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Ice Fishing 101: A Quick Overview For First Timers

Ice fishing is a very unique type of sport. It entails sitting on the ice, over a hole in the middle of winter. The conditions are miserable and you have to constantly keep your hole from freezing up. It might sound overwhelming to some people. However, for others, it is heaven on earth. Some anglers enjoy and prefer ice fishing. If you are looking to engage in this unique fishing experience, here is a quick overview for you.  

The basic factors which you need to know before going for ice fishing:

• Wear warm, layered clothing

When you’re ice fishing, it is quite possible that you’ll be in conditions that are minus zero degrees. Therefore, it is necessary to dress correctly. Make sure that your clothing is waterproof. It is necessary to wear them in layers. By doing so, you can trap air in between the layers and create a natural insulation. Ensure that your overcoat, pants, boots and headgear are all waterproof. In this way, they can keep the snow and sleet out. Furthermore, your boots need to have ample grip. The ice can be slippery and you don’t want to fall into the hole that you just dug. Therefore, make sure to dress very warm.

• Carry along some ice shelter

In the traditional days, ice anglers would haul along wooden cabins on sleds. Today, you can carry along an ice-shelter. With a flip down design, it looks like a structured clam. Their front sections have hexagonal or squared designs. They provide shelter from the elements as you fish. Ice shelters are easy to set up or collapse. Moreover, you can carry them along quite easily. Modern ice shelters can protect between 1 and 8 people from the icy elements.

• Remember that safety is of top priority

When you’re fishing in the ice, it is important to know that you are standing on a dangerous surface. Therefore, it is necessary to carry along some safety equipment. Carry an ice chisel to test the solidity of the ice as you walk. Also carry a safety pick. It is a floatable device which helps you to grip upon solid ice if you fall into the water. Carry a throw bag. This is a special safety bag which can be thrown to an angler who falls into the water. It contains some rope and a foam float. A safety whistle also comes in handy. Last but not least, carry a Personal Floatation Device. It is streamlined and substitutes a vest. With this safety equipment, you can stay safe as you fish in the ice.

• Make sure that you drill a good hole

Some anglers like to enjoy their cardio while fishing in the ice. So they dig their holes using a shovel or a pick axe. However, this is not a good idea because sweating can expose you to cold temperatures against your skin. Thankfully, you can use an ice auger. This is a special tool which comes in power or manual operation. The power versions run on gas, electricity or propane. It also allows you to drill holes of varying diameters. Normally, they range from 4 inches to 10 inches. Note that power augers are heavy and require consistent servicing. Remember to carry along an ice skimmer. It keeps the hole clear of ice after you’ve drilled it. Also, you can lay a floor mat made of rubber with a cut-out opening so as to keep the ice from building up again.

• Utilize the right equipment

Begin with a fish finder. It helps you to find your prey easier. There are various types of fish finders today. As indicated on Fishing Picks, they come in a variety of materials and price points. Through their displays, you can identify fish in the water. In this way, you can target the prey easier. Once you’ve got your eye on a fish, fix a wax worm on your spinning reel combo. A great choice is the jighead. Weighing only 1/64 oz, it can entice literally anything that swims. Attach this combination to a 6 or 8 foot braided line. This setup can catch a wide range of fish. It will effectively get docile fish such as trout, perch and crappies. It can also catch predatory fish such as pickerel, sauger and northern pike.

Ice fishing is one of the most recognized extreme sports today. Resilient anglers head to the ice and capture fish in the coldest conditions imaginable. The extreme nature of this fishing strategy is the attractive factor. If you want to begin ice fishing, the guidelines above can help you to get started on the right foot!

Last edited by Jacob William
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