As I set my last trap, the setting sun illuminates a vast sheet of creaking ice beneath my feet. A barred owl that inhabits the small cove has stopped booming, echoing its hoots. Having replaced its song with the quiet sounds of songbirds and the distant quacks of quick-flying ducks, which are also preparing for a long winter day, I am now surrounded by chirps and quakes.
In the dead of winter, I begin to wonder precisely why I am so drawn to frozen ponds. Taking in the breathtaking vista in front of me and experiencing the silence of nature are a few of my favorite experiences. Perhaps my ability to outwit small animals is driven by the same instinct for carnivorous survival that pushed our ancestors toward the top of the food chain.
Ice Fishing For Beginners
We glance at each other for a split second as we approach home plate like two baseball players simultaneously charging in. It isn’t possible to slow down on slippery ice when you are full of steam. A roar from my shoulders intimidates him into turning away from me. It has been done before by our team.
This is the first of the year, despite it not being an especially large fish. He picks up the hook, slides it through the hole, and removes it from the pickerel. Both of us laugh out loud. It’s time to have some serious fun on the ice now that New England has safe ice. New England is once again able to enjoy ice fishing.
Ice Fishing Basics
When I tell people I enjoy ice fishing, I often get funny looks. Although I’ve met many good fishermen who are frightened by the idea, the majority of them will discover that they enjoy it once they give it a try. Most people continue to fish all year round thanks to this new winter passion.
No matter how serious you are about ice fishing or how casual you are, the sport offers so much. As well as being an excellent method of catching fish, you can also catch a true trophy, a wall-hanging pig. Forage is hard to find in the winter for all freshwater fish, so the fish feed constantly. Fish are hungry because of the lack of insects and crayfish, so they are willing to take risks they wouldn’t otherwise take.
Throughout the years, I have noticed that ice anglers are among our region’s friendliest groups. The odd ice fisher tends to be outgoing and more welcoming than the super-secret surfcasting or the territorial boat fisher. Visitors to the ice camps of other groups are likely to have food, a drink, and solid advice offered to them. Being on the ice isn’t a time for shyness.
Ice Thickness Chart
A good chance of catching fish will be on the first safe ice of the season. It’s only been a few months since anglers have been pestering the fish, and they’re hungry. Despite being harassed by ice fishermen, they have not yet been educated.
Oftentimes, first ice means dangerous ice as well. I can walk out on the ice as thin as 2 inches without falling through. But I am a big guy so many of us in our group would probably go through. I prefer good ice today to be solid 4 inches thick and clear. Always carry a heavy rope with you when you venture onto the ice. Secondly, stay away from brooks and streams that enter the water, as well as large branches that hang over the water, which will absorb heat from the sun and soften the ice.
How to Make an Ice Fishing Hole
To be able to place your bait at the right depth, you need to sound the hole to see when you will find most fish at the bottom. The trout and salmon on the other hand tend to cruise just beneath the ice, so if you are fishing for these species, then set a few baits just below the ice. Keep a close eye on your traps and check them every half hour at the very least. There are often tangles at the spool because of baits disappearing or finding their way into weeds.
You can almost always catch more fish with live bait than one that is dead. You should also skim all ice from your holes and ensure the traps don’t freeze solid since frozen holes can promote rot. Aside from checking your traps often, you should also make sure the flag mechanism works and they’re set properly. There have been many occasions when the human error has caused me to lose nice fish.
A hole skimmer and a sled are other tools I would recommend, as well as tracing cleats and a depth sounder.
Ice Fishing Techniques
- Ice Fishing Jig
Icing fishing is a hobby that can either be simple or complex as the individual wishes. Since the late 19th century, ice fishing gear has remained mostly unchanged. The basic principles of creativity remain unchanged, despite the advent of many new gadgets and gizmos.
Fish can be caught through holes in the ice using specialized jigging rods and bait. You can also use ice traps known as “tip-ups.” When an ice fisherman gets a hot hole, he removes all his tip-ups and uses a jigging rod. The tip-ups are a wise investment for first-timers.
It can take an angler a while to understand how a tip-up works when they first see one. However, they aren’t as complicated as mousetraps. When a fish pulls the line from the spool, a striking flag appears, which is connected to the trigger mechanism.
The bait on the hook should be lowered down to the ground before the trap is set, and then you can run like headless chickens! You need to remove the trap and the mainline when you reach the hole, be sure to snap it hard when you feel a fish The hook was set by surfacing. In “bare-knuckle” fighting, you use your hands, not the reel, to pull the fish in.
Ice Fishing Bait
Your local tackle shop will most likely have the bait you need. It’s not uncommon to find various sizes of Shiners as the primary bait. If you want to catch a trout or panfish, put small shiners on; go big if you want to catch a bass or pike. Chubs can also be purchased at some shops, which are often more affordable than shiners, and make excellent baits. It’s not uncommon for me to purchase as many options as the shop sells so I can give the fish as many options as they will eat. On some days, a particular bait appears to be the fish’s preferred bait.
Over the past few years, I have used nightcrawlers as bait and have had some good results. Among fish, earthworms are delicacies. I’ve caught trout and panfish while using earthworms, and I have also caught impressive bass. They’ll attract plenty of bites as most fish will take a shot at them, so place them right beside the bottom. You might need some minnows as well since bait-stealers might be a problem.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q1. What Pound Test Line Should You Use For Walleye Ice Fishing?
Accordingly, the ideal line strength for walleye ice fishing depends on your presentation and lure size, as well as the size of your anticipated catch. The best line for walleye is 4lbs fluorocarbon if you are a beginner but don’t know all the nuances yet.
Q2. Where Can You Target Walleye Ice Fishing?
Walleye spend the day in deeper waters but move back to the shallows at night. Typically they spend the evening in shallow waters to eat. Set up your camp on a mid-range flat between shallow and deep areas. If you want to fish, choose low light periods (rise and set).
Q3. When Do Walleye Bite Best For Ice Fishing?
It is best to ice fish for walleye after sunset and thirty minutes before. In the hours following this peak of feeding, they slowly decrease in intensity during the night, followed by another peak at dawn.
We have summed up Ice Fishing For Beginners. You have to follow all the tips and tactics, you can easily become a professional fisherman. If you have any query to ask, put in the comment section. Our team will solve your problem ASAP.