Tips for Ice Fishing

During the winter season, many fishermen want to do the one type of fishing that can only be done in the cold areas and in the winter.

Although it is dangerous, you will find many people who participate in the sport of ice fishing. There are safe ways to ice fish and some of those tips are common knowledge and some aren’t.

In the Nordic countries, temperatures in the winter are freezing, so they have lots of opportunities for ice fishing.

Ice fishing seems to be a common habit in Finland.

If you are interested in ice fishing, that is a excellent article to read about the mindset.

Ice-fishing is a state of mind

Many people don’t realize that a thin layer of ice is not enough to ice fish on, the ice must be thick, at least 4 inches of clear ice, to be safe. The first rule should be to drill a small hole near the shore to check for the thickness of the ice.

There are some safety tips concerning the ice and anyone who intends to do any sport – fishing, snowmobiling, skating should know these tips. To judge the safety of the ice follow these guidelines:

  • 1 inch of ice – Stay off of it!
  • 4 inches of ice – Safe for fishing
  • 5 inches of ice – Safe for snowmobiling
  • 8 inches of ice – supports a car or light truck
  • 10 inches of ice – supports a medium weight truck

If you are unsure about the ice, good practice is to wear a life jacket. And don’t forget the ice picks.

Anyone who intends to do any sports that involve ice should also know that ice strength can change from one spot of the lake or pond to another. Thick ice is no longer good after a rain and slush ice or ice with a current under it is also very dangerous.

A new layer of ice is always safer than an older layer. Also, people who ice fish need to know if there is a state law as to how big the ice fishing holes can be in diameter. Also, fishing shanties should always have reflector lights on the sides of them to allow snowmobiles to see them easier as to reduce the risk that they will get hit.

Some good tips for ice fishing are to go deep when fishing. Many fish will swim 50-60 feet deep in the water in the winter time. There are many electronic gadgets that will help the ice fisherman locate the fish in the water due to this problem. Sometimes, the fish will be well within just a few feet under the water due to food issues and fishing pressure.

The classic airplane jig will probably work better than the other jigs that are available. These are especially good for clear water species such as lake trout but it is easy to catch walleye and pike on these jigs too. Super lines are a good item to have available too. These have been around a while also but they are strong lines and most of them are invisible on the ice.

Quivering a jig can actually be just the right movement to attract the fish. It will give the bait the right amount of action to trigger a strike from the fish. Plastic bait can work well in the winter time too. Some ice fishermen prefer the mushroom or gumball head jig.

While fishing, look for green weeds. In the summertime, these are a common problem as they will tangle lines and are a nuisance, but in the winter time, the weeds are a sign of fish in the area. If it is a large weedbed, you should be able to locate the fish on the sides and pockets of the weedbed.

Ice fishing and other sports can be fun as long as you act safely and follow any safety tips and rules that are available.…

Catfish Fishing in the Winter

One of my favorite hobbies is to fish. Some people like to think that fishing is only good in the warm season. However, truth be known, you can fish any time of the year.

Catfish fishing is always fun

Catfish are scavengers. They are not precise in what they eat. Their diet stays the same the year around.

The good thing about fishing in the winter is that there usually isn’t very many people that fish at that time of the year. This increases your chances of catching a good size fish.

In the winter blue and channel catfish are the most active feeders, and flatheads are less active. As the water temperature drops, the less active they are. In cold water, shad tend to die quickly, and catfish will feed on them.

Bait to use

Shad is a great bait to use when fishing for catfish in the winter. However, you can use minnows or artificial shiners, too as bait. You can normally get them at your neighborhood bait or fishing shop.

When you put the minnows or shad on your hook, you hook them through both eyes. This allows for some tail action in the water. Use a bell or slip sinker to help keep the bait on the bottom. The bait should be about 2 to 3 inches long.

Another good bait is freshwater mussels. Many times Catfish will congregate around mussel beds in the winter time. The mussels keep them supplied with fresh food.

The good thing about this is that mussels are usually found in water about 3 to 6 feet deep. Locate a mussel bed, and you will spot catfish. Mussel beds are fairly consistent each year. You can find them by taking a long pole and just dig around in the mud or near a rocky bank. Blues and channel catfish especially like mussels.

I said earlier that flatheads are hard to catch in the winter. But, I didn’t say you couldn’t find them. Flatheads don’t congregate in deep holes. They seek out areas with heavy bottom cover. It doesn’t matter if it is shallow or deep. They love logs, large rocks, and brush pile treetops.

Flatheads fishing technique

A proper technique in fishing for flatheads is to rig a shad or shiner on your line and fish vertically over a rocky bottom. Fish straight down to avoid hangups on logs or brush. Only move your bait about a foot up or down. Many times the up and down action will attract the Flathead.

Winter fishing is much like regular season fishing. You can fish from a bank, dock, or boat. You just need to pick a spot where you know the Catfish is.

Many individuals like to do drift fishing. This is where you get in a boat and motor to your favorite spot and just drift around fishing. However, you can be just as successful from a bank, if you can find the right place to fish.

