Ice Fishing: The Hot Bite at Last Light

icefishing last light
The final hour of daylight can yield the best fishing.David A. Brown

Each day on the ice brings its own cyclical conclusion and if there’s one thing anglers with augers treasure, it’s the sundown bite.

It’s like last call at the corner pub and somebody just bought the house a round.

“The sundown bite happens because plankton rises up out of the shadowy depths and aquatic insects rise from the weeds and become active,” says Minnesota guide Brian Brosdahl. “Low light is easier on predators, so sunset is a food chain race to the finish line.”

Now, we could quote Dylan Thomas and urge you to “Rage, rage against the dying of the light…” But that’s a little dramatic.

So, instead, are two simple bits of advice from Brosdahl for those final 90 minutes of daylight:

  1. To target the biggest, most aggressive fish, ditch the dainty jigs and give them something worth biting. For crappies, that's a small forage spoon; for walleyes it's a Buckshot Flutter Spoon or a 1/8-ounce Northland Tackle Rippin Shad.

  2. Work the baits with vigor to give the fish a minnow profile and capitalize on the aquatic gorge fest occurring below. The sundown feed is typically the best of the day.