No need to await summer for fun when winters can be more amusing with ice-fishing. It may sound raw and chilly but ice fishing truly makes holidays refreshing. It’s the only recreational activity that makes a good excuse for winter outings.
Ice fishing is not that all different to regular water fishing except for the backdrop are not to everyone’s liking. Nature’s free fund service is not that incredible either with anglers crying for warmth.
Despite that, fishing in frozen water is surprisingly fun and energizing. Early planning of ice fishing is almost the same as regular fishing aside from physical preparation. As long as they are fishing, anglers must be strong enough to endure the bitter cold atmosphere.
Before starting fishing anglers must take a good look at the ice thickness. In normal cases, the iced water body must be four inches thick to hold up a person.
An inch or more than that can even support the sledge which anglers used to carry all their essentials. If the ice sheet is 12 to 15 inches thick then it can even bear the weight of mid-size pick-up or van.
Ice fishing is done in freezing environs so the gears are slightly different to that of freshwater fishing. Out of all ice fishing gear, an ice auger is the equipment to stretch a never ending line between the two fishing styles. It is used to make holes in the ice where you can cast
It also involves carrying transportable ice shelters like ice shanty or shack for days long fishing. To overcome the cold, anglers take heaters and stoves with them.
Ice Fishing Gear
Walking in a freezing ice zone and isolating oneself under a plastic bag may not look that fun. But with the right fishing gears and apparels, ice fishing can turn to be a pure bliss in winter. This is why we provide you with some efficacious ice fishing gear. They can be useful in catching fish as many as walleye, yellow perch and trout.
1. Ice Auger
Augers are anglers go-to gear for ice fishing. They are the ones used to drill a hard frozen surface and make a hole out of it for fishing. Ice augers are basically spiral tools designed to snap the ice like an expert.
With their sharp cutting blades, augers take no time to drill ice holes and head start fishing. Edge of the hand augers are more serrated than the standard, making it efficient to cut through the ice. Hand augers are handled manually by placing it on the ice bed and spin the blade steadily.
Augers of different size and designs are available in the market ranging from 4 to 6 inch models and longer. Hand augers, longer than six inches, are normally difficult to use but they help create bigger holes for fishing.
Refurbished electric augers are relatively expensive but great to use with no physical labor involved. It requires low maintenance and still the power is high. Anglers also have the option to use
2. Ice Fishing Rods and reels
Choosing an ice fishing rod and reel can be daunting when you have tons of options in the case. With that said, anglers need to be conscious of what they pick and whether it gives real value or not.
Fishing rod and reel must be selected on the basis of its quality and performance. The best fishing rods are the ones that are durable and easily adaptable even in the frigid climate. So while purchasing the fishing rod, make sure that it’s stiff and quick in action.
Most anglers prefer 28-inch medium-light rod with limber tip for ice fishing rod. But to fight the hard-water, you can have anywhere from 24 to 36 inches fishing rod that gets all the way through.
More hype has been caused by longer fishing rods due to their ability to pick on fish even in shallow water. Ultralight fishing reels make fantastic choices for ice fishing provided that they deliver smooth performance.
They are relatively affordable than water reels and feature a great drag system with strong blanks. These reels can easily sense the presence of fish like crappie and perch in the biting water. Kastking definitely has got one of the best fishing rod and reel combos. They are pocket-friendly and have better flex with a graphite body to withstand pressure.
3. Ice Fishing Soft Bait
Long gone those old days when anglers reached out worms and minnows to lure fish. Artificial baits are more in force nowadays with anglers finding it effective and reliable .
Most soft baits are designed to imitate live baits both in action and appearance. They are used to disguise fish and entice them until the predators don’t get hooked in the jig.
Ice fishing baits are made of soft plastic in varied shapes. Berkley and Strike King remain the most trusted brands for fishing lures. Their baits have aromatic flavour which grab the attention of fish and allow them to hold on the hook longer than the regular fishing bait.
4. Fishing Line
If you are new to ice fishing then go right for all temperate ice fishing lines rather than the regular. Ice waters are too hard for the standard monofilament fishing line to resist the pressure.
Therefore, get rid of all regular fishing lines and choose the cord that complements the frozen water. Anglers more often favours 2 to 4 pound premium fishing line which is high in strength and repels sub-zero temperature
Sufix Ice Magic Fishing Line is one of the great options being complacent and easy-to-use. Berkley’s Trilene Micro Ice Monofilament and Fireline Micro also have a great reputation for excellent fishing lines. Their hook sets are firm and easily visible from the narrow ice holes.
5. Ice Fishing Cleats
It’s hard to underrate the significance of an ice fishing cleat when you have to stay in a frozen lake all day long. In fact, they are the most important gear of all and impossible to scrap from the checklist.
Ice fishing cleats are generally used by anglers to avoid random slips and go as far into the frozen river. They offer easy traction and moderate heat allowing the anglers to walk comfortably in the ice.
Soles of cleats are fully wrapped and fastened with spikes to stand off the snow. They are adjustable and easy to get on and off. Ice fishing cleats from Stabilicers are much-liked by pro anglers as they provide a strong grip to the boot.
Their studs are constructed with high-tech materials and reinforced plastic soles for structural support. The ring designed inside the boot holds up the heel and provides balance.
6. Pliers and forceps
Pliers and forceps are the tools to count on while ice fishing. They are versatile and can be used in multiple ways from detaching the hooks out of fish to taking off split shot.
