This is a strange time of year to be writing about ice fishing when tomorrow is the first day of summer in the UK. However, ice fishing is very popular in some parts of the world for example in northern Canada or Alaska.
I know many of NE-Fishing followers are planning fishing trips this summer. Therefore, if you have never tried ice fishing than 2017 might be the best year to push the boundaries.
If you are going to take my challenge and try ice fishing this summer than you need to make sure you are well equipped in order to get the best out of your fishing trip. I don’t want to hear the stories about the one that got away when you return back.
The good news is ice anglers only need four basic tools! Unlike traditional coarse or sea fishing where a car load of tackle is normally required to spend a day by the waterside. The four tools you require are:
1. Tool to cut the hole in the ice
2. Some strong fishing line
3. Quality medium sized hooks
4. Good quantity of bait to attract the fish
Let’s look into these tools a little deeper.
For cutting a hole in the ice you will need something like a iron chisel. They are also known as spuds and are designed specifically for cutting through thick ice in matter of minutes. If you really want to step up the game than you can go for a tool called ‘Auger’. This tool comes in either powered or manual models. I prefer the powered version for obvious reason and mainly because I am too lazy.
If you don’t have room in your luggage than I suggest you only take quality strong line with you. However, the other option is a jigging rod which will make you look like a pro sitting on the ice. A jigging rod is basically a short version of a pike rod. For bite indication you would use the tip like when fishing for barbel.
When it comes to bait I would personally recommend Gulp by Berkley. These baits are already oozing with deadly fish-attracting scents which make me want to eat them.
If you are trying ice fishing for the first time than this is all you will need without spending a fortune on expensive fishing tackle gear. Who knows you might love it or hate it. Ice fishing is not for everyone!
Before, I close off for the day let me give you a bonus tip – make sure you have some form of traction on your shoes! Don’t be like me and find out the hard way. Also, you will need something to sit on especially if you suffer with bad knees. I don’t want to state the obvious but you will need some very warm clothes. If you are into sea fishing than you should already be equipped with the flotation suit and this would do the job just fine. However, if you are into sea fishing and don’t already own a flotation suit than you are playing with fire! They are worth every single penny when it comes to staying warm and safe by the north east coastline.
Most importantly have fun, and stay safe. Tight lines!