Quick tips for ice-fishing
Fishing is a great sport, not only because it’s relaxing, but because you can enjoy it all year long. Fishing during winter is not for everyone, but if you like to try out new things, and you are brave enough to venture outside in sub-zero weather, then ice-fishing is definitely one activity you should try. Of course, this type of fishing can be considered quite extreme, not only because of the icy weather, but because it must be a bit frightening to stand upon a frozen body of water for hours. So here is a small guide to get you ready for this experience.
So let’s start with the most basic thing, the ice itself. A minimum of 4 inches thickness is considered enough to hold people safely, at least 6 inches for snow mobiles, and from 7-12 for cars, 14-16 for trucks. To start your fishing, you require a hole in the ice, generally a width of 8 inches suggested, but it depends on what type of fish you are aiming for. For the hole you need a couple of tools, like an ice saw, an ice auger, and a skimmer to remove the ice and to clear away the new forming ice from your hole. Or you can choose some type of heater to help you with this.
There are 3 types of ice fishing you can choose from. The first one, the most common is jigging. For this you need a short rod, a spring bobber and live bait (maggots, wax worms), and for lines most anglers suggest fluoro ones because they are almost invisible.
The second kind is using tip-ups. They are devices to suspend the bait at a set depth. When the fish bites, a small flag will be triggered signaling the strike. This can be considered the most relaxing type since the device does most of the work for you.
And the last one is spearfishing. This method needs a lot of skill and concentration. Since you have to lure the fish a lot closer to the surface, a lot of chum are required. Be aware that in the United States many states have restrictions as to what you can catch like this.
Besides equipment, there are a few more essential things that you shouldn’t forget. One of them is the clothing. Warm, layered, waterproof clothing is a must for this adventure, because you will be spending quite a long time in the cold, so be prepared. A shelter is a must too. It can be portable (for example pop-up ones) or permanent (made of wood or metal and have wheels). As for safety equipment, ice cleats for your shoes, a life vest and a whistle are good to be with you.
So this is our short guide for those who are brave enough to challenge themselves. Of course, this is just a small part of what you need to get and be aware of. Hope you find it helpful!
sources: wikipedia, fishingbooker.com