Ice Fishing With Safety Precautions

Ice Fishing With Safety Precautions

Ice fishing with Safety Precautions is a must, especially for visitors and guests going to a region that they are not familiar with.  It is all too easy to transfer logical thinking from one’s own experience and regional knowledge to a another that is very different, therefore precarious and unpredictable to the inexperienced.

Everyone has heard the saying, “No ice is safe”. While true, this is not practical advice for many of us in Northern climates where playing or working on frozen water is part of our lives. Ice fishing, for one, allows many opportunities for disaster when the dangers of ice are neither appreciated nor prepared for properly.

Ice Fishing With Safety Precautions
Digital images of a dark blue hue on the snow during the full moon during midnight in the Lapland winter

Ice fishing with Safety Precautions and recreational activities

Sometimes we tend to simplify the dangers of ice fishing, thinking of all of the fun of catching “the big one” after drinking a case of beer with friends while downplaying or omitting altogether the inherent dangers. Life-or-death situations can and do occur and often without notice, so it is imperative to take sensible precautions prior to driving or walking on frozen water in search of the perfect winter catch.

Those who wish to participate in an ice fishing expedition should be in reasonably good physical condition and able to swim or to at least remain comfortable staying afloat. Should an emergency occur, such as your fishing partner falling through the ice, your physical condition and their ability to float could be critical. The ability to remain calm in case of emergency is crucial as well.

When selecting clothing, consider not only the elements of cold, wind and snow, but also your mobility should you fall into the water. Waders or hip boots can fill with water, creating additional weight and restricting movement. These should, of course, be avoided at all costs. Waterproof, ankle-length footwear which laces up is a good choice. Keep in mind what would enable swimming and floating with ease when selecting what to put on. By layering your clothing, you retain the ability to lighten yourself easily should the need arise. A wool hat is a necessity to retain body heat. You should also remember to wear a personal flotation device.

Ice fishing with Safety Precautions and professional advice

Check ice conditions before venturing out on any frozen surface. Ice thickness should be no less than six inches and should be determined in more than one area, as ice thickness can vary. The ice fisherman’s rule of thumb is “Thick and blue, tried and true. Thin and crispy, way too risky!”. Always go out on foot before driving a vehicle on any ice surface, probing with an ice chisel in front you as you walk. Should the chisel ever go through, do not continue forward. Instead, carefully turn around and head back toward shore to return another day.

Loud booms and cracks may indicate nothing more than contraction and thermal expansion on a larger lake. However, on a river this sound signal may indicate imminent breakage or movement of ice. Always remain acutely aware of your surroundings when walking on any frozen surface. A group of individuals should proceed in a single-file line, leaving about ten feet between each person. Only after an ice cover has been accurately inspected should you drive a vehicle on it.

Ice conditions vary from region to region. Before venturing out on any frozen surface, take time to familiarize yourself with the area and to put simple precautions into place. If you are unsure about something, ask the advice of someone whose experience you trust. Above all, never go out on the ice alone and never go out on any ice whose safety is in question. By following these suggestions, your ice fishing expedition is guaranteed to be safe, if not fish-filled.

 

Preparation For Ice Fishing Trip

Preparation For Ice Fishing Trip

Preparation for ice fishing trip needs to be thorough with the local weather conditions in mind, sub zero temperature conditions of the mid winter with the possible wind chill factor can ruin a ice fishing trip. The other extreme is the possibility of rain in the autumn season making the day trip a misery if the preparation is not spot on for the expected weather conditions. Other winter weather conditions to be prepared for is snow falls and the worst case scenario of a blinding blizzard. But wait, there is more, going out on thin ice too early in the winter or too late in the spring season will be testing the ice to the extreme, also very dangerous to fall through the ice into liquid water.  Liquid water can free solid once out of the water and out in the cold air,  making mobility very difficult, and extremely cold.  These are some of the worst scenarios that can happen when not preparing for the ice fishing trip according to the local conditions.

Preparation For Ice Fishing Trip
Snowmobile travelling across a frozen lake early in the morning light with a trailer.

Preparation for ice fishing Trip during the winter months

Many people have never experienced fishing beyond what goes on at the lake during the summer. Avid anglers know about a whole other world of fishing waiting for them once the temperature drops. Ice fishing is a fantastic winter sport and an excellent family activity. It’s cheap, it’s easy, and it’s fun to do. Here is some basic information about ice fishing in the winter:

Dress warmly, more so than usual. Ice fishing takes place in the open, which means that winds will be noticeable and can be a factor in comfort. You should have plenty of layers beneath a windproof coat – it’s best to need to take off layers than not have enough from the start, as cooling down is easier than warming up. If the temperature is not very cold and no wind is present, you will probably be able to take your coat off and remove a few layers.

