The ice is nice for seasoned and new anglers. Taking up ice fishing isn’t as intimidating as it may seem. Here are 10 tips to help warm you up to cold-weather fishing:
1. The most important thing is safety. Check out our website for more information.
2. Keep it fun. Go out on a mild weather day to keep all participants warm.
3. Tip-ups are especially fun and exciting. They are economical, it’s easy to tell if there is a bite when the flag pops up, and new anglers can rig and land fish with minimal instruction.
4. To rig your tip-up, use a single hook with a split shot about a foot above live bait (shiner or minnow). Hooking the bait below the top fin keeps it natural looking and lively, and allows for quick hook sets without hooking your catch too deep.
5. Bass and bluegill are great species to target as they are common, delicious, and many lakes have great populations. Find access to a public lake near you.
6. Start by fishing weedy edges and bays with vegetation.
7. Keep the bait at least a foot off of the bottom or any vegetation.
8. You can use multiple tip-ups, so vary the location and depth to find active fish.
9. Typically bass and bluegill will bite anytime during the daylight, so anytime is a great time to ice fish, assuming there is suitable ice.
10. For maximum fun, pack a grill for lunch, make snowballs, or see who can slide farthest on the ice.