Ice Fishing Guide

Ice Fishing Guide For Beginner

Ice Fishing Guide – It’s cold and dead. It’s cold outside. You are lying on your back, wrapped in fluffy blankets, sipping hot chocolate and watching your favorite Netflix series. Someone walks into your room and says, “Let’s go ice fishing.”

Perhaps he’s not so crazy after all. Ice fishing is a great sport. It is possible to fish in winter, even though the lakes are frozen solid. This is what you’ll find out at the end.

Ice fishing is a fun and affordable way to get into the line. Ice fishing is also a popular way to catch fish. This makes it a favorite among experienced fisherman.

You’re looking to catch a lunker this winter? Then you’re at the right place. Today, we’re going over all of the essentials for ice fishing.

How do you stay safe on the ice How do I find the best spots to fish? This guide will answer all your questions. Continue reading!

Safety First

Let’s start with the basics. Ice fishing, for all those who are new to the sport, is the act of catching fish from an opening in the ice of a frozen body. There are many ways to catch fish, which we will cover briefly.

Let’s start with safety precautions. After all, ice fishing involves standing on frozen water.

Standing on an icy platform covered in freezing water can make you feel intimidated. Hypothermia, as you should know, is something you don’t want to play with.

It is important to ensure that the ice you are standing on is sufficiently thick. This can be done by using a spudbar or an auger to poke through the ice. The following is a good rule of thumb:

  • For people, a minimum of 4 inches
  • Minimum 6 inches for snow machines and snowmobiles, sleds
  • For light cars, a minimum of 7-12 inches
  • Full-sized trucks should have at least 14-16 inches

Rotten ice is always a danger sign. Rotten ice can be identified by its discoloration and the cracks, holes and water flows that it has. The old saying “Thick and Blue, tried and true” applies to rotten ice. Thin and crispy are too risky.

Ice Fishing Safety Equipment

While fishing on thick ice can be important, it is not the only thing you should do to stay safe. A few safety tips will make sure your trip is enjoyable and stress-free. These safety items are:

  • For traction on the ice, use metal cleats
  • An ice spud is used to check the ice ahead. A solid knock is what your goal is.
  • a life vest
  • Ice cleats
  • A whistle is handy in case of trouble
  • Layered warm clothes

You can bring many other items, but these are the most important. An ice shanty is a great option if you are planning to go on a longer ice fishing trip.

You can also rent a shanty at a sportsfishing outlet or bait and tackle shop if you are on a larger lake. Some even make their own.

Ice Fishing Guide: Ice Fishing for Beginners: What is Ice Fishing?

Fishing on frozen rivers and lakes is exactly what it sounds like. First, you need to dig a hole in the ice. Next, cast your rod and wait for a fish. This sport is great for everyone. You can have a wonderful fishing experience with the right equipment and training.

Find a good spot for ice fishing

The first thing to do when fishing is regular is find the fish. Fish like to eat right where they were before the water began to freeze. Experiential anglers are aware of this and mark the spots on their fishfinders prior to the lake freezes. Once the ice forms, they return to the same spot.

Fish like to move deeper into warmer waters during mid-winter.

Try fishing the basin or steepest shoreline if you are new to a lake. Larger fish prefer to travel along steep shorelines in search of food, particularly during the early morning or near sunset. Targeting schools of fish close to the bottom is the best option for beginners. Check with your local bait and tackle shop for helpful tips.

Okay, you have found the perfect spot. Now, let’s get drillin’. To drill your fishing hole, you’ll need either a gas-powered or manual auger. You should aim for a width of 8-10 inches (large enough to catch fish but not too small for people).

After drilling your hole, you can use an ice scraper to get rid of any ice. To avoid potential accidents, mark the spot you are moving to in order to avoid drilling another hole.

Are You able to ice fish USA and Canda?

Both the USA and Canada have many great ice fishing spots, particularly at the borders.

1. North Dakota Devil’s Lake

This is a great spot for ice fishing. You can catch a variety of fish, including trophy perch and pike. The area is well prepared for ice fishing as you can find a place to stay nearby. Also, if you are a beginner and seeking some training, you will find fishing guides to get you through the day.

2. Lake of the Woods at the Borders

It is rated the best ice fishing spot in the world. It is home to many fish species, including walleye, perch and lake trout. There is everything you could need, including a place to sleep, a guide to help you, or new friends to make.

We can’t limit ice fishing to these two areas. There are many other lakes that are famous all over the globe. While you can change the location of your ice fishing spot as often as you like, the risks that you could face are the same. Let’s go over some of the most dangerous aspects of ice fishing.

3. Lake of the Woods (MN) Lake of the Woods is a large shanty town that hosts a variety of species, including Walleye, Lake Trout, Perch, Crappie and Bass. This is a great place to have a good time with friends and also for a great fishing adventure.

4. Lake Winnebago, WI Lake Winnebago is the largest inland lake in Wisconsin and home to a large Walleye population. You can also enjoy great Perch, White Bass and Sturgeon fishing.

5. Fort Peck Lake (MT) This is the fifth-largest man-made lake in America. This size allows for a wide variety of fish. From the same hole, you can fish for Lake Trout and Northern Pike as well as Walleye and Sauger. It’s not bad at all.

International Ice Fishing Areas

You know that ice fishing isn’t just a sport in the USA. These international destinations are worth the effort if you are willing to travel long distances.

