As we enter ice fishing season, it is important to bear in mind that it can both be productive and challenging, especially with the weather dropping significantly.
The first thing you need to keep in mind is to acquire proper outdoor fishing attire (some labels you can keep in mind are Cabela’s Outfitter Fleece outerwear, WindShear, etc). There are several different options with WindShear, but in particular, check out The Berber Fleece because it is both comfortable and warm even in the coldest of temperatures.
While places in the U.S. such as the Midwest, the Pacific Northwest, and the Northeast/New England area dropping to record low temperatures, getting the best outdoor wear possible is essential if you plan on ice fishing for more than an hour or so at a time.
One great thing you can do this winter is to rent or borrow a permanent shelter on the ice (which are heated). Some people can even fish in short sleeves in the midst of freezing temperatures.
Midwinter can provide some outstanding ice fishing opportunities and this winter is the perfect time to explore the waters in your area. Please remember the following to ensure your safety.
- The minimum thickness for supporting a person for ice fishing is 4 inches of clear, solid ice. If you happen to operating an ATV on the ice, be sure to double that number.
- Always fish with another person (especially when it comes to ice fishing). It is without a doubt one of the safest practices to participate in regardless of the amount of time you are outdoors.
- Ice picks should always be worn around your neck in case of a fall that could push you through thin ice (perhaps in Feb/March or early winter/late fall).
- Always be sure you have a long rope with you in case you need to help someone out of the ice.
- Always keep an eye out any color changes on the ice. If you are out on the ice for a few hours and temperatures rise a bit during that time, be cautious that the ice isn’t so thin that you can’t leave the area.