In some places, it may feel like winter is already on its way out. In others, the snow is still falling and lakes are still frozen. If you happen to be around one of the places where the ice on the lakes is still thick and the winter seems to be going nowhere, make the most of it and plan an ice fishing adventure for yourself while you still can!
Find a Fishing Buddy with Experience
Although ice fishing is known to be very beginner friendly, it would be smarter to have someone with you the first few times who knows what they are doing. Not only can your companion help you with gear and technique, but can also help you identify safe spots and where you may be most likely to land a catch.
Dress Warm and Appropriately
When you’re sitting on the ice for hours at a stretch, you need to wear a few extra warm layers than you usually would. This is because the lack of movement may make you feel colder than usual. But, keep in mind, you don’t want to put on something too bulky that could restrict your movement either.
Don’t Set Out Without an Ice Auger
An ice auger is the most important equipment you are going to need here – without one, your fishing rod and reel won’t really have much use. You can opt for a manual one or a power drill and choose a diameter that you think you can work with. Manual augers are usually a smarter choice if you are a beginner because they are lighter and can drill 4-to-8-inch holes in the ice.
Invest in a Fish Finder to Save Time
If you’re new to ice fishing, chances are you aren’t going to become an immediate expert at picking the right spots to drill holes – especially if you don’t have a seasoned ice angler with you. A compact and efficient fish finder could help you assess where your best catch can be found so that you don’t waste too much time in the wrong spot.
Don’t Switch Around Techniques Too Quickly
You’re probably hoping to come home with a few trophy fish – that’s natural for all anglers. Everyone gets excited once they start seeing some activity under the ice but don’t give up too quickly if things start slow. Since you’re newly getting acquainted to the sport, take your time mastering one technique at a time and play around with your lures and baits. Don’t keep swapping your techniques and switching strategies, as you will not end up mastering any of them. As a result, you may spend more time swapping gear instead of waiting for a bite.
For an angler, ice fishing can still bring you some thrills while you wait to return to the open water for a fresh season ahead. Talk to us at Great Lakes Yacht Sales to learn about what’s new with boats in Chicago. From services to sales, our crew can help you with whatever you need to start your fishing season ahead on a top note!