Below are 6 tips that should ensure your first experience is fun and safe. It is a sport that is only located in cold regions, namely Alaska, Canada, the Great Lakes region, Russia and Sweden. This is due to the extreme conditions that are required for this type of challenging fishing.
Ice fishing is exactly what is says it is, you need to make a hole in the ice with the appropriate equipment: an Axe, spear tips or an auger. Then you fish by sitting around the hole, either on a chair or for the dedicated you set up an shelter. The ice shelter is able to be heated so that you can fish for longer periods of time. It can go on for several days if you want to.
Ice fishing can be broken down into three areas:
The fisherman will bait lines and set them up all around the ice hole and then leave them. The lines will be attached to flags, when the tips start to bounce this will be the signal when a fish has been caught.
In line with more traditional fishing, a fisherman will use a small rod and bait. However, instead of using a traditional reel to bring in the fish, they will use their hands to pull the fish in.
The fisherman will set up a decoy for the fish to smell and to entice the fish to surface within the ice hole. Once the fish surfaces the fisherman who is standing and waiting will spear the fish.
It is a specialized sport and is very different to other forms of fishing. More patience is required as you cannot use your casting skills to bait the fish; you mainly have to wait for the fish. Trout, lake sturgeon, pike, perch and crappie are the most common fish to be caught.
With the assistance of modern technology, fisherman can use under water cameras and sonar equipment to locate the largest fish activity. This will help the fisherman on deciding where their ice hole and camp location will be. It does have its inherent risks, you are fishing on ice! However, it has proved to be extremely enjoyable and rewarding. Wrap up warm this winter, grab some fishing gear and enjoy your fishing trip!
Ice Fishing Tips:
If you have never experienced it, make sure your first trip is with an experienced ice fisherman/woman to provide you with the correct methods and safe places to fish. Do not go on your first fishing trip alone, for obvious safety reasons and let someone know where you are and your expected return time.
Always ensure the ice you are fishing on is safe. There are different types of ice and there are different opinions to how thick the ice should be. Always seek local expert help and advice on what is considered safe for walking and using vehicles on ice, as every lake is different and always test the ice beforehand with bore holes at the lakes edge.
Do not go out and purchase expensive rods, reels, lures, augers, shelters and any other piece of equipment or tackle before you have experienced ice fishing and you are certain you are going to go again. Simply hire the equipment you need from a trusted supplier. Once you are ‘hooked’ on it, you can start to purchase your own Rod, Reel, Tackle and Equipment and continue your fishing adventure.
Keep Warm! It is essential that you wear the appropriate clothing to survive the severe cold conditions when spending hours on the ice. Remember to wear lots of smaller and lighter layers instead of one big layer. This will ensure you keep the warmth in. It’s called Ice fishing for a reason.
Have the right equipment! This type of fishing is unique and requires specialized equipment. You cannot just take along your normal rods and gear and expect to ice fish. There are essential items that you will need to be able to enjoy this extreme and rewarding activity. In the cold conditions you will need ice fishing gear designed to endure and assist you in your adventure.
And the last of the tips is to stay safe! Although thousands of people across the world enjoy this type of fishing, it does come with its unique set of circumstances and risks. The risks are from Mother Nature and she should not be underestimated. Always ensure you have an adequate first aid kit and tell others where you are going to be. Stay safe and you will have a trip of a lifetime.
These are just 6 tips to consider before you start your fishing adventure. One of the most important ice fishing tips is to always have fun but play safe.