The ice may be forming, but that doesn’t mean fishing season is over. Winter brings new opportunities to fishing-lovers who have never tried ice fishing before. This traditional pastime has its own set of rules and distinct culture, and will give anglers a new thrill at the experience of catching a fish through the ice.
Preparation and proper gear is integral to the sport of ice fishing. You can’t bluff your way through a winter ice fishing trip with insufficient clothing like you can in the spring and fall. It’s important to wear multiple layers of clothing that are designed to keep the body dry. A combination of wool and moisture-wicking fabrics are best.
Checking the thickness of the ice is crucial when planning an ice fishing trip. The ice must be at least four inches thick to be considered safe. This number doubles if the ice is white rather than clear, as this type of ice is less sturdy. The four-inch rule only applies to people, not automobiles. Check our guideline for ice thickness to determine when it’s safe to bring your snowmobile, car, or truck onto the ice.
Finally, it’s time to get fishing! Most ice fishing skills are transferable from regular year-round fishing, but there are a few tricks of the trade to help you find where the fish are hiding. Read on for ice fishing tips and tricks!