Ice Fishing Tips For Amateurs And Enthusiasts

Ice Fishing Tips
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Fishing is impossible during the winter when the water bodies freeze over, and fishes become inaccessible. Ice fishing was invented as an alternative method of fishing to prevent people in places like Alaska from starving. Ice fishing is essential in places like Alaska for this reason.

Ice fishing is very different from warm weather fishing. Unlike warm weather fishing, if you cannot find fish, you cannot just catch it by luck. You need to know where your fishes are. It takes strategic planning and patience to drill hole after hole to get to the fish. Frigid temperatures and low oxygen levels can alter fish behavior. To some, ice fishing may seem like a daunting task.

Different ways to ice fish are:

Ice augers are gas-powered machines that help you drill holes in the ice. They have twisting blades that form holes of the perfect size that allows you to fish comfortably.

The ice fishing saw is a handheld saw designed to cut through ice. Unlike with Ice Augers, the size of the hole being cut is not fixed. So you can cut out holes of different sizes in the ice, according to your needs.

Casting isn’t needed in ice fishing; therefore, some anglers forego the reel entirely. Instead, depending on the sizes of the available fish, anglers use various sizes of rods.

An excellent ice fishing tip is that when using the line method is to use an abrasion-resistant one. Braid line is the best option.

The available species of fish can vary under the ice. Therefore it is recommended that you carry a variety of hooks with you when ice fishing.

Ice fishing tips and tricks

winter fishing

Oxygen levels drop as winter progresses. Oxygen starvation can alter fish behavior. When you go out looking for fish, a good ice fishing tip is to always look for green, fresh weeds. This indicates the presence of live vegetation, which is still producing oxygen. Live vegetation means fishes within close vicinity of the vegetation are alive and dare I say, thriving.

Another good tip is to target large shallow lakes that can support loads of underwater vegetation throughout the winter.

The best anglers do their research beforehand and know the bottom of the lake very well. The underwater landscape of a long, not so wide point is very similar to a drop-off, and if you work along with the point that it sides and tips, there is a good chance you will find the fish you are looking for. You can use a depth finder to map out the lake during the summer before you go ice fishing.

Drop-in oxygen levels may result in fishes moving towards the top of the water body. Therefore, you must remember that the bottom is not where fishes always are.

Experienced and expert anglers do their homework and research a long time before they actually go out ice fishing. During the summer, they use systematic casts to map out the entire lake or whatever water body they plan on going ice fishing.

By doing so, they get a general idea of which species of fishes are available on which part of the water body. Then during winter, they will set out to ice fish with their map in hand.

The map will make ice fishing so much simpler and less time-consuming. This is because the angler will approximately know where he needs to drill. But before the angler gets to the actual drilling, he will attempt a few test ones to see if the location marked on his map is correct and test the overall conditions.

It is recommended that you drill a standard-sized hole every 75 to 100 feet to get a general idea of the position of fishes in correspondence to your map.

The idea is to follow your fish. You will not be able to catch any fish if you stand static in one place. If you have been fishing at one hole for quite some time to no avail, then it is time to go on to the next one. 

An excellent ice fishing tip is to carry as less gear as possible to stay quick and light on your feet.

Gently swirl your transducer by the cable once it has been lowered through the hole and has been submerged. Rotate the cone and observe the dial. The dial will tell you if you are standing on still water or not.

Use spoons and minnow heads to make your jigs look and act as life-like as possible. After some research and experimentation, it has been found that using soft plastic jigs is more effective.

Water levels can be quite low under the ice layer in some places. Noise from aboveground, as a result, can be amplified into the water. If you are loud in your approach towards a hole, there is a chance you will startle the fish away.
ice fish

A few more ice fishing tips and tricks

  • Fishing in smaller lakes early in the year will give you a more extended ice fishing season since the smaller lakes freeze faster.
  • As the winter progresses, move on to larger lakes. More mammoth lakes have higher oxygen content, which means the number of active fishes will be higher.
  • Fish are creatures of habit and relate to structure, so before you fish in any lake, get the best map you can and use it to identify the lake's structure. Look for breaks, weed lines, and underwater bumps.
  • During the middle of winter, look for fish around the deeper part like mid-lake bumps and rock piles. As spring gets closer, the fish will begin to move shallower to where they were during the first time it iced over.
  • Follow the example of the people who are ice fishing pros and drill several holes at varying depths around the structure of your fishing. If you are unable to see any fish on your flasher or catch any fish in the first fifteen minutes, try a different hole.
  • Some fish, such as Walleye and Perch, are found close to the bottom of the lake. Crappies and Sunfish are usually suspended.
  • You can start by jigging larger lures about a foot off the bottom to be able to attract and catch the more aggressive and larger fish. If you're seeing fish but not finding them switch to a smaller jig.


One of the most crucial ice fishing tips is that you need to know where your fishes are. For this, you need to research, do tests, and practice. Ice fishing is a very straight forward way of fishing and does not require much equipment or any advanced form of technology. Just adhere to the tips and trick mentioned in this article, and we hope you have a great time ice fishing!

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