Will 2021 be the year of ice fishing? Since the COVID pandemic started, the interest in fishing has increased as anglers seek safety, comfort, and solitude, venturing outdoors in the effort to catch fish. Some anglers are new to the sport, others revisiting an old pastime, and finally, the seasoned vets who have been here for years, fishing and exploring whatever nature surrounds them.
So, will ice fishing be the same way? Will northerners flock to ice fishing like people did open water fishing? I say, yes. And for that reason, I’m going to help answer 8 questions that you might receive from a new ice angler.
1) Don’t You Get Cold?
Sometimes but wearing layers, good boots, and constantly moving helps. Also, many ice anglers use fishing huts and heaters to stay warm on frigid days.
2) How Do You Drill Through The Ice?
Ice anglers rely on augers to drill small holes through the ice to target fish. Ice fishing augers look like a giant drill bit and can be manual, gas, or battery powered.
3) Is Ice Fishing Safe?
Ice fishing is inherently dangerous, but fishing with friends, checking ice conditions, and bringing proper safety equipment will limit the risk.
4) What Is With The Miniature Poles And Tiny Lures?
When ice fishing, you’re directly above the fish so you just need to open the reel and let your bait drop down to the fish. You never actually make a cast like you would in open water.
The short, light rods are easier for managing and detecting bites. Fish can be finicky and sluggish during the winter months, and often the small baits help trigger more strikes.
Panfish, walleye, and bass are also more likely to be feeding on small bugs during the hard water season and downsized baits look more like what the fish may be eating.
5) What About Those Little Huts On The Lake?
You can call them huts, fish-houses, or my personal favorite — shanties. States like Wisconsin allow people to leave fish houses on water overnight, which often results in huts being left out for weeks and sometimes months at a time.
Anglers must obey local regulations and make sure their houses are transported safely on and off the water. Other than ice fishing, where else could you leave a liveable structure on a piece of public land and get away with it? I can think of anything else.
While permanent fish houses are unique and fun, most anglers these days use portable fishing shelters that can are set-up and broken down in about the same time it takes to pitch a camping tent in the summer.
6) Do People Actually Drive Vehicles On The Lake?
Where legal and safe many anglers choose to get to their favorite fishing spot by driving. Driving on ice is NOT ADVISED, but it’s something you may see when traveling through Minnesota or Wisconsin in the winter.
7) Isn’t Ice Fishing Just An Excuse To Party?
Ice fishing is more social than open water fishing, which results in a relaxed and friendly experience. Surplus food, beverages, and shenanigans result in something you might see at a Buffalo Bills tailgate. However, many ice anglers are hardcore, and strictly there to fish.
8) Will You Take Me With You?
Well, this depends on how much you person asking this question. But always suggest new ice anglers go with experienced guides, family, or friends. It’s one of those things where a little help goes a long way.
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