggertylures.com

Custom marabou/rabbit hair jigs in soft, natural colors can entice fish under the ice. The pulsating action of rabbit fur and marabou is tough to resist f. Keep a few of these in your tackle box if you're willing to experiment and ice a few extra fish. 

Buckshot Rattle Spoon - Northland Fishing Tackle


www.northlandtackle.com

The Northland buckshot rattle spoon is a fishing spoon on steroids offering a lifelike, hollographic finish and a unique rattle chamber on the backside which provides the angler an additional attractive option for luring in fish. The buckshot is used like any other spoon, with the addition of the rattle chamber, experiment with shorter snaps, jiggles and quivers to optimize the rattle chamber and create as much sound as possible to lure in any distant fish. 

The buckshot can be used to catch almost every gamefish including Walleye, Northern Pike, Yellow Perch, Whitefish and Lake Trout.


Airplane Jig - Northland Fishing Tackle

www.northlandtackle.com

Airplane jigs fly in a semi-circle and cover a large radius which can attract aggressive fish from afar. Mimicking a wounding baitfish, these baits can be deadly for lake trout and northern pike. This particular bait is made by Northland tackle and offers a wrapped "bucktail" finish with an extended treble hook, a deadly combination, especially for active lake trout. Utilize larger jigging motions to attract distant fish to the bait. Experiment with the quivering technique to entice inactive followers. 

This bait is best used for catching  Lake Trout and Northern Pike. 


Ice Jigger - Hali Lures

www.halilures.com




Swedish Pimple - Bay de Noc Lure Co.


www.swedishpimple.com


The Swedish Pimple is an old favorite and is a very versatile bait that can catch a variety of fish species. Due to its slender design and craftsmanship, it can easily be used in deeper waters and provides an enticing wobble and flash that fish can't resist. This bait is best used when tipped with “meat”, a minnow, half minnow or perch eye.
Like many jigging spoons, a general upward sweep of about a foot and then allowing the bait to flutter to its original position often works best. Shorter sweeps, or a jiggle of the spoon can entice finicky biters. Slam the bottom and stir up the sediment to attract the attention of any fish in the area.

This spoon is best used for catching Northern Pike, Whitefish, Lake Trout and Walleye. 


Crippled Herring - Luhr Jensen


www.luhrjensen.com

The crippled herring is meant to mimic an emerald shiner or small herring and provides the same benefits as a jigging spoon but with much more realistic visual features. The crippled herring is a heavier bait which makes it great for use in deeper waters. It's often tipped with livebait for added attraction.The crippled herring is used quite similarly to the Swedish pimple and other jigging spoons.This bait may be better utilized in deeper water with heavier fishing equipment due to its bulky, heavy design. Check the hooks on this design, it may be worth switching to a sticky sharp treble hook to increase hook up percentages. 

Krocodile Spoon - Luhr Jensen


www.luhrjensen.com

A classic jigging spoon offering similar features to many other famous spoons with a slightly different flutter action. This bait is available in an assortment of colours and finishes which is ideal when fish are looking for something a little different on any particular day. A go to bait when the fish have all seen all other the conventional colors and spoon designs. Like many jigging spoons, a general upward sweep and then allowing the bait to flutter to its original position often works best. Shorter sweeps, or a jiggle of the spoon can entice finicky biters. Slam the bottom and stir up the sediment to attract the attention of any fish in the area. Many of the jigging spoons come with average hooks which rust and dull quite easily. When needed, replace the treble hooks with premium quality hooks like Owner or Excalibur, this should help increase your hookup percentages. 

Blade Baits - Lurecraft
www.lurecraft.com


Chubby Darter - Salmo USA

www.salmofishing.com

The chubby darter is new to the ice-fishing scene, it represents a full bodied sinking minnow bait much similar to lipless crankbaits anglers use during the summer season. As mentoned, this bait is a full body bait, providing a generally natural presentation and a slower fall than a jigging rapala or nils master. In a smaller size, this bait could be dynamite for jumbo perch. It may have potential for suspended, aggressive lake trout throughout the water column as it does vibrate and shimmy when jigged vertically. We recommend a small snap or loop knot when attaching a Chubby Darter to your line to make sure the lure has unrestricted ability to wiggle. Lighter line will allow the bait to drop faster and allow the lure to swim naturally.
 



Jig a Whopper Rocker Minnow
www.htent.com

Created by HT Enterprises, the jig a whopper minnow has a vertical design much like a swedish pimple but with various combined colors and a holographic finish with a red treble hook. HT offers this spoon in a glow paint finish. This bait would does well for yellow perch and whitefish. 

Ice Jigs

Yellow Perch and Crappie love small ice jigs tipped with artificial or live bait. Look for ice jigs with small (size #10-14), thin sharp hooks. The head should be 1/16, 1/32 or 1/64 oz in size. A very small ice jig allows smaller, inactive fish to inhale the bait; however, you'll find that very small jigs require additional weight to drop them into the water column. Stick to lighter line (2, 3, 4lb test) and ultralight rods to feel and see the bite and to better control the jig in the water column. 

Shrimpo - Custom Jigs and Spins


www.customjigsandspins.com

Genz Worm - Lindy Fishing Tackle
www.lindyfishingtackle.com


Vibrato

www.sebile.com

The Vibrato's action upon free fall is much like a flutter spoon which possesses an erratic side to side sway as it descends through the water. The difference between the Vibrato and other jigging spoons is its incredible vibration and erratic nature. The falling action of this lure is far less predictable and therefore more accurately mimics dying shad which often free fall intermittently between attempts at regaining their healthy swimming action. When allowing the lure to free fall be sure to watch the line closely as most strikes will occur during this time


Additional Proven Baits on Lake Simcoe



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