I am not very graceful. I can trip over my own feet, a pebble or even an imaginary pebble. I can also slip on a flat surface with good tread on my shoes. That is one of the reasons I was nervous about trying ice fishing. My husband told me he's get be a pair of ice cleats and I'd be fine. I didn't trust him because I'm the one that rolls my ankle on a nice flat even surface. He ordered some STABILicers Lite Walkers and on the package it says "STUDDED SNOW TIRES for your feet." They kind of do look like studded snow tires.
The studs are arranged both vertically and horizontally and they aren't pointy dangerous spikes like I thought they would be. There is also some different rubber gripping designs that also help with traction.
I was originally hoping for snow cleats that could be strapped onto my boots instead of stretched around my boot. I was worried the stretch style would be too tight and would pull my toes upward and my the end of the day my feet would be in a lot of pain from being squeezed and pulled on. STABILicers aren't like that at all! They are pretty easy to put on, they don't squeeze and pull my toes upwards and they aren't heavy or clunky at all. You can put them on while you're wearing your shoes or put them on your shoes then put them on your feet.
I love that my toes weren't squished and I forgot I was wearing them. They fit on my boots and also my tennis shoes.
The first time I put them on, it was a little weird at first walking in them but not uncomfortable and they weren't hard to walk in. During my first ice fishing trip, I watched other people sliding around and falling down and I didn't slide or slip once! I love my STABILicers Lite Walkers!! I went to their website (www.32north.com) and saw they have some strap on styles and the STABILicers Lite Walkers come in RED! I may have to get a second pair for daily use during the winter.
Since I don't have to worry about sliding, slipping or falling, I am able to enjoy the views while ice fishing.
STABILlicers did not pay for this post or give me their product for free. I purchased the product myself and fell in love with them without any influence from their company. If you need some good ice cleats for your winter activities, I HIGHLY recommend STABILicers
Today we were finally able to go on my first ice fishing trip and our first fishing trip of 2014! One of the best parts of living where we do is, it isn't very far to all sorts of different types of outdoor fun. We have several different options for ice fishing and they are all take only about an hour or two to get to. So, the first thing we did was drive to an area with some snow and colder temperatures and it only took us about 40 minutes to find snow.
The next step was to find a frozen lake which only took about 30 more minutes.
Then we had to find a good spot that wasn't too close to people that were already there fishing. We found a good spot not too far from the shore which was perfect for my first spot. I know and understand the ice was safe to walk on and it was supposed to have the cracks and make the noises, but being close to the shore for my first time put me at ease because if I got too nervous or uneasy, I could get to shore pretty quick.
Since we have just recently started ice fishing and we weren't sure if I was going to like it or not, we decided a hand powered auger was fine. My husband made it look easy to make a couple of holes for us.
It took a little while but my husband caught the first fish. He had several bumps and a couple bites at his bait, but only had the one take his bait. I was amazed that our holes weren't very far apart, but my hole had no activity at all and his hole had quit a bit of activity. He traded me holes and almost right away I started getting some activity. I wasn't prepared for how light the fish were biting at the bait, so I missed several opportunities to catch some fish. But I wasn't upset because I was learning what it felt like when I needed to set the hook.
I was not cold at first. I had enough layers on that there was no cold air getting to my skin. Putting that many layers on took a lot of energy and doing most of the layers in my warm house made me want to turn the A/C on.
Three large groups of people all of a sudden were nearby us so we decided to move. I still didn't like the noises the ice was making, but I was ready to go to the middle of the lake. My husband drilled the first new hole and I started the second new hole. Apparently my arms are a little too short to make the auger run smoothly so my husband with his longer arms finished the second hole.
See this nice hole? I didn't drill any part of this one. The one I drilled was at an angle and not straight up and down...not pretty at all.
We weren't there for very long and I got some bumps and then A FISH!!! Because of all of my layers and my adrenalin running high, I couldn't get out of my chair so my awesome husband caught my flopping fish on my fish grabber and brought it to me. My Candy Apple ice fishing rod and reel have been broke in!! I knew that cute rod and reel would catch something because it's RED!
My husband caught another fish through the "unique" hole. I tried to explain my diagonal hole helped him reel in his fish easier because it was more like a "fish shoot." He didn't agree that it was a helpful design so I was officially fired from hole duty.
We released his 2 fish back into the lake and my fish released itself and took my jig head along with it.
I really liked my first ice fishing trip and can't wait for the next one. I was surprised I didn't get really cold until the last hour. The noises of the ice don't bother me as much as they did at the beginning of the day, but I'm still a little jumpy during some of the loud noises. Eventually a sled and a shelter will be nice to have and maybe some day we'll get an electric auger, but the set up we had today worked pretty well. I do need to change my monofilament line for some braided line for ice fishing because I kept getting it knotted up. I also need to get some Schadeycreek ice fishing lures for the next trip, too.
During this trip I also started getting excited about getting out on the boat this spring. I don't know if it was because we were "on the lake" or if it was because we didn't do much fishing last year, but whatever the reason was, I'm excited for the 2014 season!