First ice is a great time to get aggressive for walleyes in shallow water, and veteran guide Jonny Petrowske says the Lindy Darter is one of his favorite baits for tripping their triggers.

Here’s how he fishes it:

After drilling a string of holes that run perpendicular to the bank and progressively deeper in four to eight feet of water, he drops a Darter into the shallowest hole and begins a practiced, three-act performance.

The first part of the presentation entails tap-dancing the rattling hardbait on bottom, to stir up sediment and get the attention of nearby walleyes.

Next up is a series of gradually larger, synchronized strokes that draw the Darter a foot or more higher into the water column.

Finally, he caps off the theatrics with a grand finale of aggressive gyrations that feature 12- to 18-inch lifts capped off by the lure crashing to bottom.

“If that doesn’t do it, I’m headed for the next hole,” he said.

When a walleye strikes, Petrowske keeps fishing the area, often adding a tail-hooked minnow under a bobber in a nearby second hole while dancing a Darter in the first.

If hungry ‘eyes are on your hit list at first ice, Petrowske’s presentation is a great way to put them on your side of the ice.