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Fishing Disciplines - Ice Fishing

Fishing Disciplines - Ice Fishing If Fishing is your sport of choice, there's no need to stay indoors and temporarily give up your favorite activity when wintertime comes around. The lakes may be frozen and the weather may be cold, but that doesn't mean that the schools of fish are taking a hiatus! Bundle up and get your Fishing Gear ready - you can always go Ice Fishing.

Ice Fishing involves drilling holes on the ice that seals the lakes during winter and dipping in your hook and line to catch some fish. Since you will be dealing with a lot of ice in this adventure, special equipment is required.

Your tools

Unless you live near the lake and can find a good fishing spot just on the side of it, a sled is required to haul your stuff. You also need an ice auger to drill your hole on the ice. But during the early winter season when the ice is thinner, an ice chisel will do. Remember that when drilling a hole, it should not be more than one foot long across.

In Ice Fishing, your rod and lure requirements are the same as that for summer fishing, but you need a gaff hook: a large, heavy, special-purpose hook to help hoist a slippery fish out through a hole in the ice.

You will also need a small seat (sometimes, a five-gallon bucket will do) since you cannot sit on ice and you don't have a boat to chill out in as you while your time away.

Your safety

Head out on to the ice only when you've made sure that it is at least four inches thick. Because ice size can vary from area to area, check more than one site. The same rule of thumb is true for when you are on a sled or snowmobile, and follow the tracks that are already made. Remember this mantra: "Thick and blue, tried and true; thin and crispy, way too risky."

You would be wise to bundle up when heading out into the snow, but some anglers (or sport-fishers) set up or rent an ice shanty where they can keep themselves warm if the need arises. They bring burners and stoves to keep their hands warm. Ice shanties also serve as a temporary refuge in case the weather suddenly turns bad.

Speaking of the weather turning bad, those who are into Ice Fishing find it an essential safety measure to always bring a compass in Ice Fishing trips. Caught in the dark, you can lose your sense of direction, especially on a large lake. Still, it helps to check the weather forecast prior to heading out and going back to safety before the night starts to fall.

Be sure to check out (and follow!) the Ice Fishing regulations of the place you are visiting for this sport. No need to wait for the first break of summer - Fishing is now an activity to can enjoy all year round.

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