The often unseen freshwater lake herring we refer to as “Cisco” is a roaming, opportunistic feeding fish that is usually in the deepest parts of our cold-lakes through the warm months. But, in the winter time they cruise from just under the ice to the deepest depths feeding aggressively on crustaceans, invertabrates and baitfish.
In some lakes they can be under a pound in size, in others, they can grow to two pounds or more. Simeon Kubassek holds up two impressive size Cisco he caught ice fishing out from Thunder Bay, ON on Superior’s north-shore.
Cisco can be caugth on set-lines like the TipNJig Total Ice Fishing System, or jigged using small spoons and 1/16 oz VMC Tungsten Tubby jigs tipped with a small piece of fresh minnow. They are really scrappy for their size and fight much like a rainbow trout or steelhead, rolling in the line and stripping off drag if you use an ultralight outfit. Two to 4 lb. test let’s you make the best presentation and a reliable ice-sonar really helps to locate them feeding in the water column.