With ice season under way, many will drill their holes, drop their baits and wait, and wait and wait. Truth be told, this game does, at times, require patience. But there’s also plenty of room for aggressive, strategic work.

The early morning and sundown bites rarely need coaxing, but when late morning through afternoon finds the fish slipping into lethargy, consider a multi-stage presentation. The idea is to grab the attention of nearby fish and draw in those on the outskirts, so start with something flashy, noisy and/or abounding with vibration.

The Lindy Darter (size 2 or 3) makes a good choice here, as its loud rattle chamber gives the fish an audible reference to investigate. Once on site, the fish typically find the bait’s erratic action interesting enough to either bite, or observe.

If the latter is all you get, no worries – at least you have an audience. Take advantage of these window shoppers by switching to a bait like the Lindy Rattl'n Flyer Spoon. A lighter look, a little more motion – this will tip a few over the edge, but don’t hesitate to add a minnow for enhanced appeal.

To clean up the more discerning fish, rotate through your tackle box. Give each time to produce, but if you have fish on your screen and they’re not biting, that’s your cue to try something different.