How to Set a Tip Up for Ice Fishing - Beginners Tips and More


10 min read

Have you ever wanted to try ice fishing? Here is How to Set a Tip Up for Ice Fishing. It's a fun winter activity that the whole family can enjoy.

Ice fishing is a great winter activity that anyone can enjoy. It doesn't matter if you're an experienced angler or have never even held a fishing rod before, ice fishing is something that anyone can learn.

How to Set a Tip Up for Ice Fishing

Setting up a tip-up for ice fishing is a simple process that can help you catch fish through the ice. It is a great way to target big game fish such as pike and lake trout. Here are the basic steps to set up a tip-up, so you can have a successful and safe ice fishing trip:

First, you need to clear a spot on the ice where you want to set up your tip-up. Make sure it is a safe distance from any cracks or pressure ridges, and that the ice is thick enough to support the weight of the tip-up and any fish you may catch. Also, select a location where the fish are most likely to be.

Next, lay the tip-up flat on the ice, with the flag upright. Many tip-ups have a built-in line holder, which can help keep the line from tangling. Once you are done with this step, you are ready to move on to the next one.

Tie your fishing line to the end of the tip-up spool or the pre-existing hole. Make sure the line is tight so that it will pull the flag upright when a fish takes the bait. This step is crucial as you don't want to miss a catch because of a loose line.

After that, bait your hook with the appropriate bait for the fish you are targeting, and lower it down through the hole in the ice. Adjust the depth of your bait by adjusting the number of lines on the spool. This will allow you to target fish at different depths.

Tip Up

When a fish takes the bait, the flag will pop up, signaling that it's time to reel in your catch. This is the most exciting part of the process. Be sure to follow the fish and apply the appropriate pressure to catch it.

10 Steps to fishing with a tip-up correctly1. Locate and spread out the best spots.

When it comes to finding the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic, there are a few things to consider.

First, you'll want to find a spot that is flat and free of obstacles. This will make it easier to set up your picnic blanket and keep your food from rolling away. You'll also want to find a spot with good lighting so you can enjoy your picnic in the evening hours.

Finally, you'll want to find a spot with a beautiful view. This could be by a lake, in a park, or even in your own backyard.

Once you've found the perfect spot, it's time to set up your picnic blanket. Spread it out flat on the ground and make sure there are no rocks or sticks poking through. If you have a large blanket, you may want to weigh down the corners with your picnic basket or a cooler. This will keep the blanket from blowing away in the wind.

2. Drill holes in the ice.

Most people would say that the best way to drill holes in the ice is to use an ice auger.

However, there are a few different ways that you can do this. If you have a power drill, you can attach a drill bit to the end of it and use that to drill through the ice. You can also use a hand auger, which is a tool that you twist by hand to drill through the ice.

3. Prepare a good line spool

A fishing line is one of the most important tools in a fisherman’s arsenal. A good quality line will make the difference between a successful day on the water and a frustrating one.

Berkley Trilene Micro Ice Monofilament Ice Fishing Line

[caption id="attachment_1588" align="aligncenter" width="236"]How to Set a Tip Up for Ice Fishing Line How to Set a Tip Up for Ice Fishing: Fishing Line[/caption]

Here are a few tips on how to prepare a good line spool:

Start by removing any old lines from the spool. Next, use a line conditioner to clean and lubricate the spool. This will help the new line to glide on smoothly and prevent tangles.

Finally, add a line stopper to keep the line from slipping off the spool. And that’s it! With a little bit of preparation, you’ll be ready to hit the water with a quality line that will help you land that big one.

4. Check the depth;

Regardless of the type of fish, I'm fishing for, you've got to get the line down to the fish's level somehow, and the way we do that is with this device.

Celsius Depth Finder

[caption id="attachment_1586" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Celsius Depth Finder Celsius Depth Finder[/caption]

What's called a sounder is nothing more than a rock; that's really all it is: a heavy weight that's going to allow us to get right down to the bottom. Sometimes I might choose to set my tip up right under the ice, and there's a variety of different reasons I might do that.

Maybe If I'm fishing for salmon, where they're running right underneath the ice, but a lot of times I'm going to be fishing right on the bottom, and that's typical if I'm fishing for perch or a lot of other species because that's where the baitfish are and what they're eating, so I want to make sure I get to the right depth.

5. Choose your tip-up bait

There are many different types of tip-up bait that can be used when ice fishing and the type of bait you choose can make a big difference in your success. Some common tip-up baits include minnows, nightcrawlers, and small jigs.


Minnows are a popular choice for tip-up bait because they are easy to care for and can be caught in many different types of water.


