With ice fishing season nearly upon us, now is a good time to get things in order to help make your next ice fishing trip more successful. Here are a few tips that will help you have a more enjoyable outing.
Proper Equipment - An Ice auger is a must. Whether you have a hand help auger or a gas-powered auger, spend a few minutes to sharpen the blades before you head out. A short fishing rod is much more manageable on the ice than a traditional pole and will help you land more fish. Strike indicators can help to discern even the smallest nibbles from fish the are less actively feeding.
Proper Gear - A sled is a great item to help transport all of your gear to and from the lake. A bucket not only makes for a nice makeshift gear holder or tackle box, it also doubles as seat while fishing. A portable fish finder will save you a lot of work by helping you find the fish rather than waiting for the fish to find you. Putting a small piece of wood between your boots and the ice will help your feet stay warmer by acting as an insulator. A small portable heater can help keep your hands warm and can even heat water for hot chocolate or coffee.
Proper Clothing - Warm clothing is a must for ice fishing. Preferably water resistant, breathable clothing that can be layered. You can add and remove layers based on the conditions. Don’t forget a warm hat, scarf, gloves and a good pair of sun glasses and sunscreen.
You will also want to consider taking a change of clothes if you get wet, food or snacks, a fine to groups of friends as you should never head onto the ice alone, ice picks and a rope in case you or someone falls through the ice.
You can spend an awful lot of money getting outfitted for ice fishing, but you don’t have to. In fact, we recommend that you don’t invest too much money into the sport until you have tried it a few times and decide that you enjoy it. It may be best to go with a friend or someone who has some experience in ice fishing who already has some equipment available. While there are a lot of items to make ice fishing more enjoyable and will help you catch more fish, most are not absolutely necessary to give it a try. Many local sporting good stores or the Division of Wildlife Resources can offer advice on where to go, what to use and other suggestions to make the you next ice fishing trip better.
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We Fish Utah Staff