Jason Rylander is a guide and eelpout authority from Bemidji, Minnesota and has a few important tips for targeting eelpout through the ice.
First, when selecting lures for eelpout, Rylander leans toward selecting a heavy jig that glows and makes noise. A simple modification is to add rattles.
Eelpout are an aggressive fish that are simply attracted to action. For fishing eelpout, Rylander says that the presentation is not subtle and is all about pounding the bottom and making noise by hitting bottom or with the rattle. Use large profile jigs and let the lure free fall to the bottom for additional attraction. If you mark a fish on your sonar, slow down and keep bouncing the lure or jig but keep it tighter to the bottom with shorter strokes. Eelpout will often pick up the lure right out of the bottom. Glow in the dark paint on lures is very important for eelpout so choose lures that have bright glow paint and keep the glow charged up. Spoons or jigs are often tipped with several minnows to add more bulk and smell.
Eelpout are a fascinating predator and these fish can be extremely aggressive.