BrianBM

Ice Fishing, 2021-2022.

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I have tried buttons and I have found a better way (I move my tip-ups too often depth-wise for them to work). Moving buttons up and down ~20' of frozen line, having the center section of the button break and when, when the line is not frozen, the button squeezes the water out of the line making my hands wet, no thanks. I have also tried; rubber bands, Split Shot (too small to handle with gloves), overhand loops (to often lock up forever), little bobbers (which floated up and bugger up the line on the spool and they get caught on the side of the hole when fighting fish). For 6 years now I have been using electrical hook clips (with a bit of glow tape for when I fish at night), no more problems. If they freeze I put them in my mouth for a few seconds and they thaw right out;

tnHkxpb.jpg

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6 hours ago, SalmonAndStriper Stalker said:

I was out once this season a little over a week ago. I'm hoping to get our on Friday as well once these night Temps firm up whatever is left.

I was waiting to hear from you. 

As I recall you seem to have some spots that freeze early and/or an extreme tolerance for thin ice.

 

I'm so set in my ways, I really want to stick with my few favorite ponds, none of which freeze early. 

I have also become a whimp in my old age. I look back on some of the sketchy thin early ice and the rotten honeycombed late ice and think it's pure luck I stayed dry. My intention now is to not push that luck and make it to retirement with a perfect record. 

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8 hours ago, Stripernut1 said:

I have tried buttons and I have found a better way (I move my tip-ups too often depth-wise for them to work). Moving buttons up and down ~20' of frozen line, having the center section of the button break and when, when the line is not frozen, the button squeezes the water out of the line making my hands wet, no thanks. I have also tried; rubber bands, Split Shot (too small to handle with gloves), overhand loops (to often lock up forever), little bobbers (which floated up and bugger up the line on the spool and they get caught on the side of the hole when fighting fish). For 6 years now I have been using electrical hook clips (with a bit of glow tape for when I fish at night), no more problems. If they freeze I put them in my mouth for a few seconds and they thaw right out;

tnHkxpb.jpg

Better than buttons!?! That's blasphemy. :laugh:.   Buttons on your tilts was a time honored tradition among all central Ma ice fishermen. 

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15 mins ago, mikez2 said:

I was waiting to hear from you. 

As I recall you seem to have some spots that freeze early and/or an extreme tolerance for thin ice.

 

I'm so set in my ways, I really want to stick with my few favorite ponds, none of which freeze early. 

I have also become a whimp in my old age. I look back on some of the sketchy thin early ice and the rotten honeycombed late ice and think it's pure luck I stayed dry. My intention now is to not push that luck and make it to retirement with a perfect record. 

there is ice to be found north and west. or at least there was. nothing local yet and most likely won't be till after the new year. temperatures look horrible into the week of Christmas 

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2 hours ago, bob_G said:

Better than buttons!?! That's blasphemy. :laugh:.   Buttons on your tilts was a time honored tradition among all central Ma ice fishermen. 

...and RI fishermen. My 89 year old Dad would attest.

White buttons are preferred...if/when a wind flag would happen, you can immediately see the button, when you get to the hole.

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And those that want to follow tradition or are too old to try another way are welcome to use buttons and I did not say they don't work, but that there is an even, possibly a better way of doing things... I like finding new and possibly better ways of doing things and I know many others do too, but if you want to stick with the old ways, you are more than welcome to. I will be using Gore-Tex, Polar Fleece, braid, my lightweight flip-over, and my sounder with set on graph setting, I might even bring my camera...  I won't be worried about how they used to do things...

 

Quote

sorry if this is a stupid question, but what is the purpose of the buttons?

To mark the depth on your tip-up line/bait from the bottom...

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A button is fine until you need to slide it 50 feet back up the line at a new lake, or it gets caught on the edge of the ice fighting a fish. A knot is the way to go.

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I admit I have a soft spot for tradition but my use of the button is based on practicality. 

The button just straight up works. I have never had reason to look for something new or different because the button is ideal in my estimation.

 

One of the keys I think some people don't take into consideration is drag on the line when a fish runs. This is probably more of an issue with trout which require a finesse approach for consistent success.

 

When the fish run, I don't want to feel any extra drag. That's especially true if it's shallow and weedy. Anything that is heavy, floats or has angular shape that might catch weeds, I don't want. I use small buttons which have minimal drag.

 

The other thing I love about buttons is they don't move on you when you don't want them to but at the same time they move easily when you do.

I have never had a button freeze on me, even when left laying on the ice. I don't want to put anything in my mouth to thaw it.

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6 mins ago, nateD said:

A button is fine until you need to slide it 50 feet back up the line at a new lake, or it gets caught on the edge of the ice fighting a fish. A knot is the way to go.

I guess it's personal preference. 

I've been using buttons for 40 years and never had one catch on the ice. Obviously I have to be aware of the button and make sure I help it past the edge but I never had a problem. And that's important because I tend to use 4 lb test leaders. I've even gone down to 2 lb. You can't afford anything getting caught on the ice when a big rainbow makes a run on light leader.

 

As far as going to a new lake, I do that all the time.

One weekend I fish trout under the ice with my button 4 feet from the hook, the next weekend I might target perch 30 feet down. It's effortless. I hold the button in one hand and pull the line through as I lower my sounder. Or, going the other way, I strip off the line then wind it back on while holding the button. Takes 60 seconds. 

 

Knots, F that. Nothing I hate worse than getting a knot in ice line. I don't want a knot running through weeds or wood either. 

 

It's all good though whatever works for you is best. Having confidence in what your doing is half the battle.

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I scouted a potential new bait trapping location and hit pay dirt.

Now I have to scramble to get my bait tank up and running. Luckily I can just steal filter media from my indoor aquariums to Jumpstart the filter cycle. 

 

It's not ideal because I'll have to cut holes in the ice to trap.

My last spot was in a warm water discharge that never froze. Unfortunately the beavers and invasive rushes screwed that spot.

 

Still, anything is better than doing the bait shop shuffle, sometimes driving an hour round trip, paying $5.00 or more a dozen and often having them die in the bucket. 

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42 mins ago, nateD said:

A button is fine until you need to slide it 50 feet back up the line at a new lake, or it gets caught on the edge of the ice fighting a fish. A knot is the way to go.

So you just break out your sounding lead and take another reading. :) 

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40 mins ago, mikez2 said:

I guess it's personal preference. 

I've been using buttons for 40 years and never had one catch on the ice. Obviously I have to be aware of the button and make sure I help it past the edge but I never had a problem. And that's important because I tend to use 4 lb test leaders. I've even gone down to 2 lb. You can't afford anything getting caught on the ice when a big rainbow makes a run on light leader.

 

As far as going to a new lake, I do that all the time.

One weekend I fish trout under the ice with my button 4 feet from the hook, the next weekend I might target perch 30 feet down. It's effortless. I hold the button in one hand and pull the line through as I lower my sounder. Or, going the other way, I strip off the line then wind it back on while holding the button. Takes 60 seconds. 

 

Knots, F that. Nothing I hate worse than getting a knot in ice line. I don't want a knot running through weeds or wood either. 

 

It's all good though whatever works for you is best. Having confidence in what your doing is half the battle.

Ya no right or wrong just preference, I find the button much more likely to catch on stuff and just be a general pain. Knot takes 5 seconds, pull the single loop and it comes right outDB1E2514-2D7A-47C8-96A9-7115661BB1CB.jpeg.7b7d0659394ea67e80754c509ea2bc45.jpeg

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