Ice fishing is the ultimate tough man’s sport. Let’s not be kidding ourselves! How many people out there would even consider to dare the elements and go out on to a thin, dangerous and slippery surface, where a frost bite or even frigid death awaits them, literally few inches under their feet? But the rush you get when you reel in your mystery catch through that hole you drilled in the ice; wouldn’t you say that it more than makes up for the tough times on the ice?
We will give you the 5 Basics of Ice Fishing, to get you that rush… plentiful and safely!
Time on Ice
Just plainly put, the more time you can spend on the ice, the more fish you catch. So better prepare yourself for that long haul on the icy surface of you local lake or pool. Choose heat-retaining, water-resistant multiple layers of clothing for comfort. The outer layer should be especially tough; it’s your first defence against the cold and water. Use water-resistant and heat-retaining, gloves and snow pants to keep you warm through the wait. Give special care while you choose the boots too. You can lose a lot of your body heat if you are not properly insulated or your boot isn’t waterproof.
Build your own house on the ice
It’s easier than you think; you don’t have to rent the ol’ wood shack anymore. There are dome-shaped or hexagonal self-erect polythene structures that you can carry around with ease and set up around you in a matter of seconds. When you are planning to spend the long hours on the ice, this could definitely be your home away from home, especially if you have a portable heater with you.
Give a thought to the fish lures you are going to setup in your ice fishing trip. Use one or multiple “tip-ups” on your winter fishing trip, because the normal summer gear just won’t be enough. The tie-ups are vertical, free-standing rods that you set into the ice. When the fish bites, a flag is deployed at the top alerting you about the catch. Make sure that the trigger mechanism is sensitive but not so sensitive as to be activated by wind or slight movement in the water. There are magnetic pop-ups that are great for ice fishing. Choose the length of your rods according to space you have inside the shelters you have set up.
The Power of Power Augers
Unless you are willing to put yourself through some real strenuous workout, you might want to use a power auger. There are new gas-powered power augers that can easily cut through several feet of ice; there are the more modern electric augers that are equally powerful. They are lighter and less noisy than the gas-powered ones and you can forget about the asphyxiating fumes.
Safety, Safety, Safety…
You can’t put too much importance on your safety while you are out there over icy depths. General rule of thumb is that the surface is strong if it’s clear or blue-black in colour and gives off a glare. You shouldn’t step on ice that’s lesser than 3 inches thick if you are alone or lesser than 4 inches if you are in a group. Use a spud bar to check the thickness of ice in front of you while you walk. If you have a Safety Pick around your neck then you can use it as an anchor on the ice to help pick yourself out of the water if you fall through the ice. Make sure you have all the safety gear before you head out on to the ice. And ice fishing is always more fun and safer in groups.
Rush for the Rush
Use the best of what modern technology can give you to make your ice fishing trip more productive. These equipments become a part of you while you are out there. You might just catch a few extra pikes if you do things just the right way. And stay safe on the white stuff.