Five Tips for Ice Fishing

Five Tips for Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is Conor’s hobby. We keep it simple out there. For us, it is about being on a frozen lake, enjoying life and God’s creation. We have been ice fishing for the last five winters. As we get closer to the Big Fish Winter Derby at Fremont Lake, we thought of sharing some tips with you that we have learned from our experiences.   

Always check the ice. 
Not because it’s frozen, it means that it can hold your weight. Carefully step on the ice. Bring your auger. Make your first hole close to shore. You can stick your hand in to feel its thickness or see it if you pick in the hole. The ice has to be over 5 inches. Move a little bit far away from the shore and drill another hole. If it has the same thickness, you are set to go. 

Drill lots of holes.

Don’t stay in one place, move around. The more holes you drill, the more chances you have to catch one. That’s the beauty of ice fishing: You can go wherever you want on the lake. You just need to make an effort and walk. Stay for ½ an hour on one hole and then search for another spot. Conor tries to find markers on the ice that call his eye to make a hole. 

Dress appropriately. 
It’s going to be cold. You are going to be standing on ice all day. You better be prepared for that. There are heated socks. (They change my experience on the ice) Keeping your feet and hands warm is essential. Once you get them cold, the fun stops. Layer up. It is better to take off layers than to be cold. I usually wear thermal underwear, leggings, heated socks, a scarf, a long-sleeved shirt, a vest, the warmest sweatshirt I have, a dawn jacket, and snow pants.   Yes, I do wear all that. 
When you get cold, the fun is over. 
Keep in your sled ice cleats. 
Trust me on this one. You don’t want to fall on the ice. Sometimes, the ice is clear of snow. It can get slippery.  Take care of yourself and wear cleats. You don’t want to end up with a broken wrist at the clinic. 
Bring a spatula to clean your hole.

Keep your hole clean from ice. First and foremost, if you catch a fish, it’s easier to pull it out of the ice if your hole is clean. Second, you don’t want ice rubbing on your line. That will deteriorate your line. And you risk missing a big one because your line broke.  Keep your hole clean! 
Most importantly, have fun on the ice. You get to experience something special. Never take for granted that you are on top of a frozen lake. Be careful out there. See you on the ice!