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Ice Fishing In The Northern States


For many fishermen the winter doesn’t mean a stop in the fishing action, rather it is just the perfect environment to enjoy the winter weather and the challenge of ice fishing on the many frozen lakes and waterways. Ice fishing offers several advantages to summer fishing although many people don’t realize all the benefits in choosing off-season fishing.

Winter Wonderland

Ice fishing can be done in the open on a sunny or clear day or with the use of an ice fishing tent, house or shanty, many which are very portable and easy to construct out on the ice. One of the benefits to using a shanty or ice fishing tent is that a portable heater can be used to keep the temperature inside comfortable, even on very cold days. On a clear winter day when the wind is calm there is nothing quite as relaxing as finding a nice, clear, open piece of ice, drilling a hole and setting up your chair to sit back, enjoy the scenery and catch some fish.

Since ice fishing tends to be less popular than traditional summer fishing there is usually less competition for the best places to fish on the lake as well as a better chance of getting your limit. The simplest method for fishing out on the lake is line fishing, which uses a jigging rod and reel and a set of lures or bait rather than a casting or fly type set-up. Since ice fishing is less equipment intensive than some of the other types of fishing it is a great family activity and safe for kids.

There is also a special kind of reel and rod holder known as a tip-up. This handy device both keeps your line in the water as well as has a flag at the end so that it is easy to see the fish hitting on the lure at the bottom of the line. Most tip-ups have various setting for either nibbles or strong biters, providing easy warning for winter anglers wearing thick gloves that may tend to decrease the vibrations normally felt on the line in warm weather fishing. Winter fishing requires greater line depth as fish move away from the colder surface waters down to the deep areas of the lake where smaller fish and food are more likely to gather.

Finally ice fishing tends to be a more social event than traditional fishing, with ice fishermen often gathering in one area, sharing tents and shanties or even setting up impromptu ice fishing competitions. There are some areas that host ice fishing tournament which make for a great day of outdoor winter fun.


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