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This is not a time to be stubborn, passive, or otherwise counterproductive. Spring has sprung and the ice is melting. In much of the Ice Belt, there’s still plenty of hard water opportunities, but with the window closing, you’ll want to make the most of the season’s remains.

So don’t wait for something to happen—make something happen.

Clam pro Jason Durham explains:

“Ice fishing for panfish is a balance between getting the fish to come to you with a bait that has a lot of flash and attraction and then presenting a bait that’s small enough for the fish to want to eat,” Durham said.

“We talk about mobility on the ice; we talk about drilling lots of holes and hopping from spot to spot. But we still have to get those fish to come right beneath us.”

Durham takes his game to the fish with a one-two punch that banks on the attention-getting allure of flash and dash while using small and subtle tricks to close the deal.

He’ll prospect likely areas with a Clam Pro Tackle Blade Spoon and a Makii plastic tail. If a hot fish takes a bite, it’s all good. If not, he’ll pull the old bait-and-switch.

“If a fish won’t take the spoon and just sits there below the bait, I’ll quickly crank up and grab my second rod with a Clam Drop (tungsten) jig with a Makii plastic tail. As I’m watching the fish on my Vexilar, I’ll drop this bait right on the fish and a lot of times, it’s that small profile that gets the fish to bite.”

Depending on local conditions, your ice excursions are dwindling by the day, so don’t waste a precious moment. Get after the fish.

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