  • Lake Simcoe, Ontario, Canada -Lake Simcoe is a popular spot for ice fishing in North America. The Canadian Ice Fishing Championship is held here. It’s a no-brainer.
  • Tasiilaq (Greenland)This is the most remote location on the list. This place offers exceptional sea angling and top-notch ice fishing. Expect to fight giant Halibut weighing in at 120 pounds. There’s also the chance to meet the Greenland Shark which is one of the oldest living animals in existence.
  • Kathleen Lake, Yukon Territory Canada Kathleen Lake, located in Kluane National park, is filled with Lake Trout. This one will require a snowmobile, but it is well worth the effort.
  • Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia People often refer to Lake Baikal as a sea, but they don’t realize it is a lake. The lake covers 12,000 sq. miles. New York City is 783.8 sq. miles. This means that there are many species of fish you can pursue. The lake is home to 27 of 52 species, and there are no other places in the world.
  • Finland, Tampere Region Finland is known as the land of a thousand lakes. Over 2,500 lakes are found in the Tampere region alone. Bring your children to Santa and take them fishing in a new lake each day.

Is it safe?

Yes! You are 100% safe if you take the proper precautions while on your trip. Most people enjoy fishing alone. If you’re ice fishing your first time, it is a good idea to not go alone. An error in a frozen lake could be your biggest mistake. It might sound risky, but it’s not dangerous.

These are some tips to help you relax:

  1. The ice is safer the fresher it is. Older ice is more susceptible to cracking and tends to be less strong.
  2. Snow warms the frozen layers underneath it, so avoid lakes that are covered in snow.
  3. Keep an eye out! You should not fish in areas where cracks are visible.
  4. Depending on the color of the ground, you can determine where fishing is safe. Grey indicates that the area is too unstable to walk on, so you shouldn’t settle down there. This spot is not white, meaning it is less than 4 inches thick. If you were to pressurize it, you’d find yourself beneath the ice. Clear-cut blue gives you the green light to get in on the ground and dig.

You can avoid all these dangers by selecting the right gear. This includes clothes, digging tools and fishing equipment. This guide will walk you through each step.

Ice Fishing Gear

1. Dress up

Keep as warm as possible. Remember, you’re fishing on ice. Layer as many layers as you can so that you don’t get too hot and can easily remove an extra layer. If you do get cold, you have no other options than to go home.

Wear polypropylene as your first layer. It absorbs water quickly and dries quickly unlike cotton. Layer on the polypropylene and cotton.

Two pairs of wool socks with wicking properties would be ideal for a fisherman. You will need some good quality waterproof boots to keep your feet warm and dry.

You should have ice cleats in your bag to stabilize your balance on slippery ice surfaces.

2. Choose a spot

Fishing enthusiasts can enjoy a great fishing trip by sitting on a bucket. A bucket is not enough for beginners. To save money, a light chair and a box can suffice.

3. Measure Thickness

A spudbar is essential, as the thickness factor can be crucial in determining how successful your fishing trip will be. It could save your life. The thickness of ice is measured by a spudbar. A spud bar measures the thickness of ice. Anything below 4 inches is considered unacceptable. 12 inches is the safest thickness for fishing.

4. Dig a hole

Now, you are ready to go. Now it is time to dig a hole for your fish and trap them. This is where an ice auger comes in handy. The auger can cut holes of a diameter between 5 and 8 inches. This varies depending on the prey. Manual augers can be used for a small price and require some manual labor. Although power augers are easier for beginners, they can be a bit more expensive. They are however recommended for beginners to help them save energy for fishing.

You will need an ice scooping device to complete the digging. Fish will run away from direct sunlight so make sure you don’t remove it all.

5. Set Your Rod

On choosing your ice fishing rod, you need to get a little specific. A traditional fishing rod will not work with ice fishing. This is because ice fishing is very different to regular fishing. Fish species found in colder areas are smaller. A rod with a greater sense of touch would be better. Using this information you can decide the rod’s power or action.

The Rod’s Power

The stiffness of a rod is its power. This is the amount of power you must apply to bend a rod. The stiffer the rod, the more heavy your catch will be. Ice fishing requires a stiffer rod so avoid heavy ones.

The weight of the fish will determine the power of your rod. A small panfish or fish such as a walleye can be caught with an ultralight-powered rod. A medium-powered rod could catch a walleye. A heavy-powered rod could help to maneuver pike.

The Rod’s Action

It’s how fast a rod can bend and return to its original position. Slow-action rods bend along their length. Medium-action rods bend in its middle. Fast-action rods bend at the tips. Because of the lightness of prey, ice fishing requires a sensitive rod. You can use medium or fast rods to provide the power and sensitivity needed for ice fishing.

Ice Fishing Rods for Beginners

The first step to your ice fishing adventure is buying a rod. Most people avoid the hassle of buying a rod. These are the top ice fishing rods that beginners can use in 2021.

1. Shakespeare’s Ugly Stik Ice Fishing Spinning Rope

This rod is well-known for its lightness which makes it ideal for small fish. You can choose from different power options, making it easier to fish. Although not everyone agrees on the technicalities, most people think it is great for the job. It is perfect for beginners as it costs only 25$. It is a great value for money. It is rated the third-best ice fishing rod by Amazon.

2. Fenwick Elite Technology Ice Fishing Spinning Rope

The price is around 40$ which makes it affordable for most fishers. This rod’s unique features include its sensitivity, firm grip and strong backbone. The rod’s capabilities were a constant topic of conversation. A Fenwick is a versatile rod that can be used in a variety of lengths and with different powers.

Last Thoughts

The number one rule for ice fishing is to “always be prepared.” Ice fishing can be exciting and fun, but it can also be dangerous. Always carry your medical kit and gloves. While it’s fine to be alone, you should not do this if you’re a beginner ice fishing. Professional ice fishing can be rewarding. Some countries hold competitions where the winner receives 150 thousand dollars. You can start small and things will become easier as you progress. You never know! One day, you might be 150 000 dollars richer.

Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.