How to Get Started in Ice Fishing

by Julia on December 16, 2019

You might have seen a documentary on ice fishing and thought that this looks like a thrilling adventure. Certainly, waiting in silence for your fish to take the bait requires some attentive skills and also some sort of meditative powers, but the moment you catch your prey is a moment of pure excitement, and it must have looked so as you watched it on the screen. Fear not, you, too, can be the next angler and catch as many fish as your heart desires. Besides having the will in the first place to catch fish under a blanket of ice, here are some steps that will help you get started in ice fishing.

Choose the Right Location

The first step is to choose the body of water, taking into account the time and ice. For example, you need to choose a smaller body of water early during the ice period. Fish at that time will be highly active and easy to catch, whilst catching fish later in the winter season will be fairly easy. Make sure to consider the depth of the water, how much sunlight permeates the ice, and how much seaweed there is.

Dress Up

Next, you will have to consider your choice of clothing. The goal here is to remain absolutely dry as water could be so dangerous in such conditions that it might cause hypothermia or frostbite. Your first layer of clothing should be water wicking. Note that cotton will not dry. The second layer should be wool or fleece, and the third is your windbreaker jacket. This one could be leather, but consider that leather can break in extreme conditions. Finish it off with pack boots and a pair of goggles.

Prepare Your Tools

You will need a set of tools before you get started; first tool is ice auger, which you’ll use to drill holes in the ice. You will also need a skimmer to scoop out the chips and shards of ice coming out of the ice hole. Of course, you will need a good fishing rod and reel. When using them, reels could be troublesome, so you might want to check reviews of excellent reels that will guide you in terms of line weight and capacity, price range, drag system, maximum drag, and gear ratio. You don’t want to experience any trouble because you didn’t gear up properly. That will just spoil all the fun.


The type of bait you will purchase is important, but before doing so, you will need to check with your local tackle dealer on which baits are the best for the water you’ll be fishing in. Waxies and mousies will work on any panfish in the world, while minnows are for catching bigger fish. If you prefer it, you could buy artificial baits like jig lures; you will find them simple and efficient. You might also want to purchase a tip-up, a rectangular or round-shaped device that signals when a fish has taken your bait.

This might be a good starting point if you consider ice fishing; it is an exciting practice, especially when you finally get your catch. Once you make sure you’re dressed, geared up, and all set, you can take off and start fishing in the icy water. Make sure you have various baits and lures with different colors too, and start fishing with the winter season.

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