Too many people stow away their fishing equipment after the last leaves have fallen. And if you are about to do just that – stop. It’s time you try ice fishing. Serious anglers have been ice fishing for as long as anyone can remember. And if you haven’t ever cut a hole in the ice and tried to catch your dinner through it, then here are a few tips to help get you started.
First, some reasons you should consider ice fishing:
Cost vs. Fun – chances are if you’re already a fisherman you have most of the gear to at least try out the sport. The only other thing you need is an auger. A hand operated one can be had fairly inexpensively.
Mobility – not having any luck at your first hole. You can literally get up and walk to a new spot. No need for a boat.
Ease and Company – ice fishing is true “Tom Sawyer” style fishing. Drop your line in your hole(s), and wait. Talk to your friends while supper comes to you.
The biggest hesitation to ice fishing that most people face is the cold. But if you dress in layers you should be fine. Serious fishermen often setup a tent on the ice to protect themselves from the wind. However, our biggest tip is to put those chemical hand-warmers in a good pair of snow boots. We’ve found that if your feet are warm, your whole body will stay warm.
Safety is another valid concern. According to the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources, the following method should be employed to ensure your safety. The ice that you walk on should be four inches or more in thickness. Cut a hole in the ice near the edge of the lake. Because the ice is thinnest at the edges, this will be a good way to gauge the depth of the ice in the center of the lake. For example, if the ice at the edge is three inches thick, you know you will be fine. If it’s less than an inch, you should not venture out.
If this hasn’t convinced you to try ice-fishing yet, we don’t know what will.