With the cold weather upon us, now is the perfect time to learn some fishing tips for ice fishing. This sport involves the use of short rods or spears and lines to catch fish through a small hole in an ice-covered river or lake. The type of fish available depends on the location. Follow these tips to become an expert ice fisher in no time.
You will need:
Step 1: Research regulations in the desired area to determine what type of fishing is permitted during winter months. Line fishing is considered most practical because some areas restrict the use of spears. Obtain the proper permits or licenses before heading out to fish.
Step 2: On fishing day, check the weather because a warm spell or blizzard can make for hazardous ice fishing.
Step 3: Select the fishing spot carefully. The ice should be at least four inches thick in order for you to walk on it safely. Check thickness regularly because vegetation, currents, and even swimming fish can affect it.
Step 4: Bundle up when dressing because the weather will be cold.
Step 5: When arriving at the lake or river, drill a hole at the edge of the area with the ice auger and check the ice depth. Continue to take these measurements each 150 yards to the selected spot.
Step 6: Once at the spot, use the auger to drill a hole no bigger than eight inches in diameter. Carry the equipment to the desired spot and set up the chair. Some people use shelters and heaters but these can be bulky to transport and time-consuming to setup.
Step 7: Remove ice chips from inside the hole, using the skimmer.
Step 8: Set up the pole and line, then attach the spring bobber on the end of your pole. Tie the hook to the end of the line. Add the weights to the line and put the bait onto the hook. Lower the line into the hole.
Step 9: As needed, skim any ice that forms in the hole.
Step 10: Keep the rod still. When a fish has taken the hook, you will notice a bob in the spring bobber. If the pole features a reel, turn the handle slowly so the fish exhausts itself. If there is no reel, pull the line in gently, making sure it stays taut. Be prepared for a struggle but do not apply too much pressure or you may yank the hook from the mouth of the fish.
Step 11: Once you have landed a fish, remove the hook from its mouth. Release the fish or stun it with the skimmer. Now throw that line in and catch another one!