If you’re marking fish on sonar but they refuse to take the bait, your presentation might need an attitude adjustment.
Some ice fishing lures hang in a horizontal fashion. In other words, they rest parallel to the surface of the water. Such an attitude mimics many types of food that gamefish such as walleyes, pike and panfish eat, and horizontal-hanging lures are very popular and productive choices. Examples include Lindy Fishing Tackle’s Ice Worm and Lindy Bug.
Other lures, like the Lindy Frostee, hang in a vertical manner. In other words, straight up and down. These lures, too, have their moments — especially when tipped with bait that hangs horizontally — like a skin-hooked minnow or t-boned waxworm.
Jigging spoons also hang vertically at rest, though they flutter from side to side creating fish-attracting flash and vibration. Spoons are often tipped with a minnow head, waxworms, or other bait that dangles below them—but don’t be afraid to experiment.
Fish often show a preference for one type of lure attitude over the other. For example, crappies in one lake might be snapping up vertical presentations, while those on a different lake just across the road turn up their noses at anything other than a horizontal jig.
Being aware that these differences exist, and being willing to experiment with different styles of lures (as well as colors, sizes, jig strokes and types of tippings) can help you figure out the most productive pattern for the conditions at hand. This, in turn, will help you catch the most fish possible on every trip.