More and more people are enjoying ice fishing, but some of the fun turns to frustration
when you’re unable to get any angling action. Here are some tips to help with your ice
fishing as well as what gear to bring along.
These Are Our Top 10 Ice Fishing Tips
Tip 1: Begin at the Slope
The best places to go fishing are areas with sunken reefs, rocky shoals and underwater
points. Once you find these spots, look for the part that has the quickest drop, and
is nearest to the water. Even if the fish isn’t on the slope, they won’t be far behind.
Another good place would be where you last when fishing in the fall.
Tip 2: Underwater Points are the Best
If you’re going fishing in the winter, make sure to use tapering underwater points
as they’re very effective for whitefish, walleye, trout and other types of fish. Also, it
doesn’t matter if those points are connected to offshore islands or the mainland as it
will still be effective.
Tip 3: Fish at Shallow Lakes
The best lakes to go ice fishing are flat bottomed, shallow lakes with as little structure
as possible. If you spend enough time here you’ll notice that they’re home to lots of
walleye, sauger, pike and a lot of other fish. The reason for this is the fish tend to
gather in only a few select deep holes, making them easy to find.
Tip 4: Try Different Options
Since you can use two lines in ice fishing, it’s a good idea to offer something unique for
each one. So if you’re going after some perch, use a 1/32-ounce jig with a worm, and
the other line has a 1/8-ounce jig and an emerald shiner. In other words, you need to
change things up to catch more fish.
Tip 5: Use the Bait Properly
Regardless of the fish you’re going after, you need to present the bait at the eye level
of the fish or higher. Don’t set it lower because you’re not going to get anything, no
matter what your bait is.
Tip 6: Timing is Crucial
If you don’t have a lot of time to go ice fishing, make the most of your time by going
out when the fish are feeding. Also consider the type of fish you’re going after and
when they are most active. For instance, whitefish, crappie, and perch are most visible
during the middle of the day.
Tip 7: Drill Holes
If you’re going for walleye, dusk and dawn are the best, although walleye are more
active during dusk. To get the most from your fishing, you need to be there an hour
before dusk or dawn and wait. This means you’ll be getting the lion’s share of the fish
while other anglers are still making their way.
Tip 8: Where are the Trout?
If you want lake trout then winter is the best time as they’re constantly feeding. For
those trophy trout catches, you should go to the biggest lakes, plus they are hotspots
for whitefish, suckers and ciscoes.
Tip 9: Keep Moving
The thing about ice fishing is catching them is easy, but the difficulty lies in finding
them. While fishing requires patience, you should know when to move on to another
spot. If there’s no action after 30 minutes, then it’s time to move to another spot.
Tip 10: Pick the Time to Go Fishing
If you don’t have the time to go fishing a lot in the winter, you should fish near the end
of the season. With the increased daylight, the majority of the fish with the exception
of whitefish and trout, will go and lay eggs. It’s during this time that you’ll see walleye,
sauger and perch among others. The end of the season is also a good time to fish for
crappie and other large fish.
Useful Equipment for Ice Fishing
Of course you can’t go ice fishing unless you have the proper gear, so here’s a rundown of what you’ll need.
Ice Fishing Rod
A traditional fishing rod with two to four line guides will be suitable for most ice fishing.
There are three types:
1) baitcasting wheels,
2) spincasting wheels and
3) spinning wheels.
Spinning wheels are the most ideal for small and medium sized fish.
Ice fishing requires patience, so you’ll need a rod holder when there’s no action.
You’ll need a skimmer to clear off debris on an ice fishing hole.
Needle Nose Pliers
You’ll need these to remove hooks from the fish.
You’ll need this for cutting the fishing line.
If you’re going to fish over ice or snow covered areas, you’ll have to bring a sled to
gather your fishing gear.
This will be a useful tool for finding suitable fishing locations.
Lantern or flashlight
You’ll need these for night fishing.
A lake map will be useful for finding information about the lake’s topography, important
geographical features and the depth.
This can be used to store live bait.
You can’t go ice fishing without a chair or bucket because there will be long periods
when nothing happens. While some opt for a chair, others prefer a bucket since you
can put equipment inside it.
Portable Fish House
A portable fish house will come in handy if you think the weather will be harsh. These
are available in different sizes so you can find what you require easily.
An underwater camera may also be useful if you’re looking for a high fish yield. It might
not be necessary for new anglers, but it can help.
You’ll also need a fish finder like the Vexilar FL-8se fish finder as it is weather proof. Or if you’re planning to go deep fishing there’s the Humminbird ICE-35 fish finder which has a 200 ft. depth capability and has also received fantastic reviews from previous users.
Click Here to To Compare Many Fish Finder Models Based on User Ratings