Nightcrawlers are another popular choice, as they are also easy to care for and can be used in a variety of waters.

Small jigs

Small jigs are also a good choice for tip-up bait, as they can be used in a variety of waters and can be very effective in catching fish.

When choosing tip-up bait, it is important to consider the type of fish you are targeting:

For example, if you are targeting trout, you will want to use a bait that is known to be effective in catching trout. If you are targeting salmon, you will want to use a bait that is known to be effective in catching salmon.

6. Adjust the trigger sensitivity.

How to set the tip

Now I'm going to tell you how to set the tip up using the actual hole, so first things first, take your ladle and scoop out all of that ice. Take your spoon and hook it on. Make it nice and secure because the last thing you want to happen is to lose your speaker down the hole.

[caption id="attachment_2762" align="aligncenter" width="300"]How to set the tip depth How to set the tip depth[/caption]

Illustration by Samuel A. Minick

Now it's time to put our fish on. You want to take the nicest, liveliest minnow you can find. The size of the middle depends on the fish that we're going after. If I'm going after a perch, I'd probably go with a fat-headed shiner or a small little shiner. If I'm going after a larger species or going after bass, maybe a medium shiner, a large pike, or a jumbo shiner work really well.

Tuck a small shiner in there. We hook it right behind the dorsal fin. We're going to hook right behind that dorsal once it's hooked. Set it in the hole, and if I didn't mention it before, we always put one or two split shots about eight inches above your hook. Slide that in gently, easing your line into the hole. You don't want to put all your line in at once because it'll bunch up, so just ease your line in. It's now time to set that tip up.

7. Keep an eye out for flags.

Tip Up flags are a great way to indicate when you have a bite while ice fishing. By keeping an eye out for these flags, you can be sure to know when you have a fish on your line.

8. Move quickly when a flag is raised.

When a flag is raised for fish bites ice fishing, it is important to move quickly. This is because the fish are biting and you want to be able to catch them. If you are not quick, you may miss out on the opportunity to catch some fish.

9. Check to see if the fish is still hooked.

If the fish is still hooked, then it is likely that it is still alive. This is because when a fish is hooked, it is usually through the mouth or gills, which are vital areas for the fish to breathe. If the fish is not breathing, then it is likely dead.

10. Set the hook and pull in the fish.

In order to be a successful fisherman, one must be able to set the hook and pull in the fish. This may sound like a simple task, but it is one that requires a great deal of skill and practice.

The hook must be baited in order to lure the fish, and then set in such a way that the fish will be securely hooked when it takes the bait. Once the fish is hooked, the fisherman must then reel in the fish, using the proper techniques to ensure that the fish does not escape. Setting the hook is a delicate process, as the hook must be baited in order to lure the fish, but not so baited that the fish will simply steal the bait without being hooked.

The size and type of bait will vary depending on the type of fish being targeted. The hook must then be set in the water at the correct depth and in the correct location in order to give the fish the best chance of biting. Once the fish takes the bait, the fisherman must then set the hook by jerking the line in such a way that the hook penetrates the fish's mouth and becomes lodged in the side of its jaw.

Reeling in the fish is also a delicate process, as the fisherman must maintain a tight line while simultaneously reeling in the fish. If the line is too loose, the fish will be able to swim away; if the line is too tight, the fish will be able to break the line.

How to Set a Tip Up for Ice Fishing: Bonus Tip

Look for the wind's direction; this is important because we don't want to get a wind flag that indicates a false alarm.

You should never get a wind flag. Running over excitedly to grab that tip and losing that fish is a common mistake made by new anglers.

What they just did without realizing it is that they yanked that minnow right out of the fish's mouth with all their excitement because the fish was just sitting there chewing on the edge of it and hadn't quite had a chance to digest it.

Frabill 1664 Classic Tip-Up Wooden Boxed

  • 17.5" inch flag shaft with a high visibility flag
  • Molded-in 19" ruler | Large capacity metal spool with counter-balance crank knobs for a wobble-free performance
  • Tapered rails for easy removal from snow and ice | Pre-lubricated with sub-zero low temp lubricant

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[caption id="attachment_2761" align="aligncenter" width="267"] Portable Fish Finder Transducer Sonar Sensor Portable Fish Finder Transducer Sonar Sensor[/caption]

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If you are new to ice fishing, setting up a tip-up is a great way to get started. A tip-up is a device that holds your fishing line and baits in place while you wait for a fish to bite. When a fish bites, the tip-up will tip over, letting you know that you have a fish on the line.

A tip-up is a great way for beginners to get started with ice fishing because it is easy to use and does not require a lot of experience.