RE: Tip Up Leader & Hook Question?
I have always had the best luck keeping my bait a good distance above any weeds or structure, so the fish can see it, and it doesn't get snagged. I used to fish right down on top of the weeds and I was really surprised how many more hits I started getting when I moved my bait up higher above the weeds or structure. Pike will come right up the hole! However, I have heard walleye fisherman say that sometimes you need to be right on the bottom to catch them through the ice. I don't ice fish for walleye, so I can't attest to this. In my opinion, for trout through the ice, they can be at virtually any depth in the winter and tend to roam a lot, so I like to spread my tip ups out over a large area with varying depths. I also have found that schools of perch are pretty good predictors of where the larger predators are going to be... As for split shot, I like to put it no more than 4-6 inches above the minnow, to keep it at the right depth and keep the minnow from swimming up...
"Part of being a Leftist is the smug conviction that you and people like you are smart, while everyone else is stupid and/or evil"
- T. Fleming