As the leaves turn to an autumn orange, red, and yellow and rain turn into snow, fishing becomes a bit more complicated than fishing during the summer is. So, pack a couple of extra layers of clothes and warm thoughts because were hitting the frozen pond. That’s right we are talking about ice fishing.
So, what is ice fishing you may ask, well it’s as simple as it sounds. You are fishing through the ice on a body of water and reeling them in. But before you go throwing bait down some hole in the ice there are a few things you need to know and bring to have a successful and fun time on the frozen lake.
The first thing you always need to figure out before you plan an ice fishing trip is where you are going to stay and make sure it has heat. This could be a cottage, house, or anything like that because if you are going to be outdoors in freezing weather you need a place to check back in and warm up. Secondly, you are going to want to start in a place where the water is a bit calmer and shallower if you are just beginning. It is a bit safer and you can get your feet wet a bit and learn the ropes of how to properly ice fish is you keep it easy at first.
Once you figure out where you are going and have a warm place to stay you are going to need your gear. Now, most people might think that a normal fishing rod will work when ice fishing. Well, they would be wrong. When you are ice fishing you need to have a rod that is 24 inches to 36 inches so that you can hover over the ice and let the rod drop a bit further into the water. The smaller and simple fish like bluegill, sunfish and perch you can keep your equipment simple but if you are going after larger fish you may need more expensive equipment that is better equipped to handle the bigger fish.
Now let’s take a step back. You are in freezing weather conditions and are outside. You are going to need a few layers of clothes to keep you warm. You’re going to need a jacket, bib, gloves, headgear, hat, footwear, and some casual wear underneath everything. Make sure you are comfortable and warm so you can stay out on the lake if possible, without getting too cold.
You’re at the lake all geared up with your proper ice fishing attire, you have your pole, bait, tackle box full of accessories and your perfect spot to fish. The next piece of equipment you need is an ice auger. Now, this piece of equipment is designed to help you cut a 6 to 8-inch hole for you to drop your line in. You can buy a hand auger that works, or a gas or battery-powered one. This is your choice although the hand auger will probably be less expensive. Safety always comes first so before you start drilling into that ice you need to check the ice to make sure it is deep enough and strong enough to hold you and not break.
Now a little tip that might help you during your first ice fishing trip is to have a big bucket that you can carry all of your equipment in and put it on a sled so you can pull your equipment to your spot instead of carrying all of it through the snow and on the ice. Some other pieces of equipment that might help are rod holders, pliers, and any extra fishing gear like extra line, maybe a couple of rods, and lots of bait. So now you have everything you need its time to fish.
So, you’ve been dropping a line in all day and have barely had any bites and no fish, what can you do? Well, there are a few things you can do. First off, if my bait isn’t working try switching it up. If you have been using fake bait switch up to live bait. Also, throwing some chum in your area under your hole isn’t a bad way to attract many fish to your area. This will alert them and keep them in your area. Some people may think this is some form of cheating your way, but it helps keep the fish near your area. If you need to buy some electronic equipment that can help you find fish under the ice. Fishfinders you can drop in the water can help you figure out if you are drilling a hole in the ice at the right place or not. You should also know where the weed beds are and where there are drop-offs in the lake because those are good spots for fish to be because they provide a good source of food and oxygen for the fish. The key to successfully finding the fish you want to catch is to know where they like to be in the winter months because you could have the best fishing equipment money can buy but if you don’t know where the fish are then you won’t catch any at all.
In the end, ice fishing is about having fun and of course staying safe. You need to be very thorough and make sure you know exactly what you are doing, otherwise you’re just going to be sitting in the cold, miserable you’re not catching anything. Make a list of everything you need from where you’re are staying, to the apparel you need, to the actual spot you are fishing, and the proper gear you need to be successful. In the end, ice fishing is about having fun. Go out do your homework and make sure you practice your craft to become the best ice fisher you can be.