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How to Start Ice Fishing in 8 Easy Steps

Ice fishing is an amazing winter sport that involves catching fish in frozen lakes. You don’t need a boat or expensive things, just a few tools to cut holes in the ice and basic equipment to fish them. Ice fishing is fun for the whole family and you can get started in 8 easy steps.

Step 1

You can find a good fishing spot on the “Where to go boating and fishing” map. Aim for the first 50 to 100 meters from shore at depths of 5 to 15 feet. Try fishing around other anglers who have likely found some fish on safe ice.

step 2

Make sure the lake you choose has safe ice, at least 5 inches thick. You can check ice reports at your local bait shop. Drill holes every 10 to 20 meters to check the ice thickness.

step 3

It is crucial to stay warm and safe on the ice. Put on warm winter clothing and wear the following safety items.

  • Safety picks: Ice axes that are worn around the neck to pull yourself back onto the ice when you fall
  • Life jacket: buoyancy aid in case you fall into it
  • Studs: Metal spikes worn on your boots for safe skating on ice

Step 4

Equip yourself with essential ice fishing equipment. The following checklist contains the essentials to get out and fish through the ice.

  • Auger: 6 to 10 inch ice auger that rotates to cut holes in the ice
  • Shovel: Small trowel to remove slush from your ice hole
  • Ice Rod & Reel: Smaller reel on a 28-inch rod for easy fishing over a hole
  • Ice Jig Heads: Small metal devices with small hooks for fishing live / artificial ice bait
  • Spikes: Live wax worms that are used as bait to attract a bite

Step 5

Drill your holes and scoop out your mud with an ice scoop.

Step 6

Tie on your ice template and bait it with 2-3 spikes.

Step 7

Jig your bait 1-2 feet off the ground with small lifts and pauses. There are often bites during the break.

Step 8

Reel up your fish, remove the hook, and gently slide the fish’s tail back into the hole to release it.

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