Waterproof boots are a good idea, as are thick, waterproof gloves. A good pair of mitts and a spare set (just in case) are fine too. A neck warmer and a hat are a must. Also, watch out for sunburn – the reflection of the sun’s rays on the snow and ice can pack a double whammy and leave you with a red face. Your eyes will also take a hit from the combination of sun and snow, so wear sunglasses to avoid eye damage.

Preparation for ice fishing trip with the right equipment

There is not much equipment involved in ice fishing. If you choose an outfitter, they will supply you with everything you need from drilled holes to lines to bait. Many people like to purchase their own ice-fishing equipment for convenience’s sake, but it’s best to give the sport a couple of tries to see if you really enjoy it before heading to the store. If you do decide to buy your own ice-fishing equipment, here is what you will need:

An ice auger for drilling holes will be your biggest expense. There are hand-cranked models that can cost about $100 or gas-powered ones that ring in around $300. Hand-cranked models may be attractive for small budgets but they can be very tiring to use and demand a certain amount of strength and stamina. It will also be difficult to open a number of holes in a short amount of time. Gas-powered models are easier and faster, cutting through ice very quickly, but they can be heavy to manipulate, though there are smaller models hitting the market each year.

Beyond the ice auger, you will need lines. There are traditional stick models that are very simple in construction or rod and reel models. Both models can be jigged manually to attract fish or can be affixed in the snow or on a rack so that you don’t have to provide hands-on attention. Fishing lines are not a big expense and lower-end models cost less than $10 each. Flags and gimmicks of higher-end models don’t really affect results.

The last few accessories are very cheap (less than $10 each) and easy to obtain. You’ll need a bucket to hold your bait (usually live minnows), a net for scooping, an ice spoon to remove slush from holes when they start to freeze over, and a second bucket to turn over for an impromptu seat. Small hot pads tucked into your mitts or pockets will help to keep fingers warm, as putting minnows on hooks usually requires bare hands in frigid temperatures.

Preparation for ice fishing trip with sandwiches and hot drink

When you head out for your day, bring a lunch and some snacks as well as something to drink. The fresh air will leave you hungrier than usual. Avoid drinking alcohol, as it’s quite easy to go overboard in the cold air and not notice the effects of one too many until it’s too late. In addition, alcohol tends to lower the body’s temperature and makes it difficult to stay warm.

Be sure that the ice is safe to walk or drive on. Test the thickness and keep an eye out for water or any suspicious areas. The recommended thickness of ice for walking on is 6 inches. If you are planning to drive a vehicle onto the ice, wait until the thickness is well over 10 inches. Never drive fast on ice, even when thickness isn’t an issue, as ice is flexible and the weight of a vehicle creates an air bubble in front of the car. An automobile moving too quickly can drive over the air bubble. With no water support beneath, the ice can easily break beneath your vehicle.

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Ice Fishing Phenomena Like Walking on Water

Ice Fishing Phenomena Like Walking on Water

Ice fishing phenomena like walking on water, what is it about ice fishing that makes it so unique? It’s got to be that you actually get to walk on water, when water is in it’s solid state.

It’s great to fish in the summer when the air is warm and the lake is calm.  There are fishermen, though, who can’t wait for winter and the lake surface to freeze over. Ice fishing is a sport that many people enjoy, extending the fishing season to year-round pleasure. What’s more, ice fishing is a great family activity.

What makes ice fishing so appealing to families is that the sport isn’t just about catching fish. Getting outdoors and breathing crisp, healthy fresh air while having fun sums up ice fishing well. Smiles, laughs, and playing in the snow are all pretty common occurrences while out on the ice. Those reasons are just some of the few that even people who hate fishing get hooked on this winter activity. If you’d like to try a day of ice fishing with your family, here are some things to keep in mind.

Ice Fishing Phenomena Like Walking on Water

Ice fishing phenomena like walking on water for fun

Ice fishing is usually a whole-day activity. Get out on the ice early after breakfast to enjoy the best hours. If you plan on bringing home a bunch of perch for a meal, then being ready with your lines in the water by the time the sun starts to rise is best. Fish tend to bite in the early morning or later in the afternoon, depending on the species. The period in between usually ends up being playtime for families rather than hours spent reeling up the fish.

