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A Helpful Guide to Winter Ice Fishing

Mark John

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A Helpful Guide to Winter Ice Fishing

Photo by Lum3n from Pexels

If you have ever spent a winter in the midwest, you are aware that frosty temperatures and chilly winds result in plenty of time spent inside. During these months, even the most dedicated homebodies experience feelings of cabin fever and claustrophobia. It is important to venture outside despite the wind and snow in order to battle the winter blues. While cold weather activities are limited, ice fishing is a sport that can be enjoyed by all. As long as a frozen source of water is available, anyone can become an ice fisherman. With some easy preparation, you will be well on your way to catching breakfast, lunch and dinner soon!

Buy the Right Equipment

As with any specialty sport, the gear deemed necessary for ice fishing might seem intimidating. Luckily, beginners can get started with minimal essentials including berkley spinning rods, an ice auger, an ice flasher, some quality bait and a basic tackle box. Surely you have seen ice fishermen cozied up in a portable house, complete with a fire and refrigerator. While luxurious and comfortable, such investments are not required for an amateur.

In addition to equipment, proper clothing is crucial. Outerwear that is both waterproof and windproof will keep you comfortable on the ice. Further, a hefty pair of all-weather boots is imperative: the longer your feet stay warm and dry, the more time you can spend reeling in the fish.

Stay Safe

Ice fishing comes with a certain level of danger, as the ice must be thick enough to withstand your weight. One crack in the ice can potentially result in accidental drowning or hypothermia, so it is vital that safety precautions are observed. Common practice in experienced ice fishermen indicates that safe ice is between four to five inches thick. One should always bring an ice pick and rope in the event of an emergency, and it’s best to travel with a partner in case help needs to be called.

Follow the Rules

Regulations vary from region to region, yet a state fishing license is required regardless of your location. Licenses are available online and can be paid for, printed and ready to use immediately. It is important to pay attention to specific lake restrictions as well, for each body of water maintains a different set of guidelines. Failure to adhere to the local stipulations can result in a hefty fine, so it is best to always follow the rules.

When the weather is frigid and the lakes turn to ice, ice fishing is a wonderful and challenging hobby to combat the winter blues. With the appropriate equipment and proper planning, you’ll be fishing on the ice in no time.

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