Pliers are hand-powered tools with slip joints which cut wire and hold objects. Tips of most pliers are designed to be flat which helps the angler tweak barbs on flies.
Meanwhile, forceps are different to pliers and formed with a sharp edge to twitch split. They may look like scissors but forceps perform the function of cutting lines and tippets during ice fishing.
Anglers can find the right size and shapes of pliers and forceps with Dr. Slick. They have the finest quality tools in the market. Dr Slick’s forceps are constructed from stainless steel with proper-fitted hinges, causing it to last decades.
7. Sled or other conveyance
Every time they set off for ice fishing, angler summons sledge. They find the vehicle most dependable to transport fishing equipment without hurting hands. Flat bottom sleds made of polyethylene are most used to haul the stuff to and fro ice holes.
Downsize the tedious job of lugging gears in and out by getting large-size sleigh with extra rooms for supplementary gears. Be careful with the loads though as you might break the ice and if possible don’t go too far.
Pro anglers often monitor the thickness of ice and travel accordingly. But there’s still no guarantee whether the spot is apt for fishing. For that, bring into play the snowmobiles and ATV that makes the distant travel much accessible. Just be sure that when you take one of the high-powered vehicles, the ice is hard rock and somewhere 5 to 7 inches thick.
8. Rod holders
Rod holders are anglers best allies during ice fishing. They release the stress of clutching the fishing rod for hours in a frosty climate where the temperature is below 0 degree celsius. Fish holders are super easy to install and flexible so that you can place it anywhere.
Some rod holders are modeled with two-side frames and flat bottom for perfect positioning. They are accommodating and can mount both vertical and horizontal ways. Fishing rod holders vary in design and dimension so you must take a good look at it.
Put the fishing jigs into service and it’ll never disappoint. They are the tiniest yet most handy gear to be applied in fishing. It’s unusual not to find the jigs in a fishing tackle box of anglers.
In most cases, fishers use it with natural or soft baits and sometimes both. Choosing the right size and color of the jig depends on the sort of fishing you’re into. Yet, the most common jigs that anglers hold onto are round jigs made from lead and metal.
They weigh above average to sink in the water and stay on the surface for a long time. It features a symmetrical round head with a barb that quickly comes into action. Some of the jig heads that both novice and professional prefers over others are as follows.
Tube Jig Head
Tube jig heads are so adaptable that anyone can use it without early lessons. They are largely round-shaped or cylindrical but you can also find the jig head in other shapes and sizes. Compared to regular hooks, Tube has longer shanks which makes it easy to remove from the fish.
Darter Jig Head
Darter is an all-purpose fishing jig head with great design and weight. Most Darter jig heads are designed in bullet or cone shape to pass through the water and cling onto fish. Unlike other jig heads, they are really easy to set up and use.
Spoon Jig head
Spoon jig heads are one of the favourite of anglers as it eases the catch. Subtlety is the beauty of this jig head. Even so, what makes it special is its ability to reach the depth of water. There is a wide range of spoon jig head, each with unique design and shine that grabs the attention of fish in no time.
10. Terminal Tackle
It’s a great addition to any angler’s tackle box as terminal tackle improves long distance casting. It’s an apparatus secured at the end of the hook to increase sink rate and ability of anchoring. There’s a mix of split rings, spoons, sinkers, swivels, beads and clevises in terminal tackle.
Light-weight lures and bait doesn’t help much to enhance the casting distance. Therefore, carry weighted sinkers and gaffs which suits all types of fishing. Sinkers come in different sizes and shapes so pick the one that doesn’t flip easily or spin with the tide.
In-case of hooks, get light yet long shank hooks with sharp barbs of varied sizes. Small size hook of #6 or #4 is great for fishing small crappies and perch. As for mousies, any fishing hook ranging from #8 to #14 will work for the best.
Ice fishing can be a lot more relaxing and effortless with Tip-ups. Otherwise known as fish traps, tip-ups are crafted from stainless steel with rectangular or circular layout. Tip-ups are basically a mechanical device used to suspend lines in the water through drill holes. They indicate the angler about the presence of fish by flapping the flag in the tip-ups which occurs after the fish comes to take the bite of fishing bait coupled in hook.
Ice fishing had never been easier until fish trackers were developed. GPS tracking is designed to read the movement of fish and transmit it through different means. They locate the presence of fish and signal it to fishers before they even cast.
Portable fish finders have been a real time-saver for anglers in recent years. Most of them observe the air in the swim bladder of fish and channel the energy to screen in the form of fish.
Gramin is quite famous for making top-notch portable depth sounders. Its most famous creation includes Striker Plus 4 with dual-beam transducer and Striker 4 with portable kit.
Some popular devices used to detect the action of fish in the water are as follows.
Radio frequency identification tags drag a range of frequencies to alarm anglers and allow them to find fish. The device is implanted in the fish to operate like a transmitter but the frequency is inconsistent.
Acoustic tags are the most popular device to track fish inside water. They detect the behavior of fish and generate a continuous sound to alert anglers. Acoustic tags send the sound waves through hydrophone.
Passive Integrated Transponder Tags
It functions differently than the acoustic and radio tags. Passive Integrated Transponder Tags doesn’t use power, instead it relies on an internal microchip that’s attached to fish. The chip activates and produces waves of low frequency created by antena every time fish passes it.
Gramin is quite famous for making top-notch portable depth sounders. Its most famous creation includes Striker Plus 4 with dual-beam transducer and Striker 4 with a portable kit.