Ice Fishing Tips – Discovering a Great Adventure
You are here because you want to get some valuable ice fishing tips, right? Let’s start with the basics and find out what this type of fishing is all about. For starters, you will need a frozen body of water, usually a pond or a lake and less often a river. You have to check where and when exactly ice fishing is allowed during the cold months of the year. It is recommended that anglers enjoy their hobby on frozen surfaces only when the ice is more than four inches deep. Otherwise, the risk of it breaking and causing an accident is extremely high. Once you’ve found the right spot, you just need to make a hole, drop your bait in the water and wait. It sounds simple, but you have to get properly prepared with the right equipment and use the most effective techniques which will be shared with you here.
Another thing which makes ice fishing more challenging compared to fishing during the warmer months of the year is the behavior of fish. Practically all species including speedy ones move much more slowly when the water is very cold in order to conserve energy. That is why you have to select your bait more carefully and to be more patient too. Let’s move onto the tips now.
- Choose the best suited gear for ice fishing – A specially designed short rod, which is no longer than 36 inches, is the first thing that you need. A spinning reel will do a great job and so will mono line of 6 to 12 pounds. You can readily do a good job with a traditional bobber. You will need weights to sink the bait to greater depth as fish prefer deeper waters during the winter months.
- Select the bait with care – The most popular bait options for ice fishing include larvae such as fly, mayfly and bee moth larvae. Warms and rings of shrimp are other top choices. You will benefit from using lures too. Jigs and flies work exceptionally well.
- Make a proper hole in the ice – You will need a specially designed auger or chisel for the job. Most anglers find the auger to be easier, quicker and more effective to use. Get a slush scoop, rice skimmer or a big ladle for removing the crushed ice. When it comes to the whole’s size, it should be big enough for you to take the fish out. Generally, the smaller it is, the better. Once you start fishing, cover the whole’s surface with some of the scooped ice. If you leave a bright spot, fish will get spooked and swim away.
- Adopt an effective ice fishing technique – Most anglers use a slightly modified jigging technique which is suitable for cold conditions. Start by dropping your line down the whole so that the sink reaches the bottom. Raise the bait extremely slowly so that it is about one foot off the bottom. Then jig sideways and up and down slowly. This is crucial since fish won’t be bothered to chase fast-moving pray. Tight lining is another popular technique which you can learn and use.
- Get a comfortable seat – You can expect to wait for longer to catch a fish given the lower pace of life under the icy surface so you should definitely sit down. Some anglers find it easier to use the bucket which they carry their bait in, but you will benefit from bringing camping chairs. There are light foldable ones which come with backrest and armrests. They will do a fantastic job.
- Stay safe – This is undoubtedly the most important ice fishing tip of all. You must dress warmly. Choose appropriate shoes, trousers and jacket. It is best to dress in layers. Remember to wear gloves and a hat. Unless there are thick clouds in the sky, the sunglasses are a must. Get food, water and, most importantly, a fully charged cell phone. Never go to a frozen pond alone. It is best to be in a party of at least three people. It may go without saying, but you must never even walk on ice which is too thin.
Now that you have valuable ice fishing tips at hand, you can go on and enjoy this amazing adventure.