Ice Fishing: Tip Ups

Ice Fishing: Tip Ups

Tip-ups is an ice fishing technique as well as a piece of ice fishing equipment. Tip ups are devices that are set on the ice above your hole that dangle bait beneath it. They feature a flag attached that acts as a strike indicator. When a fish takes the bait, the reel turns and releases the line and flag at the same time. The flag “tips up” alerting the angler that a fish is on the line. Tip ups work best with heavier braided line and a larger lure, and typically attract larger game fish.

How to Ice Fish Using Tip Ups

  • Set your tip-up on the surface of the ice above your hole, drop your line in the water until it hits the lake bottom.
  • Raise the line slightly above the lake-bed.
  • The line can  remain still or if you are not in a shelter, you can use the wind to provide a natural jigging-type of movement.


Many ice-anglers try all of these techniques at the same time to see which works best for that particular body of water, the species available and the conditions that season. If you use multiple fishing rods or tip-ups, be sure to check the regulations as there may be limits on the numbers of rods an ice angler can use.

Both New York State and Vermont regulations for Lake Champlain allow no more than 15 lines per angler. Be aware that limits on other bodies of water in each state may restrict the number of lines significantly. Check the regulations for the specific body of water that you fish at the sites below!


Other Lake Champlain Ice Fishing Articles: