Choosing the Best Location
You should contact local fishing guides to find the most excellent ice-fishing place. These professionals spend their days guiding anglers and may recommend excellent fishing locations on local ponds and lakes.
You can also try contacting the wildlife section of your state. The best person to direct you is a local fish biologist. Tell the scientist what you hope to get out of the encounter, and they can tailor their suggestions to your needs.
For instance, fishing for warm water species like perch and bass could be one of the fastest activities, making them a good choice if you are hoping to catch a lot of fish. As a rule, this is the optimal option for newcomers.
Easiest Way to Catch a Fish
After a fish is hooked, the line is usually reeled in manually. That means you will have to use your hands to fight the fish. Let the fish grab some line if it wants to run with it. However, if it goes much further, it risks crossing the line. Ensure that your fingers remain tight on the line to make it more difficult for the fish to strip the line, which will tire them out more quickly.
You can begin winding the line by hand once the fish slows from its frantic stripping. Repeat this step until the fish swims into the hole. When the fish reaches the opening, do not be reluctant to use your hand to help lift it out. In this situation, the fish's weight is entirely out of the water, so if you do not have a good hook set, the hook could be dragged out of the mouth of the fish. Thus, the fish could be lost at this moment.
Measure the Ice ThicknessBefore you spend too much time on the ice, you should determine whether or not it is safe to do so. Since the ice is different everywhere, you should chisel a few holes adjacent to shore and continue until you reach the area you shall be fishing.
Ice Fishing TrapsIce fishing traps are the most effective method of catching fish through the ice. The spring-loaded flag on these traps rises into the air whenever a fish is caught, indicating the presence of a bite.
Using live bait in ice fishing tip-up traps eliminates the need for manual labor on your part. You need only watch the sky for a flag to appear suddenly. Because of this, you can increase your chances of capturing fish while ice fishing by setting up multiple traps at once.
When fishing for warm-water species, it is best to go near shore, as fish appreciate bottom structure.
You can also set up your traps on points of land or other structures that serve as funnels or choke points. Doing so will increase the likelihood of your bait being noticed, potentially resulting in more bites.
Once you have found an appropriate location, you can begin drilling holes for your ice fishing traps and jigs using a drill. There are manual and motorized auger options for this. As it speeds up the process and reduces the required effort, we highly suggest using a power drill.
Make use of an ice scoop or skimmer to remove the shards of ice left behind after augering. If you do this, you won't have to worry much about the holes closing up again in the winter.
You can only use one ice fishing jig at the moment, but they can be very effective because you will need to bob (jig) the pole up and down. Jigging is a pleasant activity while waiting for a fish to be caught in your ice fishing traps. A second pole in the water will improve your chances of reeling in a fish.
Use a Depth Sounder to Check the Water Depth
Once you have used the ice skimmer to fix the hole, you can measure how deep the water goes. A depth sounder can be utilized for this purpose.
Attach a weight to the end of your fishing line and let it sink until the line becomes slack. When laziness sets in, you have hit rock bottom. Once you pull the sounder out of the water, you may check to determine how much fishing line you need to reach the bottom.
Fish often hide in the bottom formation, so it would be crucial to determine how deep the water is before setting out traps. So, you should probably cast your hook there.
The Best Tip-Up Traps for Ice Fishing
Spending a little more money gets you a lot less hassle, so if you plan on doing a lot of ice fishing, it is worth it. For instance, cheaper traps tend to wear out faster, and the trippers do not stay in position. Besides, they can freeze up, and the reels are more likely to bend or fall off. The more expensive tip-ups typically last longer and are better suited to withstand the elements throughout multiple seasons.
To find out where the most fish are being captured, it is best to set up traps at different depths. Starting places between 15 and 35 feet deep are fine. Then, either put the bait just beneath the ice (a few feet down) or put the bait just off the bottom for the best results. Next, you can adjust your traps throughout the day to be comparable to the ones getting the most bites.
Fish often don't realize they are hooked when they take a live bait bite. For this main reason, the line out is usually not disconnected. In this case, you must begin tightening the line by pulling in the slack. We recommend you give the rope a quick tug after you feel tension to set the hook.
The hook will set itself from the force of the fish's movement, so you can start drawing the line or giving it a gentle tug if the line is being torn out. You can give the line a gentle tug to see if it is being stripped.
Choosing the Right Gear for Ice Fishing
Spend some effort and money picking appropriate attire, and remember to factor in the weather. The cold is your first and most immediate threat out on the ice. One common thread among the complaints we have heard about ice fishing is that its coldness is a turnoff. Indeed, the thrill of fishing is not to be had while your body is shaking.
New ice anglers often make a critical error when they do not adjust their attire from what they would wear for a walk in the snow or a day of skiing, which is why everyone is shivering. Because maintaining constant motion on the ice is much more advantageous than sitting or standing still. You should think about this and wear warmer clothes. You can wear all the wool socks and down vests in the world, but if your feet feel cold, you might as well not bother with any other layers.
However, it is also important not to go overboard. If you pile on the clothes, you will be unable to move freely and overheat. Sweating heightens your awareness of the cold and raises your vulnerability to illness.
Wearing modern, breathable, moisture-wicking clothing over sweat-absorbent undergarments and, in general, dressing in layers like individuals in the military or participating in winter sports is the best way to prevent this from happening. As the temperature or your mood changes, you can adjust your layering accordingly.
At HawkEye ®, we understand that time is limited and that the little you get to try something different, like ice fishing, should not be hectic, boating, canoeing, paddleboarding, and float tube fishing, among others. Contact our customer support today for the latest and most efficient technology tools and equipment or if you have any questions regarding our products and services.