Ice Fishing Basics









Fifty years ago, in addition to his “all-season” fishing gear, the only tool an ice fisherman required for some ice fishing fun was an axe to chop through the ice. Today things have advanced considerably. While there is a multitude of equipment out there claiming to be a necessity, most of it is unnecessary. The basic gear listed here may also not be completely necessary, but it can make your fishing a little more enjoyable and maybe even help you catch a few more fish.

Dressing properly seems like such a fundamental requirement, it doesn’t even seem worthy of mentioning, but it is appropriate clothing that will keep you comfortable and able to remain fishing for a longer period. Being able to stay on the ice longer is the key to ice fishing A waterproof and wind resistant outer layer as well as layers that will allow you to regulate your body temperature based on the environment will be helpful. Also be sure your boots are waterproof and well insulated between your feet and the ice.

A power auger can make ice fishing a lot less work than the axes of yesteryear. There are gas powered ones, as well as electric augers that attach to a rechargeable drill. Ice fishing is safest when done among a few friends, and one auger is enough for several people.

A bunch of fancy tackle is not required for ice fishing, there’s only so much you can do with fishing straight down into a hole in the ice. Jigging rods, the appropriate tackle and a few comfort articles are all you need. If you’ll be fishing with a ice shelter, be sure when picking your jigging rods you choose shorter lengths. Without an ice shelter, the length of your rod won’t matter. There is little benefit to having a longer jigging rod because you won’t be casting any distance, the only real advantage is when struggling with a large fish. A longer jigging rod can be stuck down into the water to keep the fishing line from becoming frayed against the edge of the ice. A cheap reel will suffice just fine for ice fishing, as long as it has a good drag. If you’ll be wearing gloves and are afraid of missing the hit on your line because you can’t feel it, the easiest solution is to buy a spring bobber.

One necessity is lubrication. Many lubricants will harden in the lower temperatures, but there are newer ones that are specifically designed for colder temperatures. In the coldest of weathers, even the best lubricant may not be sufficient. Some long time anglers will clean all lubricants from their reels and just add powdered graphite.

There are many modern lines that are designed specifically for ice fishing; they don’t stiffen as much as a regular line may in the cold temperature.

A tip-up is necessary; they all have their pros and cons. The trigger device is the most important, it needs to be sensitive enough to activate when a fish hits the line, but not so sensitive that it will be triggered by a blast of wind.

Fish tend to congregate in schools under the ice and not knowing their depth can impact how many fish you catch. Using sonar equipment designed for ice fishing can tell you when the fish are directly under your hole but not at the depth of your bait.

An ice fishing sled can be chosen after you’ve determined the amount of tackle and equipment you’ll need for your adventure. Some are designed to convert into a folding shelter once you’re set up.

With just a few With just a few ice fishing basics, you’ll be completely prepared for a long day of ice fishing.