Ice fishing could be a new adventure for passionate anglers and challenge new things. It is one of the great fun sources for passing long winter. You can walk the entire lake across the ice and find fishing spots quickly, but you have to gather the right gear and equipment before that.
You cannot enjoy ice fishing in a frozen lake if the preparation is not good enough.
Check out our essentials on how to prepare for ice in moments:
- Tools needed for ice fishing
- Finding the right spot for fishes
- Making and using proper baits
- Use of Jig and Tackle box for Beginner’s ice fishing
- Right cloth and shelter for fishermen
Ice Fishing Essentials for Beginners
You will need to understand fishing essentials before preparing for ice fishing properly. Here, we will discuss those essentials.
Study About the Ice Fishing Spot
Gathering ice fishing equipment is not the only part you have to do. Know about the safe ice fishing location. There is a term about house preparation where you should do some things such as study the fishing spot because you cannot just walk on the ice to make a drill.
Ice can be thick or thin depending on the geographic area, and wind can be cruel to make you frozen on the lake or pond.
Do some research about the fishing spot you want to go like if there is safe ice, weather condition, etc.
Talk with locals to find out if fish bites in these areas or know the hot spots. Check the ice thickness chart and the latest fishing report. Ice condition is essential to know.
Other essentials for beginner ice anglers are,
Ice Fishing Equipment
Ice fishing is different than casting in warm water. Choose 24 to 35-inch ice fishing rod or jigging rod, ice fishing reel, braided line, strong fluorocarbon leader is a good combination. The rod and reel combination should be smaller.
The line should be specifically designed for harsh weather and jagged ice. It also should have an anti-freezing compound to reduce the line memory.
You will need an auger to drill a fishing hole. As a beginner, use a manual Auger. Yet if you want to drill multiple holes, use a motorized auger. Some other necessary ice fishing gear you should take with you are,
- Slush scoop to slush ice
- Ice auger
- A bucket with a lid or campaign chair to sit
- Tip-up to fish hands-free in multiple holes
- Ice fishing sled to transport your gear
- Fishing pole
- Fishing license
- Underwater cameras(optional) etc.
Lures and Baits for Ice Fishing
Use bait, lures, or a combination of both. Go to the local tackle shop to see which type of ice fishing lures they sell.
Chubs, nightcrawlers, minnows, etc are effective bait that attracts Bass, pike, or panfish. Choose a small shiner for panfish and choose a big size for Bass and pike.
Ice Fishing Jig for Right Prepare for Ice Fishing
Small tungsten jig and light spoon are mid-winter emergencies when using a jigging rod. You have to bounce them up and down in the water. Custom jig and slender spin spoon attract panfish. Choose a light and curved design that creates a slow flash under the water.
For late winter, choose small tungsten-filled minnow style bait with various colors for walleyes. Kastmaster spoon, northland buckshot spoon, Rapala Rippin rap, etc., are another must-have.
Hook and Tackle Box for Beginner
Visit your local bait shop to choose hook and tackle before ice fishing trips. The setup depends on what type of fish you are targeting. Study the water of your fishing spot, then arrange it properly.
Do not forget to take clippers or pliers to cut the line. Another essential is ice cleats which will save you from falling.
A bucket or campaign chair for sitting on ice is not enough. No one knows when the weather could go wrong, when the blistering wind starts, or more.
Prepare an ice shelter or ice hut, which will be a lifesaver, and you can stay longer on the ice. You can find lightweight, portable models in the market that can fold and move quickly.
Proper clothing is a mandatory thing on ice fishing. Wear a different jacket, ice boots, hand gloves, moisture-wicking underwear made of soft wool, a bib on the top, etc. Snow pants, hats, neck warmers are also essential to wear.
What Kind of Fish do You Catch Ice Fishing?
Nowadays, ice fishing is a popular game all over the US because people find various types of fish species in ice. Yellow perch, walleye, Bass, trout, pike, sauger, tullibee, eelpout, bluegill, sunfish, etc., are popular fish species.
How Long Should an Ice Fishing Leader Be?
Choose about 24-inch leader made of fluorocarbon to get the maximum bite.