Pack a good lunch and some snacks, because the fresh air and activity will stir appetites. Lots of finger foods and plenty of water to drink serve the purpose nicely. It’s a good idea to avoid bringing beer with you, though, as alcohol and cold don’t mix well. Alcohol can lower your body temperature and the chill in the air makes it harder to feel the effects You may end up going overboard without realizing you’ve had one to many to make the safe drive home.

Staying warm while ice fishing is a must. The open-air location will often carry a good breeze, so windproof clothing should be your first consideration. Plenty of layers underneath warm sweaters will trap the heat and keep you feeling toasty. Good boots and mitts of solid construction are best, and even better are those that are waterproof. Ice fishing involves playing in cold water, after all!

Some other accessories you’ll need are a warm hat and sunglasses. Bright sunlight reflects on the white snow and ice, which can be brutal on your eyesight and vision. Many ice anglers who don’t wear sunglasses come home and realize they can’t see well for over half an hour! Since the sun is so strong and the reflection off the snow amplifies its effects, it’s also easy to get sunburned, so apply plenty of sun block to avoid red cheeks.

If you’re new to ice fishing, choose an outfitter that will provide you with a cabin, a stove, lines, minnows and a hole-drilling service. These outfitters want to make sure you enjoy your day as much as possible and will set you up with everything you need for hours of fun. The employees will also be more than happy to answer your questions and give you tips on how to fish.

Once you’re set up, respect other people around you. Have a good time, but don’t blast a radio to upset the peace and quiet of other anglers. Don’t throw waste on the ice either and have a care for the environment. Some fishermen pour antifreeze in their holes to prevent ice from forming but antifreeze is toxic and this practice is an irresponsible one. Use the metal spoon provided to keep your holes from freezing over.

In addition, if you aren’t going to eat the fish you catch, handle them gently and practice catch and release. The growth rate and reproduction of fish is quite slow, which means negligent or abusive behaviour can put a dent in fish populations.

Lastly, pack up and head home before you get tired. Being outside for a few hours in cold temperatures will hit you hard once you get into a warm car. By the time you get home, you’ll probably feel exhausted. After a day of ice fishing, ordering a pizza for supper can be a godsend!

 

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Finding Where the Fish are located

Finding Where the Fish are located

Finding where the fish are located is the most difficult part of fishing, it may not have been so long time ago, when there were less people and much more fish in the rivers, lakes and the Sea. Now days there are more and more professional and factory ships going out for weeks and moths at a time to catch, process, package and freeze the catch while being out at the sea.  Also recreational fishermen increase at a steady pace with the population increase.

Before you attempt to catch fish, you need to find out where they are. Remember that fish are found nearly everywhere there is water with sufficient levels of food, oxygen, and cover. You are certain to be within a relatively close distance to a body of water that has fish living in it. For an angler, this is good news. They are there – now you have to find them!

Finding Where the Fish are located

Finding where the fish are located by talking to them

All fish are different. Because of this, they do not all live in the same kind of waters. Fish tolerate different environmental conditions. Some of these include differing levels of salt, amounts of oxygen, types and amounts of food, water temperature, and hiding areas. The most distinguishing element of fish is salt. Some fish do not live in areas where there is a lot of salt. On the other hand, some fish need salt to survive. There are also some types of fish that can live in both saltwater and freshwater.

Freshwater ponds, reservoirs, and rivers contain significantly less salt than the ocean. North America has a majority of freshwater bodies. Some of the fish that you will find in these freshwater bodies are the bluegill, carp, catfish, crappie, and bass. In contrast, many species of fish live in the ocean’s salty water. Thanks to their kidneys, these fish are able to keep the proper balance of salt in their body. The more popular saltwater fish are the bluefish, cod, sea trout, tuna, and flounder.

Finding Where the Fish are located by the oxygen rich waters

Another factor that weighs heavily on where you will find certain fish is oxygen. All fish must have a certain level of oxygen to survive. Some fish, such as carp, survive on less oxygen than fish like trout. The living plants within a lake or stream directly affect the amount of oxygen in the water. They add oxygen to the water through photosynthesis. This process uses sunlight to make food. Oxygen also makes its way into water from the surrounding air.

