fish attractorAre you an ice fisherman? Have you been having some trouble locating those precise spots where fish hold when the lake freezes? It’s understandable, especially if you’re new to the ice, because fish become more finicky and lethargic beneath the ice, which means they’re less likely to move from an exact depth or from the safety of a small piece of cover. It doesn’t have to be like that, though. To compensate for winter fish behavior, many anglers dot their local ponds with fish attractors during the fall, which will attract fish during the ice season. You can buy attractors, of course, but it’s significantly cheaper to construct your own, and today I’ll give you some tips that will help you with the task.

Fish attractors can be made in a few different sizes, with the most popular being 5 ½, 4, or 2 ½ feet. For the largest size, you’ll need 25 lengths of PVC (30” x ½”), one 19” x ½” length of PVC, a one ½” PVC T, and a brick for holding the attractor at the bottom. For the four-foot design, you’ll want 25 lengths of 21" x ½” PVC, one 14" x ½" PVC, one ½” PVC T, and a brick. Finally, for the smallest size, you’ll want 25 12" X ½” PVC, one 7" x ½” PVC, one ½” PVC T, and a brick.

You can have the PVC cut to these specifications at your local home improvement retailer, or you can purchase precut kits online at a variety of tackle websites. You’ll also need a way to hold the lengths of PVC together at the middle. Some use rope or something similar to lash the PVC together, but it’s easier to purchase a sphere online that’s specially made for fish attractors. These spheres typically come in packs of three and possess precut holes in which to stick the cut PVC.

For the sake of space and time, we’ll focus our instructions on the five-foot model. Let’s take a look at the central sphere, which will have two holes. In either of these holes, put a 19 ½” pipe and glue it in place. Then, place the other 25 lengths of 30” pipe in the other holes. Put one or two bricks (make sure they have holes) on the end of the shorter center length of pipe, then glue the ½” PVC tee on bottom of pipe to hold the brick in place. Finally, turn the attractor so that the bricks are on the bottom to create a solid anchor for the attractor once it reaches the bottom.

Some scoff at the notion of using attractors to bring fish to spots of your choosing, but it’s no different than using scent or bait to attract a deer. Planning for the ice season ahead of time by placing attractors and marking their locations on a map or GPS will help ensure a full cooler and a full freezer at the end of the season. If you’ve been getting skunked on the ice this winter, consider crafting a few PVC attractors for next year.