Provides information of Fishes

Month: January 2014

6 Ice Fishing Tips from Tournament Pro Jack Baker

6 Ice Fishing Tips from Tournament Pro Jack Baker

NEWSLETTER SIGNUP Sign-up to receive our monthly newsletter with interesting blogs about fishing and boating. Get fishing tips and tricks and read personal stories from anglers who live and breathe fishing and boating. Learn new fishing skills, boating resources, fishing etiquette, conservation and more. Please […]

Old Ice Holes

Old Ice Holes

Andy Whitcomb 1/27/2014 There is no reason to reinvent the wheel.  Or in this case, a circular hole in the ice. Winter’s fish portal. An abandoned hole in the ice might be obscured with blowing snow and refrozen partially, so look closely and watch your […]

6 Ways to Be Safer When Ice Fishing

6 Ways to Be Safer When Ice Fishing

Chances are pretty good that if you’ve started to read this blog post, you’re one of the many sportsmen or sportswomen who love being outdoors year-round… even if the winter elements mean that more preparation time is involved. While you may already be familiar with the basics of ice fishing safety, there are a few additional cold weather tips that can be applied when making a trip out to the shanty or ice fishing hole.

Keep in mind that the following tips are only suggestions since ice fishing safety depends on a number of environmental and situational factors.

1. Always bring along a fishing buddy. Not only is it more fun to share the thrill of a catch with a friend, it also makes good sense from a safety standpoint. In the event that you were to fall through the ice, there is someone there to call 911 for help and find a strong tree limb, ladder or rope that might be used to help pull you out of the water.

2. Keep an eye out for weed beds, underground springs, inlet or outlet streams, areas of current, schools of fish or flocks of birds. Each of these factors can cause weak spots in the ice. Always pay close attention to your surroundings.

3. Test, test, test. Test the ice thickness with a chisel or auger before you walk on it. While it is said that ice should be 4 inches thick in order to support an angler, ice rarely freezes to create consistent thickness across a lake or body of water.

4. Avoid fishing lakes or areas that you aren’t familiar with or be sure to bring along someone who does know the waters where you will be ice fishing.

5. Even if you do know an area well or are bringing along a fishing buddy that knows the area, it’s a good idea to stop and ask about current ice conditions at one of the local bait and tackle shops. Use local resources and get safety updates from people who live or work near the area on a daily basis.

6. Monitor the temperature and wind for several days in advance of a trip. Staying aware of temperature changes and wind changes is important. Just because it hasn’t quite warmed up to the point where the ice is starting to melt, it can still weaken the ice considerably. Wind gusts can also create broken or uneven ice.

The bottom line? As with any type of angling activity, practice good judgment. After all, what good would it serve to catch a trophy through the ice or hook a record number of fish if you don’t make it home safely to tell the tale?


You Might Also Like

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.

Destination Fishing in the Winter

Destination Fishing in the Winter

Stephanie Vatalaro 1/27/2014 Here is a picture of what one of my many fishing spots looks like this time of year. It’s not a pretty sight, particularly because it’s saltwater. In case anyone is wondering, saltwater freezes at 28 degrees, and with flows a foot […]

4 Places to Go Ice Fishing in Wisconsin

4 Places to Go Ice Fishing in Wisconsin

Debbie Hanson 1/25/2014 Although Wisconsin is often referred to as “America’s Dairyland,” the winter fishing opportunities found in this Midwestern state shouldn’t be overshadowed by the amount of cheese curds it produces. According to the University of Wisconsin’s Water Library, Wisconsin has more than 15,000 […]

Breaking the Ice

Breaking the Ice

Are you curious about ice fishing?

In many areas of the north small figures, often with huts, appear on ice-covered lakes. Though normally I don’t approach strangers, I’m drawn to anyone holding a fishing rod. And a vast majority of my new acquaintances like to talk fishing.

Are those ice fishermen out there any different? Would I be intruding like walking into someone’s camp, or would it be just like passing any other shoreline angler?

I asked Tim Johnston, a local ice fisherman, about this approachability issue.

“Most guys don’t have a problem at all talking to other guys. We talk to a lot of people on the ice.” But he added that when drilling, anglers try to respect each other’s space.

To be successful with any type of fishing often requires some scouting and time on the water. Visit the right ice angler and you may just learn a thing or two.

 

  1. For instance, as a novice ice fisherman, I always seem to notice some new set up, organization, gear, or tackle.
    IceFishingPlatformHolders

  2. You can get the conversational ball rolling by inquiring about the ice thickness and condition.
    IceFishingFootWork

  3. And if you are lucky they might even share their technique such as what bait or lure, what depth, and how they are working it.

I noticed a couple of anglers giving their minnow a little more action by nudging the line a few times with an insulated boot every few minutes. One fellow even let me photograph this technique, which lets you keep cold hands in pockets and not have to bend down. He grinned and said, “I don’t usually like to give away secrets.”

Even if you are not yet into ice fishing, I recommend you grab your ice cleats and polar ice picks and experience a slow walk on some really hard water. It might even be a good occasion to try out your new “it’s not my fault” joke. Or not.


Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”…  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie.”  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.

Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well…

And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.   

Shanty Town

Shanty Town

Tom Keer 1/21/2014 You’re likely to find a mixed bag of anglers and shanties when you head out on to the ice. Some, like me, lead a Spartan-type of life and stand out in the cold. I kid myself that the jigging motion is going […]

Keep Your Boat Ship Shape

Keep Your Boat Ship Shape

Tom Keer 1/15/2014 Now that the Polar Vortex is in our rearview mirror, it’s time to give your boat a once over to make sure that the cold temperatures, high winds, snow, and ice hasn’t created problems. A thorough check this time of the year […]

Staples: Fishing Tackle Purchases

Staples: Fishing Tackle Purchases

For the most part, my fishing tackle collection is set. I have a small store of inventory in the garage which allows me to chase just about any fish species, any time of year. I’m also equipped with enough fishing rods of various types (spin cast, spinning, bait cast, fly) that I can serve as fishing guide for at least 6 kids. (More on fishing rod quantity later.) However, I have noticed that there are some staple items which always seem to need to be reloaded.

These items tend to vary somewhat, depending on the season but here are a few tackle basics that always return along with the milk, bread, and eggs.

 

  1. The specific hook size for the current hot bite.
    The right size hook can mean the difference between a successful hook set and a miss. If you want to catch small fish or are ice fishing, scale down the size of the hook. Or, if you want to discourage the little fish, upgrade. Hook size selection also is dependent on that ideal bait or lure size.
    Staples Hoooks

  2. Spit shot for the rate of the current, uh, current.
    For swift streams and rivers, more weight will help hold the lure in the strike zone. The right sinking rate can trigger a bite too. Split shot weights help you add or subtract fishing depth in small increments.
    Staples Weights

  3. And, a fresh pack of the hot color of soft-plastic lures.
    In my neck of the woods, dark green grubs consistently out fish other soft plastic lures for smallmouth bass. I noticed that the recent issue of Bassmaster magazine also had this lure on their short list for catching largemouth bass through ice.

What are your staples?


You Might Also Like

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”…  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie.”  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.

Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well…

And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.   

How Do Fish Keep From Freezing During Winter?

How Do Fish Keep From Freezing During Winter?

Debbie Hanson 1/13/2014 It’s the middle of winter in the Northern United States and temperatures have been consistently below freezing for weeks. A few fishing buddies talked you into a day of ice fishing on the lake, so now you’re sitting in a shanty, sipping […]