Spring and summer are not really the time we’d associate with ice fishing. However, we’d conjour up images of standing in the middle of a stream in gentely flowing water up to our knees on a sunny day tossing out one of our favorite fishing flies.
But, to the dedicated angler never lets his fishing gear collect dust during the cold winter months – their out on the frozen ice, as soon as its safe to walk on with ice fishing gear in hand.
But ice fishing requires a little different gear to go along with modified conditions and technique. Even apart from the obvious differences in clothing there are several items that the summertime fisherman doesn’t usually pack.
An ice auger is a foremost requirement. To get to the fish you have to get your line and lure into the water. That means drilling through what is sometimes as much as a foot of ice. Even if you could get through that with an ax you would be very likely to dump yourself in the water. An auger is a drill built specially for the purpose of making clean, safe holes in ice with minimal effort.
Many are hand powered, often on a pole. You turn the crank and you”re in business. But, today, fishermen want to spend more time fishing and less time drilling. Gas-powered augers are increasingly popular. Though heavier to carry, they cut down the time and effort required to make that hole so you can get to the fishing.
Even the basic gear is a little different for ice fishing, though. Ice fishing rods have specially designed guides that continue to work well in low temperatures. They resist ice build up that will snag a line. The reels have to be designed to continue to work smoothly under freezing conditions. Line used for ice fishing has to withstand a much harsher environment and still remain flexible.
Tackle gets special treatment when it”s intended to be used for ice fishing, as well. Fly fishing takes on a whole new meaning when it”s done by plunking a lure through a 12 inch hole in the ice. For one thing, since fish go after a different type of insect in the winter than they will in the summer, the flies are designed to better match the natural differences.
Making room for some safety gear is highly recommended when planning an ice fishing trip. Even something as simple as an ice pick can save your life.
Ice is like glass in one way – it”s highly unpredictable when subjected to stress. If it fractures underneath your stool and dumps you in the water, an ice pick in a handy pocket or sheath can provide a way to get back out again. Some are designed to be worn on a line around the neck, which can be a lifesaver. Even with gloves, pulling yourself out by hand is much, much harder.
Of course, there”s nothing wrong with a little comfort while you”re braving the cold to land a few fish. An ice shanty can make for the perfect tent to get out of the weather and store your gear away from the wind or snow.
Don”t leave home to go ice fishing without the proper gear. It will give you more time for angling and increase your catch.
Find a fishing guide from the international directory of Ice Fishing Pole – Ice Fishing Magazine