Sitting on a frozen lake, starring down a hole the size of the dinner plate, may not sound like fun. But I promise you it’s is. Ice fishing isn’t easy, but it’s a rewarding activity that helps get anglers up north through the long winters.
Here are three reasons why ice fishing is awesome:
It’s A PARTY
Ice fishing feels like a tailgate that happens to take place on a frozen lake. While hardcore ice fishing anglers are laser-focused on catching fish, the majority of people are just looking to get out of the house and spend time with their friends. The fish catches are just the icing on the cake.
Ice Anglers Are Friendly
The same person who wouldn’t think about giving out fishing tips during the summer months may gladly giveaway secrets during the ice season. There is something about cold weather that brings out the good in people.
Best Snacks In The Game
Winter puts fish in an inactive state, which can result in slow fishing. One way to fend off boredom is to load up on tasty treats. Pop in any ice shanty and you’re going to see – beef jerky, chips, pretzels, cookies, and other gas station gut fillers.
Anglers at my favorite lake in Wisconsin drag out grills and cookout on the ice right next to their fishing hole. Those guys LOVE their brats.
Your Fishing Street Credit Goes Up
Ice Fishing is inherently dangerous and involves quite a bit of work, which is why people find it interesting and more hardcore than open-water fishing.
I don’t think about how strange ice fishing is until I explain what the process involves someone who has never done it. Doing this always reminds me of how unique of a sport it is. My explanations are always followed by questions.
Questions I Get About Ice Fishing
”Don’t you get cold?”
The short answer is yes. At some point, you’ll be cold. However, if dressed correctly, you can comfortably sit outside in below-freezing temperatures.
Ice anglers regularly have permanent or portable shelters with propane heaters inside to keep warm. My Little Buddy Heater can heat my two-person shanty in just a few minutes.
”How do you drill holes through the ice?’‘
Ice anglers use ”Augers”, which look like giant drill bits. Similar to what landscapers use to drill fence posts.
Traditional augers are hand-powered, but most anglers use gas or battery augers these days.
”Don’t they drive trucks out on frozen lakes up north? Y’all nuts!”
They do! While you should always use caution when fishing on ice, driving onto a lake can be done safely. The graphic below can serve as a general guideline for safe ice.
How To Stay Warm While Ice Fishing
Wear layers! Start with a good base layer and then build up from there.
Move Around – Drilling holes, tossing around the football, or taking a quick lap around the lake is a good way to keep the blood flowing.
Eat or Drink Something– Your body uses energy to digest food. So, chowing down on a snack can help warm you up from the inside out! Warm drinks like hot chocolate, tea, and coffee are easy wins too.