HT’s Windlass Tip up is one of my favorite setups to use for ice fishing. I love watching that pan move with the wind. The slow pull of the pan down and the flag popping off can’t be beat. I try to use at least 1 of my 3 Windlass tip ups each time I go out ice fishing. I can easily target Walleye, Northern Pike, Bass or panfish by switching out bait.
My strategy in fishing is to fish differently from everyone else and consistently experiment with different techniques. I’m always trying to present as many options as I can when out there to trying to catch fish. The Windlass allows me to fish many different ways. I’ll target Walleye with a fluorocarbon or superline leader. More often times than not I’m fishing with superline leader even for Northern Pike. Often I’m attempting to catch a Walleye, but hauling in a Northern Pike. On days where I’m actually targeting Northern Pike, I’ll put a smaller steel leader on the Windlass. Dead shiners also work well on a Windlass. One concern with catching Pike on a Windlass is the line coming off the spool so fast and tangling up. I’m an attentive fisherman so that’s yet to have been an issue. Vertical jigging spoons tipped with minnow heads for Crappies, Perch, and Walleye have also been presented. The jig size dictates which spring setting I’ll use. My next route will be to see how smaller crank baits work with the Windlass.
Just because game fish season closes, doesn’t mean my ice fishing stops. I’ll change out baits and set up my Windlass for panfish. In Wisconsin we are allowed 3 lines so I’ll use 3 lines. One line is set for jigging while the other 2 are often a Windlass with a smaller spoon and a wax worm. Another route I’ll go for targeting Crappie is fluorocarbon leaders tipped with rosie reds.
Temperature and wind conditions play a huge part in which days to use the Windlass tip ups. I’ve used them in the low teens with minimal wind without the line freezing. The holes may freeze, but I’ll use a hole cover along with a line tube to keep the Windlass in the game. 15mph winds are my wind limit for the Windlass tip ups. High winds force me to spend too much time keeping the Windlass upright.
If you’re looking to try new techniques to try to catch more fish thru the ice, invest in an HT Windlass tip up. I can attest it’s worth adding to the arsenal and made my time on the ice more enjoyable.