Fishing, Hunting, & Trapping

Ice Fishing 101 | Everything You Need To Know



Fisherman enjoying a days fishing on the ice | Ice Fishing 101 | Everything You Need To Know | featured

Before you head over to the nearest frozen lakes with your ice fishing buddies, make sure you're properly equipped with the correct tools, skills, and knowledge. Keep reading for crucial tips every angler should know to have a fun, safe fishing trip!

RELATED: 5 Unconventional Fishing Techniques

Top 15 Essential Ice Fishing Pointers Anglers Need to Know

1. Best Ice Fishing Tent | Top 7 Ice Fishing Shelters Reviewed

tents on winter fishing | advanced ice fishing tips

Choosing the right ice fishing tent can be overwhelming, especially with all the available choices in the market. Here are some of our recommended shelters to help you decide for your next trip!

2. How To Make Ice Fishing Jigs | Step-by-Step Tutorial

fishing-tackle-winter | ice fishing bait

Ditch your store-bought ice fishing jigs and do-it-yourself instead! Learning how to make your own lures can be useful, especially if you run out of stock. Check out this easy tutorial.

3. 13 Ice Fishing Gear for Beginners

young man fishing hole on ice | ice fishing Minnesota

Planning to try fishing by a frozen lake but don’t know what to pack and bring? Preparing for your catch of the day will be a lot easier with the right equipment! Here are some of our top picks on the best ice fishing gear for beginners like you.

4. Quantified Risks of Ice FishingTrucks and trailers that fell through the ice on Lake Shetek in southern Minnesota | ice fishing urban dictionary

One of the most common fears newbies have when it comes to ice fishing is that they'll fall through the thin ice. However, the possibility of the ice cracking under your feet isn't that high.

Studies show that around 33% of recorded injuries from 2012 to 2019 were from ice burns, cuts, and abrasions. With that in mind, make sure you're equipped and knowledgeable about these risks to prevent getting into an accident.

5. Master The Basics Of Ice Fishing

Trophy perch. Ice fishing background | ice fishing near me

If you're planning to get into ice fishing or teaching a newbie angler about the sport, you need to familiarize yourself with the basics. Mastery of the basic techniques can go a long way in this sport.

Make sure you have the essential ice fishing rods and traps, know how to spot a good fishing spot, and are familiar with first-aid techniques and emergency safety protocols. Don't dive right into the advanced angler techniques right away. Doing so won't yield the results you want and will only put you at risk of accidents and injuries.

6. Secure The Top Fishing Lures in Your Tackle Box

close up ice fishing tackles and equipment | ice fishing house

Lures play an important role in the sport of ice fishing since anglers have restricted mobility. There are few openings for anglers to cast their rods in, and slippery, frozen ice is not a surface one can easily walk on.

For a more efficient fishing experience, focus on your fish attraction tactics. Apart from securing a good fishing spot, make sure to use high-quality lures designed to draw in the type of fish you're hoping to get.

7. Find a Good Spot for Fishing

Man ice fishing on a frozen Canadian lake | ice fishing rod

Finding a good spot for fishing on a frozen lake is a bit different. For one thing, anglers will have to do the scouting themselves. They can't solely rely on Google maps as most do with traditional fishing.

To get started, you'll need a reliable GPS device, functional ice driller, and ice transducer—a device that can help you track fish activity even under a thick, frozen body of water.

RELATED: 26 Wacky Fishing Tips To Help You Fish Like A Redneck

8. Know the Fish Species to Catch When Fishing on a Frozen Lake

Winter fishing on Lake Baikal | ice fishing meaning

Understanding what types of fish you can and cannot catch in a frozen lake is crucial to creating an effective, efficient ice fishing strategy. Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all approach.

Some fish species you can hope to bring home include the:

  • sauger
  • walleye
  • northern pike
  • eelpout
  • tullibee
  • yellow perch

9. What's the Best States to Go Ice Fishing In?

Winter fishing sled with equipment for ice fishing on the snow-covered lake | urban dictonary

Unfortunately, not all states in the country are suitable for anglers who want to try fishing on frozen lakes. The general condition is that temperatures in your area have to drop to a certain degree and be able to freeze lakes into solid ice.

If you live in an area that does not experience snow such as Florida, Nevada, or Texas but want to try fishing on frozen lakes, try traveling to colder states over the winter. Go for areas with harsh winters such as North Dakota, California, Minnesota, Michigan, and of course, Alaska.

10. Make Sure to Wear the Appropriate  Outfit

Fisherman on a lake at winter sunny day | ice fishing tips for perch

Planning on fishing on a frozen lake? It would only make sense to dress properly.

Make sure to wear multiple layers of clothing items such underwear, pants, shorts, and jackets. Trust us, snow ice burns and hypothermia are no joking matter.

11. Bringing Kids? Plan Well!

a little boy in winter clothes is fishing on a frozen lake | ice fishing tips

Planning on bringing your kids along to your next ice fishing trip? It's best to set your expectations right from the get-go: they will be rowdy.

To ensure everyone enjoys and stays safe, make sure you create a structured plan. The goal is to get everyone focused on fishing. Having your young children wandering around unsupervised on a frozen lake is the worst that could happen.

12. Know When You Can Bring Your Kids Learn to Fish

Cute girls are sitting on the floor of ice fishing | ice fishing science experiment

Studies show that kids can start learning how to fish at the tender age of six. Just make sure to keep an eye on your kids throughout the trip. Frozen lakes can be dangerous.

13. How to Catch More Trout on Your Ice Fishing Trip

winter fishing concept | ice fishing shack

Take your game to the next level by reading up on advanced ice fishing tips. Invest in sonar gadgets, learn rhythmic jigging, and make use of leader lines.

14. Make Sure You Know the Most Important Ice Fishing Safety Tips

Ice fishing on frozen lake | ice fishing fish

Safety always comes first. To ensure you stay safe during your whole-day fishing trip, make sure to have a floatation suit ready, properly use the ice auger, fish with fellow anglers, and familiarize yourself with the area.

15. What's the Best Weather for Fishing on Frozen Lakes?

Fishing tackle for ice fishing such as a fishing rod | pro ice fishing tips

Avoid fishing during sunny days with high air pressure levels. Learn to weather so you can time your trips on days before storms where both the air pressure levels and temperature are low.

Check out this video by Tailored Tackle where they share their most essential pro ice fishing tips and techniques:

Ice fishing is generally a fun, safe sport. However, things can quickly go south if you forego necessary prep work. Without the essential tools and knowledge, you might not be able to bring home the haul you're hoping for—at worst, you can even get into an accident.

Overall, the goal is to gear up on the correct fishing gear, connect with experienced anglers who can guide you through your journey, and of course, study essential fishing tips and tricks. Follow all these tips and you're guaranteed to have an enjoyable ice fishing experience!

Did we miss anything? Post all your questions and queries about ice fishing in the comments section below!

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