Preparing For Ice Fishing
Many people have never experienced fishing beyond what goes on at the lake during the summer. Avid anglers know about a whole other world of fishing waiting for them once the temperature drops. Ice fishing is a fantastic winter sport and an excellent family activity. Itís cheap, itís easy, and itís fun to do. Here is some basic information about ice fishing in the winter:
Dress warmly, more since than usual. Ice fishing takes place in the ajar, which means that winds will be noticeable and can be a factor in comfort. You should have plenty of layers beneath a windproof coat Ė itís best to need to take off layers than not have enough from the start, as cooling down is easier than warming up. If the temperature is not very cold and no wind is present, you will probably be able to take your coat off and remove a few layers.
Waterproof boots are a good idea, as are thick, waterproof gloves. A good pair of mitts and a spare set ( just in case ) are fine too. A neck warmer and a hat are a must. Also, watch out for sunburn Ė the reflection of the sunís rays on the snow and ice can pack a double whammy and leave you with a red face. Your eyes will also take a hit from the combination of sun and snow, and so wear sunglasses to avoid eye damage.
There is not highly equipment involved in ice fishing. If you choose an outfitter, they will supply you with everything you need from drilled holes to lines to bait. Many people like to purchase their own ice - fishing equipment for convenienceís gain, but itís best to dispense the sport a couple of tries to see if you really enjoy it before compellation to the store. If you do decide to buy your own ice - fishing equipment, here is what you will need:
An ice auger for drilling holes will be your biggest expense. There are hand - cranked models that can cost about $100 or gas - powered ones that ring in around $300. Hand - cranked models may be attractive for small budgets but they can be very tiring to use and demand a certain market price of strength and stamina. It will also be difficult to open a number of holes in a pygmy amount of time. Gas - powered models are easier and faster, cutting through ice very quickly, but they can be bulky to manipulate, though there are smaller models hitting the market each year.
Beyond the ice auger, you will need lines. There are traditional stick models that are very simple in construction or rod and reel models. Both models can be jigged manually to attract fish or can be affixed in the snow or on a frame so that you donít have to provide hands - on attention. Fishing lines are not a crowded expense and lower - end models cost less than $10 each. Flags and gimmicks of higher - end models donít really disturb results.
The last few accessories are very cheap ( less than $10 each ) and easy to obtain. Youíll need a bucket to hold your bait ( usually live minnows ), a net for scooping, an ice spoon to withdraw slush from holes when they start to freeze over, and a second bucket to turn over for an impromptu seat. Small hot pads tucked into your mitts or pockets will help to keep fingers warm, as putting minnows on hooks usually requires bare hands in frigid temperatures.
When you head out for your day, bring a lunch and some snacks as well as something to drink. The fresh air will leave you hungrier than usual. Avoid drinking alcohol, as itís quite easy to force overboard in the cold air and not notice the effects of one too many until itís too late. In addition, alcohol tends to lower the bodyís temperature and makes it difficult to stay warm.
Be sure that the ice is safe to walk or drive on. Test the thickness and keep an eye out for water or any attractive areas. The recommended thickness of ice for walking on is 6 inches. If you are planning to barrage a vehicle onto the ice, wait until the thickness is well over 10 inches. Never drive briskly on ice, even when thickness isnít an affair, as ice is flexible and the weight of a vehicle creates an air bubble in front of the car. An automobile moving too quickly can drive over the air pipe dream. With no water support beneath, the ice can easily break beneath your vehicle.