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Ice Fishing Basics?

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I have never been ice fishing but it seems like a good way to scratch the itch to fish during the colder months. I don't know how to get started though. What can I catch? Can I use my normal rod or do i need a new ice rod? How do I safely make the hole? How do i know when the ice is thick enough to walk on? Where are the fish? Any thing you can tell me helps and if I didnt ask a question I should know the answer to please tell me. Thanks for the help!

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I have never done it but i might try it this winter. I know local fisherman who do it and one of them told me a great way to start is to simply look out for the guys out there ice fishing and join in with them. He said they will usually have maybe 5 holes cut out and know where the fish are and how to catch them. He said you sit and talk and have a good time. Interested to see what others have to say about it. 

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You are going to need tip ups or ice jig rods. You want to try to find deeper water thats going to hold fish. If you dont have a flasher, then just drill holes till your lucky. I generally wait for 3 inches of ice on my lake before i go out on it, and believe websites are out there that tell you how thick the i e has to be to walk on, drive an atv out, or even take a car out there. You can get a hand auger for fairly cheap money that will allow you to drill holes. Feel free to PM me and I can give you more info.

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I wait till there is 4" of good, clear ice. The # 1 piece of equipment you need for ice fishing is an auger to dill a hole in the ice.  Beyond that, tackle will be subjective to the species of fish your chasing....jigging for bluegills is much different than jigging for lake trout. Things like sleds, portable shantys, heaters, graphs/flashers are all nice, and will help, but not "required" like I said..........you need a hole first.

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Stock trout in a pond before it freezes over. They are a lot  more fun through the ice than half frozen gills and crappies.

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I actually like ice fishing better than open water fishing and started doing it seriously last winter.

I can give you some solid advice and would suggest you go with somebody that has done it before and has the gear and knows what they're doing.

You don't need a flasher to catch fish but I wouldn't go without one now. The same for the house and heater.

It's easy to get discouraged when you go and don't start catching fish right away and don't know where to go from there.

I'm LOVING this arctic blast and hope to be on hard water by Black Friday.

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Colorado ice fishing might be different than midwest ice fishing.  What species will you be pursuing?  There are a couple of tried and true methods for ice fishing.  The first, tip ups, is sort of a numbers racket.  You find a (hopefully) good area, drill as many holes as you have tip ups (or whatever the law allows) and set them up with live bait.  Another method (which I use) is to drill a few holes, wait for the fish to come back if, perhaps, I've frightened them, and dip my flasher transducer in the water to see if it's marking cover or fish (preferably both but at least the later), and repeat the process until such time as you do.  A decent flasher (set at the proper setting) can tell you a LOT about what depth the fish are at, where your lure  is in the water column, how timid or aggressive the fish are, and even when a fish is about to bite.  It's a heck of a lot of fun and you almost forget about the cold.  Often, when I'm hunkered over a hole, I'll suspended some live bait under a bobber in a nearby hole just to increase the odds of catching something.  Often, though, when the fishing is good, you'll forget all about the other set up and/or will take it out so you aren't overwhelmed.

 

I've read that early season ice fishing should be done relatively shallow and near where weeds are (or were) and later in the season, move deeper.  My fishing seem to bear this out.

 

i'm no expert but I'm enthusiastic.  PM me if you have other questions.

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I started ice fishing last year. Mostly crappie and gills. Once is a while we would catch a bass. We use little spoons with a fly teaser tied 4 inches off of one of the trebles. This killed them last year. I would also bring an axe and use this to cut through holes that were already there. I did get an auger this year to be able to cut some holes. It's fun and beats sitting on the couch. Good luck!

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I'm so glad someone enjoys ice fishing.  :D

 

Glad I live in the south. Ice is usually found 

in our freezers.

 

Sorry... I'll go home now.

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I have never been ice fishing but it seems like a good way to scratch the itch to fish during the colder months. I don't know how to get started though. What can I catch? Can I use my normal rod or do i need a new ice rod? How do I safely make the hole? How do i know when the ice is thick enough to walk on? Where are the fish? Any thing you can tell me helps and if I didnt ask a question I should know the answer to please tell me. Thanks for the help!

 

Check out the following links:

 

http://www.ice-fishing-source.com/

 

http://www.in-fisherman.com/ice-fishing/

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