Ice fishing is in full swing in North America and anglers are always looking for better ways to remember their outings and of course capture the action of the bite. I fish with jigging stands, straight-out jig poles, and tips-ups depending on weather, species, and if there are kiddos on the ice doing more than ice fishing. But I always have tip-ups to increase my chances if I have the time and the inclination to drill more holes.
Using Spydro (www.getspydro.com) in combination with a tip-up can give you some of the best ice fishing action, but you need to set it upright. If you want to see hours of video watching walleye, bass, perch, pike, etc checking out the bait and studying their reaction, you will find yourself a better angler.
What to take into consideration with using Spydro in your setup?
When I started using Spydro in 2018 I was quite sure that braided line was the only option and that has been reinforced in all angling set-ups including casting, trolling, drift fishing, and of course ice fishing. The next question is what line test you should use. Best practices for line test choice from your line to Spydro should be three times that of the line test you are using from Spydro to the bait. The minimum test I use for Spydro is 30-pound Power Pro when fishing tip-ups and jigging stands. When a fish takes the bait and Spydro goes on a ride, you need the confidence that the most challenging situations will be covered, i.e. snags and big fish. The line I use from Spydro to the bait is exactly what I would use if I was fishing without Spydro. 2-pound to 4-pound mono for panfish, 6-pound to 8-pound mono for trout, walleye, and bass, and 12-pound to 20-pound braid for pike and musky.
Leader length I have found to be best at 12 inches unless you are lucky to have clear ice conditions or thinner ice which allows more natural light to permeate to the bait. In these situations, I will go to 18 inches. In opposite conditions where there is thick ice and/or deep snow I will reduce my leader to 6 to 8 inches to improve the video I capture.
Never tie directly to Spydro! I use snap swivels in all cases when attaching the line to Spydro. Don’t mess with cheap discount store brands, quality (Rosco, VMC, and Sampo) means everything with your $200+ camera inline.
I only use the uni knot when attaching the braid. To date, I have never had one pull out. Here is a simple video on how to tie one – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cVDrTFPlhE.
You choose the tip-up that best suits your needs. I have several brands and they all perform well.
You connected the Spydro to your tip-up and you are ready to fish.
Set up Spydro for ice fishing.
- Make sure your Spydro has been updated to the latest version 2087.
- Charge your Spydro the night before – trust me this matters.
- Bring a power bank to charge Spydro between sessions if you have a long day on the ice planned. I use Anker chargers ( www.anker.com ). If you don’t use the light on Spydro you will get up to three hours on a charge, but if you end up using the LED’s it will be less to record per session, but the images will be cooler, and “you might see more action.”
- Settings that I use for tip-ups and jigging stands are as follows:
- Video Resolution – 1080
- Clip Length – 10 Min (if you want to check the camera for proper set-up, use 30 seconds or 1 minute, so downloads to your phone go faster.
- Light – On or Off
- Squid Light – Off
- Auto Power Off – On
- Auto Wifi Off Water – On (This saves you about 20 minutes of charge)
I use two depth finders when searching for my fishing area. The Navionics Boating app (https://www.navionics.com/usa/apps/navionics-boating) so I know the general depth I am at and the Vexilar LPS-1 or Handheld Digital Depthsounder (https://store.vexilar.com/handheld-digital-depthsounder.html).
After locating your ideal fishing spot drill your holes, add your leader and bait to the other end of Spydro, set up your tip-up, and slowly allow the bait and Spydro to head on down below the ice. A few tips:
- When bottom fishing, make sure to allow Spydro to touch the bottom and then reel up to the right height accounting for the bait, leader, and Spydro. Otherwise, you may capture a video of the bottom and zero of the action.
- If you are using a hook instead of a lure, I like to add a small split shot above the hook to make sure the bait/hook is in the eye line of Spydro.
- When fishing the top of the water column, use the Spydro Bobber sleeve.
- When you get a flag and pull in your catch, remember to NOT slam your camera against the ice and turn it off to conserve battery life.