No other presentation style has had a bigger impact on
ice-fishing success, and every ice angler should know how
to use it
In nature, fish eat prey items that swim and dance. In nature,
prey items move with realism, pulsating quickly, squirting one
way and then another, often seeming to vibrate in place rapidly,
often doing so as they drift slowly either up or down in the
water. You can learn to imitate these rapid vibrations while
ice fishing, and it will greatly increase your catch rate. Many
ice anglers only use a soft, slow, rhythmic swimming motion
while presenting lures and hoping for bites. Sometimes that
works. Most days, you will catch more if you have mastered the
Presenting the Pound
It’s called the ‘Genz Pound’ or just ‘pounding,’
and no other presentation style has had a bigger impact on ice-fishing
success, and every ice angler should know how to use it. It’s
sometimes called an aggressive presentation, but it isn’t
aggressive so much as lifelike. In fact, your jig doesn’t
often move long distances, because you are not pumping hard
up and down. There are degrees of aggression you can build into
a pounding presentation, and to some extent, it matters whether
you are using a jig with a vertical or horizontal orientation.
Look at the photograph and you will see the difference between
a vertical and horizontal jig.
||Nothing in fishing is absolute, but Dave
Genz generally believes that a horizontal jig looks more
realistic to a fish, because it better represents a prey
item that is swimming– horizontally– in the
water. Vertical-hanging jigs, because they probably don’t
look as realistic to a fish, need to be fished aggressively
in order to more consistently trigger bites.
“It’s a little more complicated than this,”
says Genz, “but a horizontal presentation can be used
to trick fish. It really helps you catch fish that are lethargic
and only respond to a bait after they get a chance to slide
up and examine it. “A vertical presentation is often used
to trigger fish that can be almost forced to hit aggressive
jigging. I keep (a vertical-hanging jig) moving all the time,
because I don’t want the fish to get a good look at it.”
The Genz Pound is executed by moving your wrist rapidly up and
down, but not moving it ‘far’ with each ‘pulse’
you create. “It looks like you’re nervous,”
says Genz, “when you’re doing it right. The effect
you are going for is that your jig is vibrating in the water.
“A lot of times, you also want to move the bait up and
down, in order to search through different depth levels, but
you do that by raising or lowering your arm as you do the pound.”
The pounding presentation was developed for use with a vertical-hanging
jig, but it is also extremely effective when used with a horizontal
jig. In fact, the realism inherent in horizontal jigs is greatly
enhanced through a relentless, vibrating rendition of the pound.
Here is the dynamic at work when you get it right:
The eye of the jig is the pivot point, and the ‘tail’
portion (the hook point) kicks up and down like a horse’s
rear legs bucking. “You don’t want the entire jig
to move up and down in high hops,” says Genz. “The
pivot point is just that; it doesn’t move up and down
much.” With a horizontal jig, the resulting action looks
extremely lifelike. It seems to almost hum with realism and
pulse with life. It brings fish in and convinces them to suck
in your bait. “There are other ways, that people have
come up with over the years, to achieve this pounding style,”
reports Genz. “Some people hold their rod in one hand,
or lay it on their leg, and bang on it rapidly with their other
hand, and that can make the jig look alive.”
||How to Grip the Rod
To produce the Genz pound the way he does it, try his
‘pencil grip’ on the rod handle.
Many top-notch ice anglers use it. Rather than gripping
the rod in the traditional manner, you essentially grab
onto it from ‘over the top,’ or sort of cradle
the reel in your hand as if you are rocking it to sleep.
(After you take this grip, you can hold it in an ‘overhand’
position, or turn your hand so palm is facing upward.
By experimenting with hand positions, you’ll find
what works best for you, and will learn to vary it to
achieve different presentations.)
“The big reason you do it that way,” says Genz,
“is that it takes your shoulder out of it when you set
the hook. It’s all wrist now. You’re set to come
up real quick with your wrist. You can set the hook into that
fish’s mouth before he can spit it out.
moves the rod tip as far, or farther, than when you pull up
with your shoulder and smash into the roof of the Fish Trap.
And it’s way faster.”
For hooksetting advantages alone, the new way of gripping an
ice rod is better. But, says Dave, you will also come to appreciate
the presentation advantages, too.
“It feels funny
to do it this way, at first,” says Genz, “but the
action you can get on the jig is worth spending time at it.
Get comfortable and it feels weird to do it the old way after
Learn to master the pound, and you will get a lot of practice
setting the hook.
Note: Dave Genz, known as Mr. Ice Fishing, was the primary driver
of the modern ice fishing revolution. For more, including his
instructional DVD on bluegill fishing, go to www.davegenz.com,