Learn About Ice Fishing

This site is new, so I have lots of questions to add. Do you have a question about ice fishing? Please ask me here!

Safety (2)

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Dressing properly is the key to a long and comfortable day on the ice. Here are some important tips:

  • Start with thin layers, then layer-on the heavier cloths on top. Good thermal underwear the first layer. The longer you can keep your core warm the longer your extremities will stay warm.
  • Make sure you can move around freely. If you’re feeling restrained, lighten up on the layers.
  • Layer the short socks, but you shouldn’t need to layer up from your foot much, unless you wear short boots.
  • Wear warm high boots that will keep cold and wetness out.
  • A good ice fishing suit is the best, but deer hunting gear or good ski/snowboard wear will suffice. Often just a good pair of winter bibs is all you need besides a regular jacket or sweatshirt on top of you layers.
  • Make sure you have a hooded jacket and a good hat that covers your ears.
  • If you plan on fishing outside, wear thin waterproof gloves if you can’t fish glove-free. Keep them on unless you need to change bait or re-tie.
  • If you gotta pee, go pee. You get cold when you’re holding it in.

 

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How-To (1)

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Talking to the local bait shop is a good first step, also you can see where other anglers are congregating and go near them. Often a lake will be either “hot” or “not”, so you don’t necessarily need to dive into the crowd.

Social Media and Mobile GPS Maps are other ways to figure out where to go.

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Learning (2)

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Ice Fishing EquipmentGood question. In short, you will need…

Ice Auger: You can’t fish unless you have a hole in the ice. There are hand, electric and gas models abounding. Prices range between $75 and $600.

Fishing Pole: Whether it’s a stick-and-a-string or a hundred dollar Thorne Brothers custom setup (want), you need a line management system of some kind.

Five Gallon Bucket: The actual volume of the bucket doesn’t matter, it’s just that the 5-Gallon bucket has become a fixture in ice fishing. Oh yeah, you put the fish you catch in there too.

Bait: This is an easy one. Go to the bait store closest to where you want to fish , act ignorant and ask them what’s biting, and what working for bait. Hopefully they don’t give you a container of black waxie worms 😉 More likely they will give you some fresh bait and great advice that will help your success. Listen to any and all info on your target lake!

Fishing License: Pretty sure you need that everywhere this blog can be read.

Okay NOW, do you want to catch fish or do you just want to sit there on your 5-gallon bucket, bored and freezing your tail off? No, you don’t.

Sonar Flasher: This is the tool that has transformed ice fishing from the sit-on-a-bucket, grumpy old men day into what we enjoy today. Simply, it’s your eyes beneath the ice. You see the fish, you see your bait. Line the two up, catch the fish. It is (almost) that simple!

Portable Fish House: Most people aren’t studs like me, fishing outside, freezing holes as fast as you can keep them clear, hopping from hole-to-hole across the lake in search of the monster catch. A good fast-setup fish shack will make the day tolerable for even the most wimpy ice angler. You can sit in your underwear and catch fish all day. And then you have wheel-houses, when you pretty much have an RV on the ice.

Propane Heater: The above comfort would not be possible without a good heater. They range from small 1 LB bottle models to the same thing you would use to heat a garage or small house.

That’s pretty much it. Ice fishing is much less expensive than summer fishing with a boat. And to be honest, you can catch more fish through the ice.

Got questions? Comment below and I will answer ASAP!

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Well, the season is over. But ice-out can be a slow process and an adventurous person can stretch the season a few day. Ice melts first close to shore. If you can get across the open water near shore, the ice out on the lake can be safe. It’ll be soft and you’ll need to watch for bad spots, so check often and don’t venture too far.

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Clothing (1)

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Dressing properly is the key to a long and comfortable day on the ice. Here are some important tips:

  • Start with thin layers, then layer-on the heavier cloths on top. Good thermal underwear the first layer. The longer you can keep your core warm the longer your extremities will stay warm.
  • Make sure you can move around freely. If you’re feeling restrained, lighten up on the layers.
  • Layer the short socks, but you shouldn’t need to layer up from your foot much, unless you wear short boots.
  • Wear warm high boots that will keep cold and wetness out.
  • A good ice fishing suit is the best, but deer hunting gear or good ski/snowboard wear will suffice. Often just a good pair of winter bibs is all you need besides a regular jacket or sweatshirt on top of you layers.
  • Make sure you have a hooded jacket and a good hat that covers your ears.
  • If you plan on fishing outside, wear thin waterproof gloves if you can’t fish glove-free. Keep them on unless you need to change bait or re-tie.
  • If you gotta pee, go pee. You get cold when you’re holding it in.

 

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Tackle (1)

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Yes, but only the small jigs and spoons will be effective. Also, your summer fishing reels will work on the ice too. You can even make short ice fishing rods out of broken long rods.

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