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July 06, 2021


Ice fishing is the practice of catching fish from the opening in the frozen water body. There are many cold water fishes some of them are

  • Lake trout

  • Herring

  • Whitefish

  • Walleye

  • Bluegill

  • Lake sturgeon

  • Crappie

  • Northern pike

  • Perch 

  • Burbot


Ice fishing is common in colder regions, so in North America, ice fishing is considered a social activity. Many ice fishing contests have been held on the Gull Lake of  Minnesota. 

Ice fishing is also common in other parts of the World like Scandinavia of Northern Europe, Hwacheon County of South Korea, and Lake Simcoe of Canada.


Ice fishing gears are very specialized,

  • Ice auger

  • Skimmer

  • Heater

Ice auger or you can also call it a chisel, used to produce a rectangular or a circular hole in the ice, usually of  20 cm. The size of the fish sought decides the size of the hole.

The metal spoon with holes;  skimmer is used to clear slush left while making the hole and is also used to remove the new ice from the top.

The  heater is necessary to keep the anglers warm and prevent the hole from freezing. 


The game of ice fishing has changed over the past 20 years. The gears are replaced by automatic, lightweight, and fast-operated augers and solar units that help the anglers drill and check many holes.

The technique  "fish where the fish are"  is really helpful as it increases the catch rate and minimizes the wait duration. The anglers can check with their sonars the activity of the fish when they stop biting so anglers can move to the next hole.

Anglers nowadays are using maps and GPS receivers to locate specific spots.


There are three types of ice fishing depending upon which kind of method is used

  • Ice Fishing using Lures

  • Ice Fishing using Tip-ups

  • Ice Fishing using Spare

Ice Fishing Using Lures:

In this method, the anglers use a lightweight rod with  lures with baits such as minnows, waxworms, crappie, etc.

The fisherman sits on the hole and lifts the pole to produce the jig effect.

Ice Fishing Using Tips-Ups:

Tips-ups are made of wood or plastic, and a thin piece of metal tied with a spool of the line goes from the spool to the flag. The backline is on the spool attached with a swivel. The hook is connected with the swivel to which power bait, grub worms, worms, or small minnows are tied.

When the hook is placed in the water under the ice, the bait height is adjusted by several theories.

Theories about Bait Height:

There are several theories;

  • According to one theory, the bait is suspended  two to three meters  under the ice.

  • Another theory says that you should place the bait at about the height of  one meter.

  • One theory says that bait is about  30 cm  above the bottom of the lake.

When the fish hits the bait, the flag is lifted, which signals the anglers pulling the fishing line. When the fish head comes to the hole, the angler quickly lifts the fish. 

Ice Fishing Using Spare:

This method of ice fishing allows the angler to develop the fish decoys and sit in the fish shanty. The anglers move with a large spear having about five points to which a fishing line can be attached.

This method is commonly used for  lake sturgeon


There are certain risks and dangers associated with ice fishing, so you must be careful as

  • The areas with swift surface currents and thinner ice are a significant hazard. 

  • Another risk associated with  Carbon monoxide poisoning due to heaters in the fish house.

  • Offshore winds  can break the pans of ice.

  • The mile-wide pans of ice can also be broken due to standing larger numbers of anglers.

  • Winter warm spells destroy the texture of the ice even if ice is with required thickness; that kind of ice is calledrotten ice.”


Fishers always carry a self-rescue device. Divers must be hired. The fish houses must be fitted with the exchange system to allow airflow. 

There are specific lengths recommended for different conditions.

  • 10 cm for walking

  • 13–15 cm for sleds

  • 18–30 cm for light cars

  • 36–41 cm for heavy trucks

So, get ready for the season of ice fishing and enjoy your winters.


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