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Ice Fishing - Safety Information & Tips
Submitted by: Backcountry Press Outdoor News
The basics of Ice fishing is finding an iced up body of water that contains fish. If the ice is thick enough to support you and your tackles weight then just drill a decent size hole and drop a hook and line with a bait or maybe a lure and your Ice fishing.
Of course you might of guessed like everything in life, if you want to become good at it, experience and knowledge make a big difference.
You need some basic fishing tackle. Again if your new to Ice fishing you don’t need to spend a fortune to have a good basic kit.
An ice fishing rod and reel does not need to be long, about 2 ft is a standard size. Ice fishing line is manufactured and designed especially for extreme conditions like Ice fishing and it's probably a good idea to get this type of monofilament.
Most ice fisherman either use bait on hooks or jigs and lures. A typical jig to use, is one thats designed to be reeled in and move in the water to imitate a fish in distress etc..
Making a Hole
- To get access to the fish a whole must be made to drop your line into. To drill a hole through ice most anglers need to use a tool called an auger which makes your hole in the ice.
- The auger is best desribed as a giant screw with a blade that pentetrates the ice after rotating a number of times.
CHECK YOUR ICE!
Most Fish & Game don’t tell people how thick the ice is on the lakes or how safe it is. Most lakes should have 6 to 8 inches of ice, While safe ice conditions can’t be assumed, here is a list of ice-thickness guidelines. For more information see the Ice Fishing Chart
- 2 inches or less: Stay off
- 5 inches: Snowmobile or ATV
- 8-12 inches: Car or small pickup
- 12-15 inches: Medium truck.
Ice Fishing Etiquette
- Pick up your trash - Simple one, but we all hate to see a load of left fishing line and cans of beer left behind. Leaving your crap shows a lack of respect for the environment and disregard for other ice fisherman etc.
- Parking up next to another fisherman - Now this rule depends on a few factors. If your the sort of person that likes to take the time to greet other guys fishing and ask if there catching and what’s working, Cool. Then there is no harm in asking politely if you can park up near to them. The wrong way is to say nothing and just start fishing right next to someone without any regard for the other guy who might want some solitude. Either way don’t go any nearer than 40 feet, that really is close enough, leave the guy room enough to take a wizz!!.
- Noise - Again this is down to considering other guys fishing, having fun is fine but to much noise is annoying to anyone else nearby.
- Drill your own holes - Before you take an existing augured hole just have a look round to make sure a guy isn’t drilling for a preferred depth, then going back to his favourite hole. He doesn’t want to find you fishing in a hole he wants to then use after drilling it.
Ice Fishing Equipment
- A power pack is a useful ice fishing accessory to have within your ice fishing shelter. Try to choose one with a light and a 12-Volt DC output and / or a 5-Volt USB output to power up and charge mobile electronic devices such as cell phones, iPods, PDAs and etc..
- Portable Jump-Start Powerpack Systems - Jump start most vehicles and power up small household appliances. Some jumpstarter/powerpack systems also feature 12 volt and 5 volt power outputs to power up mobile devices such as cell phones, MP3 players or GPS systems.
- Portable Propane Heaters - Ones that Heat AND Cook are best.
- Ice Fishing Shelters - You can rent an Ice fishing shelter at some lakes, make your own or you can buy a portable one