Ice Fishing Tips, Tricks and Tactics
Here are some tips and strategies that should help improve your next ice fishing experience. We are always looking for new, bold ways to improve anglers success at ice fishing.
Depth Matters – Fish generally will stay a specific depth during the winter, making it easy to find them. Do some simple internet research to find out what depth the species of fish you’re trying to catch stay around during the winter months.
Slow and Steady Wins the Fish – Fish don’t expend as much energy during the winter months. If you move your bait or jig too fast a fish might let it go in order to save energy. This is the biggest problem novice ice fisherman have when they start out.
Use a Bobber to Set the Hook at the Right Time – Not only do fish use less energy during the winter months, they are also less aggressive. They won’t hit your bait or jig as aggressively as they would during the summer months. This is where a slip bobber comes into play. With a slip bobber you can set the depth of line and see when a fish might be giving you action.
Cover the Hole – If you’re ice fishing in a shallow area then it’s best to keep some ice shavings in the hole to prevent the light from penetrating the surface. This keeps the fish from avoiding the area where you’re fishing. However, if you’re trying to catch crappie the light can actually attract small plankton that in turn attracts crappie.
Bait the Bottom – Both bluegills and perch love to feed off the bottom during the winter months. Trying bouncing your bait off the bottom to stir up some mud and debris, this can attract fish from a distance.
Chum the Hole – Sometimes chumming your hole can actually bring more fish to your location. While most fish don’t want to exert too much energy in the icy water, they can still be attracted to other fish feeding. Trying grinding up some minnows or dropping some wax worms in and let them go crazy.
Learn How to Treat Hypothermia – Most ice fishing related deaths are not due to drowning, but instead due to hypothermia. Make sure you educate yourself on what to do if you or a fellow angler fall into icy water. Remember, someone can die as soon as 20 minutes of being soaked in icy water. Always have a cell phone on hand to call for help and a spare set of winter clothing nearby.