The Hottest Baits for Lake Simcoe
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. Fantastic lure for Lake Trout, Whitefish and Yellow Perch.
Badd Boyz (Magz Mfg.)
Designed by Barrie Local - Lou Maglietta; the custom designed Badd Boyz Jigging Lure paved the way on Lake Simcoe as the Go To Whitefish Lure. It became a staple in every Lake Simcoe Fishermen's tackle box. Tipped with a small 1.5 to 2" tube jig, the Badd Boyz is one of the deadliest lures for Whitefish on Lake Simcoe (And also catches its fair share of Lake Trout too!). Mimicking a Round Goby or Baitfish, this lure is designed to be fished directly on the lake 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 you mark a fish, drop the bait back to the bottom and quiver it to entice bites. Whitefish will typically lift the bait with its underslung mouth. Be ready for a slight lift or pause and set the hook! Non stretch braid or fluorocarbon with a sensitive rod with some backbone may be necessary to feel those light pick ups and to fight these larger than normal Lake Simcoe Whitefish.
Similar to the Badd boyz, the Meegs has become a very popular bait on Lake Simcoe. The basic design also mimics a Round Goby, 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.
Lipless Crankbaits have proven to be one of the best baits for shallow or deep Lake Trout. There are so many good quality options for killer lipless crankbaits including the Duo Realis Vibration, the Sebile Flatt Shadd and the Rapala Slab Rap . These baits create vibration and shimmy action that bring fish in from afar.
Duo Realis Vibration
Sebile Flatt Shad
Rapala Slab Rap
Goby Style Soft Plastics
The soft plastic industry has really stepped up their game with Goby style baits. Some of the more local, popular choice baits that bring a lot of fish topside include:
The Drifter by Set the Hook Baits
Magz Goby by Magz Manufacturing
Ridgeback Goby by Anglers Choice
Slammer by X Zone Lures
These baits can be fished either drop shot style or with a jig head.
X Zone Slammer
Williams Whitefish and William's Ice Jig - Williams
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.
X-ZONE Mega Swammer
The X-ZONE Swammer has proven to be a killer bait for Lake Trout anglers. This life like minnow design mimics a herring or 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 Yo-Yo Style with a cat and mouse like jigging style retrieve (Flasher or Fishfinder a must!)
OLD school tricks
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.
Jigging Rapala - Rapala Canada
The Jigging Rapala (Especially the Silver and White color) 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.
Jigging Rapala MOdified
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
McGathy's Slab Grabber
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.
Gulp Minnow and swimbait
An alternative choice to using hard baits, a soft plastic Gulp minnow by Berkley. It provides added lifelike action and scent. 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.
Rabbit Tail Jig called the "NEO"
Tied by a local Simcoe fisherman, the "NEO" Goby Imitation hair jig provides a soft, natural look that no other hard bait can accomplish. These baits are great when paired with a spray on or gel scented product. The pulsating action of rabbit fur and marabou is tough to resist. Keep a few of these in your tackle box if you're willing to experiment and ice a few extra fish. A great alternative when the fishing gets slow and the fish want something a little different. If interested in trying this bait, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and mention NEO.
Buckshot Rattle Spoon - Northland Fishing Tackle
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.
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