It has been a few years since I have hit the hard water for some serious ice fishing action. Many of you that are involved in minor hockey, know there is not much time on the weekends for extra activities. I made it a point to get out ice fishing whenever I could this year, even if it means going after work during the week. I purchased several new ice jigs, baits, ice rods, Shimano reels and a Lowrance Elite-5 Ice Machine. I forgot how addicting ice fishing can be !! It did not take me long to get back into the swing of things. My focus has been on targeting panfish. Using the Lowrance Elite-5 Ice Machine has made it very easy to target suspended panfish, even in water less than 10 feet. It is amazing how you can watch fish streak off of the bottom or out of a school, move up to your bait, and then you have them on within seconds !! Just like playing a video game. If you are targeting Crappies, it is very important to use a fish finder, since these fish feed upwards. If you are fishing below them you most likely will not get bit. My go to bait has been a 1" Berkley Gulp Fish Fry rigged on a Lindy Fat Boy jig. If the fish are a little aggressive or I know there are some bigger sized panfish in the area, I will jig a Lindy Darter or a Lindy Frosty spoon tipped with Gulp maggots. As for my rod and reel choice, I use a medium light action graphite 28 " rod, paired with a Shimano Sienna 500 sized reel. Spooled with 3 lb PowerPro micro braid, attached by a uni to uni knot is a 2 foot, 2 lb. test fluorocarbon leader. Most of the time when fishing the Gulp Fish Fry and Fat Boy, I am fishing it suspended off bottom, lightly shaking it and then pausing it in place. The fish can not resist, and usually strike it when it is paused. If you are fishing Crappies or Sunfish, you need to watch your line. Often the Crappies will move your bait upwards on the strike, putting slack in your line. Resulting in not feeling a bite downwards, realizing that a fish has your bait. They can get a little finicky at times and be tough to catch if your not careful.