Category Archives: Ice Fishing

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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