You will find certain fish in certain bodies of water based on what kind of food is there. It is based on the amount and type of food available in a setting. All fish need to eat, so the amount of competition with other fish is a factor that determines which fish will be in certain areas.

Finding where the fish are located by the water temperature changes

Fish prefer different water temperatures. Some fish are flexible. They have the ability to live in a wide range of temperatures. Other fish, however, need either cold or warm water to survive. Trout is an example of this. You will only find trout in cold water. Your best bet for finding a certain type of fish is to learn about the type of water it prefers. They are most often found in water that is close to their preferred temperature.

We, as humans, can control one factor when it comes to where fish live. Water quality often determines where a fish will live and we have the means to ensure a high level of water quality. All fish must have water that has adequate levels of oxygen. Good-quality water will obviously support more species of fish than water that is polluted. Water that is stagnant, polluted, or lacking adequate oxygen simply cannot support a large group of fish. While some fish, such as carp, live in water that is not very clean, most fish need a high quality of water in order to survive.

Discovering the places where fish live is the first step to successful fishing. Several factors come into play when looking for a fish’s habitat. Some of these are the levels of salt and oxygen found in water. Another factor is the temperature of the water. All fish are different. Because of this, it benefits you, the angler, to take the time necessary to find the bodies of water in which they live.
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History of Recorded Fishing

History of Recorded Fishing

History of recorded fishing is old as the man made hills, there is nothing that has changed the life style of humans as new tools and technology.  New tools and technology is intended to make the use of time more efficient and effective.

Take a moment to pause and reflect on the history of fishing, as it has evolved with the development of raw materials and their use in technology.  Some people in the modern world style of fishing is to drop a line in the water, off the side of a boat, equipped with the latest sonar devices, and the Esky cooler beside their  feet for a favorite beverage or two, and to kick up the feet and to enjoy a relaxing day of fishing. Nothing wrong with that, it can be a time for relaxation after the every day stress of bread winning.

History of recorded fishing
Sunsets at the Coral sea

History of recorded fishing in Archaeology.

Fishing is one of the oldest activities known to man. Archaeologists have found ancient dumps of shell and bone, cave paintings depicting fishing and even hooks made from bone. There is even a theory that states we might be closer to the fish we try and catch than we think. The “Aquatic Ape Hypothesis” contends that human beings spent a time living by and catching their food from the shallows of lakes and oceans. The controversial theory contends years of living that helped us to look different from the apes and chimpanzees thought by some to be our ancestors because of this time evolving by water.

History of recorded fishing in the river Nile

The ancient river Nile was an angler’s paradise. The Egyptians relied on fresh and dried fish as a staple in their diets, and the various methods they used have been well represented in many ancient representations from their lives. Although they had some tools like nets, baskets and even hooks and lines, the fish caught were often clubbed to death. Perch, catfish and eels were among the most important catches in the Egyptian times.

History of recorded fishing with Roman Tridents

The other bed of civilization, Greece, did not share Egypt’s love of fishing. Still, there is a depiction on a wine cup from 500 BC that shows a boy kneeling over a stream with a live capture net in the water below him. It’s unclear why the boy was ‘fishing’ however, since the device is clearly for live capture. There is also evidence the Romans fished with nets and tridents off the sides of boats. One of their most famous Gods, Neptune, is depicted usually with a fishing trident. There are references to fishing in the Bible, too.

History of recorded fishing using hooks

Perhaps the most recognizable tool for fishing is the hook. No one knows for certain, but it’s quite probable prehistoric man was using some form of a hook over 40,000 years ago. Experts have had some problems pinning down exact dates since they know most of the materials used back then were most likely wood and not very durable. British Isle anglers catch fish with hooks made from the hawthorn bush, right up to the present day. Although Stone Age man had the tools necessary for making bone hooks, it is hard for scientists to get exact dates since bone does not define its age well. The oldest known hooks have turned up in Czechoslovakia, but others have turned up in Egypt and Palestine. The Palestinian hooks are believed to be over 9,000 years old, proving that fishing has been around for a very long time indeed.

History of recorded fishing with bone hooks

Indians on Easter Island made their hooks from a gruesome material. Since human sacrifices were abundant in the area for some time, the natives made their fish hooks out of the most plentiful material around – human bone. Fish hooks made of human bone were the norm there until missionaries arrived at the turn of the last century. In addition to hooks made of stone, bone or wood, ancient man often combined material to make composite hooks with barbs that kept the bait on.

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