Ice fishing season is rapidly approachingWhen I looked out the window the other morning I noticed a skim of ice on the pond. It was gone by noon, but it was a reminder that ice-fishing is closing in. If these weather patterns continue, we are going to be ice-fishing earlier than usual. That’s great: It means that the time between the end of open water fishing and the start of ice-fishing will be brief.
By: By Bob Jensen, Fishing the Midwest, The Jamestown Sun
When I looked out the window the other morning I noticed a skim of ice on the pond. It was gone by noon, but it was a reminder that ice-fishing is closing in. If these weather patterns continue, we are going to be ice-fishing earlier than usual. That’s great: It means that the time between the end of open water fishing and the start of ice-fishing will be brief. There are a few things we need to do to make sure we’re ready to go ice-fishing as soon as the ice is safe. Following are some of those things.
You need to get your ice-fishing stuff ready to go fishing. Make sure the batteries in your depth-finder are charged and ready to go. Go do that right now: If you don’t you’ll forget and, when it’s time to go fishing, you could end up with a depth-finder that won’t work, and that’s a bad thing. Depth-finders will help you put more fish on the ice. Some very accomplished ice-anglers won’t go fishing without a depth-finder. Make sure your depth-finder batteries are charged.
If you have an ice-fishing shelter, check it out. Open it up and let it air out. Check for missing parts. If you don’t have a shelter but are thinking of getting one, go to Cabela’s and check out the variety of shelters available. There will be a bunch of them set up, so you can sit in the seats to make sure they’re comfortable. If you’re looking for a one person unit, check out Frabill’s Commando. If you want to share your shelter with a partner, the Predator or Trekker is tough to beat.
Spool fresh line onto your reel. You don’t need to replace all the line on your reel. Just remove maybe 20-30 yards of the old line and tie new line to the remaining line.
When you’re ice-fishing you’re only using maybe 40 or 50 feet of line in most situations. You want that line to be fresh. Monofilament line designed specifically for ice-fishing like Trilene Cold Weather or Micro Ice does a great job in almost any ice-fishing situation, while FireLine Micro Ice Crystal will allow for maximum sensitivity and hooksetting in deeper water. Start the ice-fishing season off with fresh line!
Fish become conditioned to lures and presentations. When they’re not eating what you’re showing them, you need to show them something different. Northland Fishing Tackle has created an entire line of new life-like looking lures that will appeal even to finicky fish. Be sure to check out the new series of Live Forage ice-fishing baits.
And, then when it’s time to actually go fishing, make sure the ice is safe. We’re all looking forward to getting out there, and that first ice bite can be really good, but that water under the ice is really cold: You don’t want to go through. Remember that ice thickness can vary, especially early in the season. The ice close to shore might be plenty thick, but as you walk out farther, it gets thinner. Pop plenty of holes as you go out to make sure you’re still on safe ice. If you stay on safe ice, and if your gear is ready, you’ll enjoy your first ice-fishing trip of the season.
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