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MikeOGNR

Ice Fishing?

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Hey guys I am looking to try out ice fishing as a winter hobby and to see if I'll enjoy it my friend has a bob house and I am going to buy some start up gear, but I wanna know from your guys experiences as to what I should buy and as to what I should look for when fishing.

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Must haves:

 

Auger

A couple jig rods

Shelter

Heater

Flasher

 

You can go without the heater and the flasher, but they greatly enhance the experience.

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I've never used tip ups and my experience is otherwise rather limited, however I'll say the most important piece of equipment is the flasher (AND knowing how to use it). If you just go out, drill a hole, plunk the transducer in the hole and just sit there, it is only marginally better than going without. But even then, if you do happen to hit on the right area, the flasher will tell you the depth of the fish, the mood they are in, and where your bait is in relation to the fish. So, if you don't mind shelling out some dollars, a flasher is very helpful. I use mine even in the summer to find suspending crappie or bass. But getting back to knowing how to use a flasher-sometimes you still have to drill a number of holes before you find fish but with a flasher, you'll have a much better idea.

The second most important piece of equipment is live bait such as minnows or wax worms. You can do without (I guess) but I can pretty much tell when my jig or spoon has been stripped 'cause the fish stop biting. They'll hang around for curiousities sake (I can observe them with my flasher) but most won't bite. There are always exceptions but live bait is definitely a plus. Wax worms, if kept in a cool (almost cold) place will keep for weeks.

The third most important piece of equipment, particularly for timid biters (which most winter fish tend to be), is the spring bobber on the last guide. You can have a pole which is too stiff but a spring bobber on the end can mitigate this. It will help you catch fish you otherwise might not know were even there (less likely with a flasher).

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Buy some tip ups. I think your allowed 6 lines NH.  Find the biggest shiners you can buy. Set up near weeds in 10-20 feet water. Set up 5 of the tip ups with the big shiners on them. Drill some more holes and jig in those. Ice fishing for bass can be fast and furious. I usually use tips ups. There have been days when all five of them have flags at once ! You can catch some lunkers.

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RBF got it right 100% a flasher will help you catch 10 times more fish. After fishing with my vexilar ice fishing without it almost feels pointless. Also buy a gas auger, if you rely on a hand auger you will find that you do less hole hopping and in turn you catch less fish. Your also going to need a fairly large sled. Ice fishing is more of a pain in the butt than open water but it holds me over for the winter months. Good luck!

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My buddy Jim uses a contraption that uses an 18v cordless drill.  I was VERY skeptical, but it worked fine for 5" holes, which is plenty big enough for most panfish.  I'l try to get the exact product from him today.

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Maki Plastics

Maki Plastics

Maki Plastics

Ice Hut

Maki Plastics

Maki Plastics

Auger

Maki Plastics

Maki Plastics

warm clothes and boots

Mr Buddy Heater and propane tanks

and more Maki Plastics

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I'm going up to Lake Simcoe again tomorrow, and have also gone the past two weekends.  We rent a hut for the day, it has everything you need inside except the flasher. Holes are drilled, the heaters are on when you get there, and they drive you right out to the spot.  This is a much more casual type of ice fishing than the guys who are out there with their own equipment, drilling holes all day and actively hunting for fish(which also looks like a lot of fun). I took my wife out to one of these huts and we had a blast catching one small perch after another. Minnows are supplied, all we have to take are rods and reels, and some jigs and terminal tackle. It's comfortable, relaxing, and definitely satisfies that craving of a FISH ON feeling  :grin:

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I'm going up to Lake Simcoe again tomorrow, and have also gone the past two weekends.  We rent a hut for the day, it has everything you need inside except the flasher. Holes are drilled, the heaters are on when you get there, and they drive you right out to the spot.  This is a much more casual type of ice fishing than the guys who are out there with their own equipment, drilling holes all day and actively hunting for fish(which also looks like a lot of fun). I took my wife out to one of these huts and we had a blast catching one small perch after another. Minnows are supplied, all we have to take are rods and reels, and some jigs and terminal tackle. It's comfortable, relaxing, and definitely satisfies that craving of a FISH ON feeling  :grin:

 

No offense but to rent a "hut" on Lake Simcoe and catch small perch is not exactly a good thing on Lake Simcoe since people go there to get jumbo perch. I would be disappointed with small perch and if you're paying to go to a hut that doesn't move at all during the winter, what a waste because you have to move to find the perch. The schools move and you have to move with them.

 

As to the original poster, some others have already said it, but a flasher is the single most important thing when ice fishing. I've ice fished 55 hours in the month of January here in Michigan. I would not even go if I didn't have a flasher or if my battery were to die on the ice, I would just go home. It seems like a waste of time fishing without one if you ever fish with one. 

 

The key to ice fishing is being mobile and it is easiest to be mobile with a gas auger. I personally would buy an ice gator though... You don't go fishing in the summer nad just stop the boat somewhere and drop you line straight down and never move all day. If you have a flasher you simply drop the transducer down there, if nothing is there either move right away or you drop a line down real quick and if nothing comes off the bottom, move to a new hole. Move, move, move, and move. Shanty and heater are actually pretty overrated. If you want to catch fish, you constantly move. I hardly ever set up my shanty when i go although I bring it every time. 

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Hey guys I am looking to try out ice fishing as a winter hobby and to see if I'll enjoy it my friend has a bob house and I am going to buy some start up gear, but I wanna know from your guys experiences as to what I should buy and as to what I should look for when fishing.

Uncontrollable shaking, chattering of teeth, loss of coordination, goosebumps, slurred speech, sluggishness, loss of feeling in extremities...all are signs that you are beginning to suffer from hypothermia/frostbite and that you should seek mental counseling to find out what is wrong with you. HaHa, I'm a fishing fanatic, but I peg ice fisherman as crazy. Good luck in your endeavors, and bundle up. Tight lines! 

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Unlike the a lot of the fishermen on this forum, I actually enjoy ice season.

 

Here is what I would get at a minimum: 

 

Hand auger- 5 or 6 inch (a gas auger is convenient, but a sharp hand auger will work)

Flasher- any flasher should work, but as others have said, you MUST have a flasher to be successful.

panfish setup:

Light or ultralight graphite rod with a spring bobber (my favorite is the frabill titanium one), 2-3 lb test mono, small jigs (I like 4mm tungsten jigs) and Ice plastics in a variety of sizes and colors. . I start with just the plastic but will switch to wax worms if the fish are biting lightly.

 

With this setup, I catch tons of bluegill, crappie, perch, and bass. I like to move around a lot until i locate the fish. If you are jigging in a hole for a few minutes without marking any fish on your flasher, drill another one. 

 

You can also set a couple of tip-ups with large minnows to catch game fish while you are jigging for panfish.

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Uncontrollable shaking, chattering of teeth, loss of coordination, goosebumps, slurred speech, sluggishness, loss of feeling in extremities...all are signs that you are beginning to suffer from hypothermia/frostbite and that you should seek mental counseling to find out what is wrong with you. HaHa, I'm a fishing fanatic, but I peg ice fisherman as crazy. Good luck in your endeavors, and bundle up. Tight lines! 

 

y y y y y y yyoouurr  j j j j just  j j j jealous s s!!!!!

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A 4-6 inch shiner is the best way to catch big bass through the ice. Flashers work great for panfish.

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