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.
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.
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.
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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