Ice fishing is an amazing winter sport that involves catching fish in frozen lakes. You don’t need a boat or expensive things, just a few tools to cut holes in the ice and basic equipment to fish them. Ice fishing is fun for the whole family and you can get started in 8 easy steps.
You can find a good fishing spot on the “Where to go boating and fishing” map. Aim for the first 50 to 100 meters from shore at depths of 5 to 15 feet. Try fishing around other anglers who have likely found some fish on safe ice.
Make sure the lake you choose has safe ice, at least 5 inches thick. You can check ice reports at your local bait shop. Drill holes every 10 to 20 meters to check the ice thickness.
It is crucial to stay warm and safe on the ice. Put on warm winter clothing and wear the following safety items.
- Safety picks: ice axes that are worn around the neck to pull yourself back onto the ice when you fall
- Life jacket: buoyancy aid in case you fall into it
- Studs: Metal spikes worn on your boots for safe skating on ice
Equip yourself with essential ice fishing equipment. The following checklist outlines the necessities to get out and fish through the ice.
- Auger: 6 to 10 inch ice auger that rotates to cut holes in the ice
- Shovel: Small trowel to remove slush from your ice hole
- Ice Rod & Reel: Smaller reel on a 28-inch rod for convenient fishing over a hole
- Ice Jig Heads: Small metal devices with small hooks for fishing live / artificial ice baits
- Spikes: Live wax worms that are used as bait to attract a bite
Drill your holes and scoop out your mud with an ice scoop.
Tie on your ice template and bait it with 2-3 spikes.
Jig your bait 1-2 feet off the ground with small lifts and pauses. There are often bites during the break.
Reel up your fish, remove the hook, and carefully slide the fish’s tail back into the hole to release it.