Ice fishing now can still be goodWe are entering the mid-winter ice-fishing season. Ice-fishing this time of year can be productive, but it can also be challenging. If we have answers for those challenges, we can be successful at catching fish through the ice. Following are some of the challenges and some ideas for meeting those challenges.
By: By Bob Jensen, Fishing the Midwest, The Jamestown Sun
We are entering the mid-winter ice-fishing season. Ice-fishing this time of year can be productive, but it can also be challenging. If we have answers for those challenges, we can be successful at catching fish through the ice. Following are some of the challenges and some ideas for meeting those challenges.
Perhaps the biggest challenge for ice-anglers this time of the year is the cold: It can get pretty darn chilly some days this time of year. There are plenty of occasions when a zero temp is the warmest part of the day. However, there is absolutely no reason to be cold at a temperature of zero.
The first thing you need to do is get some warm clothes. There is plenty of clothing available that will enable you to stay as warm as you need to in cold weather. Keeping your feet warm is a priority. A visit to Cabela’s will enable you to find all you need to stay warm on the ice. Be sure to check out the Frabill Ice Suit. It was built with the ice-angler in mind.
Another thing you can do if you’re going to be fishing this time of year is to own, rent, or borrow a permanent shelter on the ice. These shelters are heated: You’ll be fishing in shirt-sleeves.
The downside to a permanent house is that you’re anchored to a spot. Many ice anglers like to move around, especially this time of year. This is when a portable shelter becomes an asset. It used to be that portables weren’t very warm. That all changed with the creation of the R2-Tec ice shelters from Frabill. They are as warm a portable as you’ll find, and they allow an angler to move from spot to spot quickly and easily.
This time of year, moving from spot to spot is a big deal. The fish have been getting lots of fishing pressure and they’re getting spooky. You need to get away from the crowds. Abandon the community spots and find your own little out-of-the-way locations. The fish won’t be as spooky, so they’ll be easier to catch.
If for some reason you can’t get away from the crowds, you’ll want to use different baits from what everyone else is using. Sometimes early in the season one particular bait or style of bait gets hot. Anglers have success with that bait early in the season and stick with that particular bait all season, even though its productivity falls off. When everyone else is using a particular bait with marginal success, that’s the time to switch to a different bait. Fish become conditioned to presentations. If you switch presentations, you’re greatly increasing your odds for getting bit.
You can be sure that the fish haven’t seen very many of the Live Forage series of baits from Northland Tackle because they’re brand new. They look like the real minnows that are swimming around down there, and they’ve been doing very well for the anglers that are using them.
Mid-winter can provide some outstanding ice-fishing opportunities. Now is the time to take advantage of those opportunities.
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