Patience is the key

You have to stay calm and wait them out. Once your line is in the water, leave it in for 20 to 30 minutes before checking it. Catfish are slow feeders. Once they get attracted though to your bait, they will stay and eventually hit it.

Stay warm

Dress warmly. Take a thermos of warm drink. Relax and enjoy yourself. Don’t assume that they aren’t biting when you get no immediate hits.

It’s not the gear that does catch catfish in winter, it’s you and your patience.

Winter slows down fish feeding. But, just like all of us, they have to eat sometime.

Be prepared for hangups

When you fish for catfish, you are always going into a congested area that allows for hangups. This is where they are located.

Don’t get frustrated when you get hung up on a log or brush. Just be prepared for it. Many times you can avoid a hangup by simply moving your line up and down slowly and getting a feeling for the area you are fishing in.

To me, there is nothing so exciting as catching a big fish. I don’t care what time of the season it is. Catching a big catfish makes even more fun and challenging.

sources; Outdoor Guide, Jim Spencer


Fish Like a Pro: Fishing Gear Information for Beginners

So you have decided to go fishing. It’s easy to start. You don’t have to run every day to get in shape like if you should if you are aiming for a marathon. You don’t have to lift weights to build up your muscles. And how much could a rod and reel cost? All of the above is true, but not for the serious fishermen.

Choosing a fishing rod can be a little daunting for a beginner

The serious fishermen spend days and weeks perusing the internet and magazines to find the right rod. Usually, the right rod of choice is handmade, and it is ordered with specifications to the serious fisherman.

Beyond how long rod you want is how stiff or flexible you want it. It will be made of specific materials from wood to graphite. The rods will vary according to the type of fish that it will be used for.

The serious fishermen can order a rod from everything from trout fishing to deep sea fishing. And these rods are not cheap. Starting at around hundred bucks, these rods can cost upward to thousands. Aside from the handmade rods, rods in fishing stores can cost up to hundreds also.

Many recreational fishers who fish off the bank prefer to use a cane pole. It’s a long fishing pole usually without a reel. The line is attached directly to the small end of the pole. You just yank the fish up on the bank when you caught it. This is a cheaper way to start fishing.

After the rod is purchased then the decision on the reel has to be made. Basic reels are either in a closed reel box or are open-faced where the string comes off an open reel. You just control it with your thumb.

The beginning fisherman wants the one with the closed box since it will not tangle up like an open face reel. Again the reels will cost from about twenty bucks to the thousands.

Avoid getting your fishing line tangled up

The serious fisherman quickly knows which reel will hold up for hours of fishing. If your reel gets messed up, it’s very frustrating. And if you are tournament fishing you need reels that will perform perfectly when dollars are on the line for the winner.

Use proper fishing line

Along with the reel is the choice of fishing line. So when you purchase the fishing reel, load it with a proper line. You do not want the catch the big one and have the line break and you lose your catch.

Fishing line comes in sizes called strengths. It is calibrated by pounds.

This means if you are fishing for fish that are small you can use fishing line that is lightweight. On the other extreme, you can use a larger number weight to catch deep sea fish.

Here you can find information on how to put a new line on a rod.

So basically thread the new line down through the eyes of the rod and then attach to the reel. Carefully reel in the line until the reel is nearly full. Cut off the line between the last eye on the rod and the container.

Necessities when going out with a boat

If you are going to fish out of a boat, you will need all the things necessary for the boating trip.

These would include life jackets, cooler, net, maybe clothing to keep you dry and warm if fishing in wintertime weather.

And waterproof case and a backup battery for your smartphone.

And don’t forget to check about a fishing license for the area where you will be fishing and the type of fishing that you will be doing.…

Fish Like a Pro: Fishing Tips for Beginners When Camping

Have you been learning how to fish lately? Want to become as good as your more experienced fishing buddies? Here are some tips to keep in mind for beginners.


1. Be always prepared

Before you leave home, make sure that you have all the essential things you need for your fishing adventures such as a first-aid kit, a sunblock, tackle and bait, and your rain gear. Don’t forget to pack food for your trip!

2. Observe how experts do it

The best and fastest way to learn anything is to watch how the more experienced ones do it. Check out and study the fishing activities of the local fishing folks: what they do, the gear they’re using, how they catch fish, and where they usually do it.


3. Be patient

Learning how to fish is not a walk in the park, and mastering it does not happen overnight. Patience is also a virtue when you are actually fishing. In general, catching a fish takes hours. When you’re getting impatient, avoid moving around too much or fiddling with your fishing line because such movements can scare off fish, and it’ll be harder for you to catch one.

Sometimes, you go home without any catch at all. But that’s okay. It’s the journey that counts more than the destination, so to speak.

4. Pay attention to the environment

As you’re waiting for your first catch, look for some subtle clues that can help you move closer to the location where there’s fish. Usually, these include water splashes and birds diving into the water and feeding on fish.

5. Have fun!

Enjoy your time—relax in a lightweight fishing chair while waiting for your first bite. And remember, don’t take home more fish than you and your family can eat.…