Winter is upon us, and for many anglers across the county, that means ice fishing.
This surprisingly exciting sport requires patience and commitment, but it can be one of the most interesting ways to catch a fish, especially when you pull a wide trophy fish from a tiny hole in the ice.
Want to get started? Check out these awesome tips from some of our pro staff to get the most out of your ice fishing experience.
If the ice is frozen enough to walk on that means the air is probably cold enough to freeze you quickly. Make sure you dress appropriately or your ice fishing adventure will be over before it starts. You’ll want to start with a base layer close to your skin. This should be a wicking base that pulls moisture away from your body.
Next, you’ll want to start dressing in layers, with clothing that will not soak up water. Wool is your best bet, especially for socks and gloves, as it is more water resistant. Most survival experts will tell you to avoid cotton. It can be very dangerous to be out in the cold, so dress appropriately so you can enjoy the experience.
If you have the option, ice fishing from a shelter like a tent or an ice cabin is a wise choice. You’ll be cozy and comfortable, all while enjoying one of the most interesting fishing challenges around.
If you are not moving your fishing location, a permanent fish house gives you all the conveniences of a cabin, including warmth, lighting, and storage. Fish houses can also be installed with a small stove, bunk beds, and more.
If you plan on moving from spot to spot, a pop tent or portable fish house offers the protection you are looking for, although they won’t be as insulated or convenient as a larger and heavier fish house.
Now that you’re in position, it’s time to cut through the ice. For this task, you’ll need an auger, and these come in two basic varieties: manual and powered.
With a manual auger, you’ll have to turn the drill yourself, using muscles and willpower to dig through the ice. This can be very tiring and time consuming, but manual augers are more affordable and less likely to break.
Motorized or powered augers are easier to use, but they are more expensive and require fuel for operation. There are also augers that attach to a handheld drill, basically turning your power tool into an ice auger. Just be sure that your drill is strong enough for this task, as solid ice could ruin a perfectly good drill that’s not designed for this type of force.
Finally, don’t forget a scoop or tool for clearing out the hole when ice starts to reform.
When preparing your gear for ice fishing, you’ll want short rods that can easily fit into a fish house or pop tent. You could go with a smaller kids rod and reel, or choose one specifically designed for ice fishing.
A tip-up is a recent invention that has made ice fishing more popular. Basically it uses a spring-loaded action that is released when a fish takes your bait. All you have to do is set the line and wait. This innovative machine also lets you fish multiple holes at once, although it doesn’t give you the hands-on fishing experience of jigging a rod.
From winter to summer, you can have the best performance apparel by visiting the online store from Huk. With moisture wicking and UV-protection, our performance fishing shirts are great as a base layer in winter or the only layer in summer.
Kyle Alsop and Taylor Bivins of Kansas State University are the winners of the 2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship, thanks to a series of consistent weights. They finished the tournament on Kentucky's Green River Lake with 36 pounds, 4 ounces.
The Kansas State team was the only one in the field of 89 teams to bring in more than 10 pounds every day.
You often hear the phrase there is nothing more important than a friend but like many other clichés of life especially at today’s pace, many of these old time sayings are said without really understanding their meaning. As I look back at the past five decades of my life spent in blue water and at my hunting career which has taken me all over the globe, I lift both hands in front of me and start counting off the friends which I could call at any time day or night for help; those who would put their life in jeopardy to save mine, or for that matter those who I can count on in the absolute worst of situations.
America (and much of the globe) seems to have an obsession with billfish, but few species are as popular as the Atlantic blue marlin. Not that there is anything wrong with black marlin, sailfish, swordfish, or striped marlin; it’s just that the blue marlin, which is the largest of the billfish group, has captured the hearts and passions of anglers for centuries.
If you want to join the ranks of anglers who’ve pulled up a blue marlin, you have your work cut out for you. But with the right techniques, you can add this world-class trophy to your list.