Make The Flags Fly
Jeff Kelm- Power Stick
In 1988 I ventured on to the ice with my Father and Grandfather. Hope was high that the flags would be flying all day; dreams of northern nearly jumping out of the hole ran threw my head.
What I didn’t know at the time was that the rigs at the end of our tip-ups were a good reason those dreams were never realized that day. Large steel leaders with that big ole’ Swedish hook and a large smelt.
Now for those of us who can’t get out on to a trophy Northern Pike lake every weekend, here is a setup that may work for you to at least to get the flags flying:
1. Grab your set of Beaver Dam Tip-ups.
2. Fill the spool with your favorite tip-up line. (I like 30lb coated Dacron line)
3. Once the line is spooled tie on a barrel swivel, size of the swivel is not an issue.
4. Attach 3-5ft of 12-15lb Fluorocarbon to the swivel. This is your leader. (I like using Leader Material Fluorocarbon)
5. Lastly tie on a No.8 Circle hook. (I like the circle hooks, but you can use a No.8 treble)
Bait with your favorite smelt, shiner or chub and off you go. (Use a split-shot if needed to keep live bait from swimming into everything.)
Now for the sake of this article, this is a setup for Northern Pike that I like to use, you can vary the size of the leader for other species. For Walleye and Trout I will use 6lb. Fluorocarbon. Same with the hook size, when fishing in very clear water for Trout I will tie on a No.10 or smaller treble hook. (I have caught a 6lb Brown with a No.16 treble using this rig.)
This really is a great way to fish lakes that have a lot of pressure, or an abundance of small Northern Pike. And anyone who has taken kids out with them knows that they get bored if the action isn’t hot, this setup should correct that issue. I will tell you that if you are going after the monster of the lake that this rig can still work, you just may want to beef up the leader and hook size.
I still have that dream of Northern jumping out of the hole (And if you have an idea on how to get them to do that email me) but now at least as I fish that lake every winter the dream of flags flying comes true.