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BKK increases focus on growing global army of ‘hard water’ enthusiasts


Hook manufacturer BKK has increased its focus on ice fishing, producing a range that has everything for the growing army of ‘hard water’ anglers across the world.

The BKK SPEAR 21 series is already among the best-selling trebles on the market and an especially popular choice for predator fishing throughout the year.

The needle sharp points ensure good penetration in the tough jaws of predators and the size range covers everything from ultralight micro lures to big musky and pike lures as well as dead baits.

Sizes with Super Slide coatings range from #18 to 5/0, while BKK’s painted Orange Ultra-Violet (UVO) and newly-launched Chartreuse Ultra Violet (UVC) come in sizes #12 to 3/0.

The UVO and UVC trebles are the most popular among European anglers who prefer high contrast visibility and glowing colours for muddy, sandy and murky water and when there is little light under the ice. BKK’s pro anglers have proved that UV painted trebles are more effective in these conditions, says the manufacturer.

When it comes to artificial lures, anglers most often choose BKK Round Elite Classic or Stinger Eye Bait Keeper models. These come in different sizes and weights to suit a wide array of over-sized lures for targeting multiple species. Both types of hook are equipped with an extra eyelet on the bottom of the head for upgrading the presentation with a BKK teaser blade, BKK Spear 21 UVO or UVC (above) for a better hook-up rate

Long-time BKK pro anglers include Jani Laitinen, from the Urpoeramies YouTube channel in Finland, and Sondre Breian, based in Norway. This is what they have to say about ice fishing and the crucial part played by BKK hooks in how they fish.

When are the best times of year for ice fishing?

JANI (main image): In Finland, it is the early part of the season, before there is any snow on the ice. It’s super cool when you can see the fish through the ice, especially big pike! It is rare and you can only do it around once every five years. We have had snowy winters for many years in a row, so we haven’t been able to enjoy those conditions lately. Another good time for ice fishing is late spring, when the ice is not so thick. More light penetrates the ice and the fish become more active. This time of year offers a different ice fishing experience over thinner layers of ice.

SONDRE: I often go to lakes that are hard to reach from shore or boat during the open water season. Ice fishing is such an effective way to target new waters and reach places that you cannot fish for the rest of the year. For me, that is often smaller lakes in the woods, or calm rivers where I think the conditions are right for a big fish or two. The water clarity is also better during the winter than in the summer months, which means better hunting conditions for predatory fish in murky lakes. The best times are at the start and end of the season. At the start, the ice is often rock-solid and clear, which can give some thrilling fishing experiences if you can spot the big fish underneath the ice. During January and February, the layer of ice and snow is usually so thick that the light is blocked out, and that means slower fishing. During the spring when the days are longer and the ice is slowly melting, you can have some fantastic fishing for species that want to feed before spawning.

What BKK hooks do you recommend for live bait, dead bait and artificial lures?

JANI: For perch, we usually pair a small size BKK Spear 21 UVO and UVC treble hooks over light, balanced ice lures. For pike, we used dead baits with BKK UVO treble hooks. It is always the best option to choose bright coloured hooks, especially when there is not much light under the ice. BKK UV series works the best.

SONDRE: I usually fish for predatory species like perch, pike, zander or trout, but I also enjoy fishing for species like roach and bream at times. In Norway, we also have the beautiful arctic char. As I mostly fish with dead bait (live bait is illegal in Norway), I would highly recommend the BKK Spear 21 hooks sizes from 2 to 6, depending on which water type and fish are the target. If the water is murky, I often choose the UVO hooks, but if water clarity is good and I am fishing for smaller fish like perch, I would use a smaller treble like the Spear 21 Super Slide. For artificial lures, I often pair with BKK jigheads in different weights and sizes.

What are the signs above the ice that indicate there are fish below?

JANI: You should check for narrows between islands or other places where you think water moves a little bit. Fish are trying to find more oxygen-rich areas during winter. Also, deeper holes are good, but of course hard to spot through ice without electronics or knowledge of the fishing spot. One good piece of advice is to follow fishing traps and nets. If you see those on the ice, you are in the right place! Those fishermen always keep their traps and nets at the best spots.

SONDRE: When I am exploring new lakes, I often try to find a depth map to give me a little insight into where the fish might be. I look for shallower areas in the middle of the lakes, steep drop-offs, or deeper holes – anything that might stand out from the rest of the lake. If there is no map available, you can often get quite accurate estimates of how the lake looks underneath the surface by looking at the shoreline. If there is an island, there are often shallow areas around it, and if there is a river there might be a deeper channel where the fish can thrive.

What techniques do you advise?

JANI: I normally use smaller lures when ice fishing for perch. Drill holes when it’s still dark and start fishing when the sun rises. Use strong pulls and long stops. Strong movement attracts the fish from further away, and then stopping draws the attack!

SONDRE (above): My favourite method is dead baiting. This technique is outstanding at times and I have caught many big fish in lakes that have never been caught on artificial lures. Dead baiting works for almost every predatory species, but I have had most success with pike and zander.

What are the benefits of ice fishing compared to summer fishing?

JANI: If you don’t have a boat, there are lots of hotspots that cannot be reached from the shore. But when you are on the ice, you can fish everywhere! Also, some lakes and their surroundings might be so crowded with buildings or thick forest that fishing from shore is not possible. During winter you can reach every lake, river and fishing spot in general. Also the fish are packed together, so you can get crazy results from one spot! Fish are spread all over the lake during open water season.

SONDRE: The best part is the ability to try lakes and rivers you could otherwise never fish. Also, the surroundings are so beautiful and quiet, which enhances the experience – at least for me. My suggestion is to try to fish when the air temperature is minus 10 degrees Celsius and warmer. That is much better if you want to release the fish, and you also have a better chance of staying warm.

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