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A lot of the time when we talk about ice fishing, we talk about being mobile, especially from the middle of the season on. We refer to this mobility as "trolling on ice." In short, "trolling on ice" means you drill a good number of holes and move from hole to hole until you find the fish. This is usually a good technique, but there are times when it works well to "drop anchor" and just fish a certain area very thoroughly. Here's what "anchoring on ice" is all about.

"Anchoring on ice" appeals to some folks for different reasons. First of all, some ice anglers either don't want to move around a lot, or they can't.

However, there are some ice anglers who can move around as much as they want, and they still prefer to "drop anchor" and just work a particular spot.

And then there are those folks who fish from a permanent house, so moving can be a chore. However, it is becoming a lot easier to move the large shelters that once were considered permanent. We’ll talk about that in a little while. For now, just know that fishing from a somewhat anchored position on the ice can be very productive if you keep a few things in mind. Following are some of those things.

When fishing from an "anchored" location, I like to get as many lines in the water as I legally can. Sometimes we’ll even put a tip-up out near the shelter. More lines in the water usually mean more fish.

If you can use two lines where you're fishing, I like to have a jig rod in my hand and a bobber rig down another hole close by.

If several anglers are fishing from the same shelter, everyone should be doing something different: Maybe using different types of lures, or different colors, just something different. Let the fish show you what they will respond to the best.

On the bobber rods, rig one with a plain hook and a minnow, another with a small jigging spoon and a minnow hooked lightly through the back. Set the bobber depth according to the species of fish you're after. Walleyes and perch usually like to be near the bottom, panfish will often be higher. Again, let the fish show you what they want.

Now, about shelters that look like a permanent shelter but are actually very mobile. We’ve been using the shelters from Core Ice. These shelters are large and hard-sided, but they are also very lightweight yet very durable. They’re also extremely easy to move, so it is very quick and easy to change locations if your “anchored” spot isn’t producing.

Mobility on the ice is a good thing, but if you prefer to fish from one position, you can still be successful. Get over the fish, let them show you what they want, then give it to them. If you do, your success on the ice will increase.

Photos: Big fish caught in North Iowa

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