One of the best thing in life is seeing everything around you covered in white shimmering snow. It can overwhelm you with its grandeur. Fishing in this cold shivering winter might be a challenge for some people, but for some, it's the way of life. Ice fishing is a popular way to kill time in many countries like Russia, Canada, Sweden, Ukraine, Norway, etc. Unsurprisingly, expeditions on ice in search of fresh and large fish is not that uncommon. If you live in such an area where ice fishing can be done in the winters, then you need these tips while enjoying the solitude of the icy lakes and challenge of sports.
Ice Fishing Equipment
Before you head out to fish in the frozen lakes, remember to keep your fishing license with you. Wear good winter attire to prevent frostbite and get waterproof as well as insulated shoes. If your fishing expedition is a long affair, then you should carry an ice shanty or ice hut to spend the night in it. Pack all your fishing gear and other necessary things to keep yourself warm and fed. Here are some gear that you will need while fishing through the ice.
Fishing Rod: The rods that are used for ice fishing are called ice rods. These rods are typically chosen depending on the type of fish that fishermen are after. Light rods are good to catch panfish and perch. Whereas medium-weight rods are best for walleye, whitefish and trouts. Pikes and lake trouts can be easily caught through heavy ice rods.
Jig: It is a sinker with a hook. It has a soft rod in order to allow the baited fish to move around and attract the target fish. They are made of different colors and often dressed in different materials in order to add bulk and replicate the movement of fish like crawfish, leeches, etc. These materials are hair, feathers, tinsel, rubber, etc. Some ice fishermen (also called ice anglers) prefer live baits to catch fish.
Some Ice Fishing Secrets
◆Use your flasher to find out the depth of the snow, which would save you a lot of time and effort in drilling the thick ice.
◆Before you select your spot for fishing, first test the waters, that is, drill holes in several places, to see whether there is any activity of fish. Use your flasher/fish finder to figure this out. If you notice fish moving inside the water, then you can settle down there. Otherwise, keep looking until you are satisfied.
◆Crappie fish prefers the horizontal jigs over the vertical ones. Most of the people use the vertical ones which are shaped in the form of teardrop but fish eventually get tired of them. Therefore, whenever your vertical jigs are not yielding you the desired results, it would be wise to switch to horizontal jigs. After a while, if this technique doesn't work, then shift to plastic bait. Bluegills and panfish tend to get tired of live bait, so switching to plastic baits might help.
◆Fishing in the depth of 6 to 12 inches from the bottom will get you loads of fish in the winters. Dusk and dawn are the peak hours for ice fishing.
◆While jigging your fishing rod inside a hole, try to do it as slow as possible in order to catch those fish who are holding the jig.
◆The bait should be moving in the waters to attract the fish, as fish often does not eat unmoving baits.
◆If you want to catch some good trouts, then you should fish in the daytime in the deep waters. As for trout fishing in shallow water is concerned, you can catch them best during early morning or dusk. Use a jig called airplane jig which makes such a movement under water that the nearby trouts gets pulled in towards it.
◆Make the jig to bounce off the bottom of the lake which moves debris at the bottom. This sound attracts the fish towards the jig. Walleye is sensitive to light and prefers to stick to the bottom. Therefore, don't be scared to touch the bottom and start jigging nicely.
◆While ice fishing in shallow water, one should cover the hole with ice shavings, thus, preventing the light from getting through the water and scaring off the fish. Chumming is another way to attract more fish to the jig. For this, you need to take various types of jigs and mash them together to form a single jig and hook to the fishing rod and dip it in the water to haul some bonus fish.
◆After catching so many fish, you still want to have a trophy bass fish in your bucket? To catch a bass fish, start jigging aggressively as they are very passive and tend to eat less during the winters. Use different colored jigs along with leeches and minnows to attract these fish. For bass fishing, jig the rod at different depths and tap the bottom rapidly.
Location and presentation are the shortcuts to catching a bucket full of fish. The presentation involves the right kind of bait, jigging and switching the baits. So, plod to a frozen lake and give the best anglers a run for their money.