Ice fishing tips for cold weather lovers

Ice fishing is becoming more and more popular among people of the northern countries. But there is one thing you should know before trying it if you don’t like the cold: you’re unlikely to enjoy it if you don’t prepare properly. Ice fishing is a perfect sport for people who enjoy low temperatures and fishing. If you want to try this amusing outdoor activity, then prepare yourself by learning some tricks from the more experienced ice fishermen. Don’t be scared and don’t write it off before even trying it. You never know, maybe ice fishing is your new favorite sport. Let’s get started!

Come prepared

Be prepared
Be prepared

There is a reason why anglers always carry different rods in their boats. The professionals are always prepared for action, meaning they don’t need to improvise too often. You should have the same preparedness for your ice fishing adventure, and it will have to take into account the species you’re pursuing, the depths you plan to cover and how active you expect to find the fish. A few rods for each species should be enough but don’t get carried away; try not to take too much on your first trip. You will thank yourself when you don’t need to be tying on different lures in freezing temperatures.

Get moving

Mobility is more important than anything, no matter where are you planning on going ice fishing. Imagine being on a boat and not able to move if the fish are not biting for a while? It’s the same in winter when the lake is frozen. You need to keep moving around, looking for the right fishing spot. Warm flotation suits, lightweight ice augers, fishfinders, and hand-held GPS units are some of the items that you need to have if planning on ice fishing this winter.

Feel your lure


Always make sure you’re able to feel the weight of the lure. Reacting instantly when you feel the pull of a fish biting is one of the most important skills that you need to develop. If you can’t feel the weight of the lure itself that means it’s too light for your rig or it’s not the right lure for the depth.

Be patient

Jigging too vigorously is one of the biggest mistakes ice anglers do. Be patient and swim your lure slowly from one side of your ice hole to the other. Or try a gentle lift and hold the rod straight in front of you for a while. If you still don’t attract anything, then twitch again and let the lure fall to the bottom. Lift it slowly about one inch above the bottom and just wait for the fish to bite.

Watch the line

You must focus on the line at the point where it enters the water. Be aware of any movement and tightening and know how to react right away. Set the hook quickly so the fish doesn’t have time to escape.

Fish the prime times

Early morning fishing
Early morning fishing

Most fish species are more active early in the morning and late in the afternoon. If possible, go fishing early in the morning when you have a better chance of catching some fish, and the whole adventure can be more productive. The positive part about going fishing early is that you have the rest of the day to spend with your family – that is, if they’re not already with you and they all love ice fishing.

If you want to be a successful ice angler then get a rattle wheel that lets you know when a fish bites the end of your line. Waterproof fishing clothes are a must. Everything else is dependent on the weather conditions and your patience. What matters is to spend as much time possible in the outdoors, no matter what time of the year it is. Good luck!

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stef-zisovska is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival