Is ice fishing easy? This is a common problem for beginners. The answer is a bit of a yes or no.Yes, ice fishing is easy. When icy conditions allow for easy travel and you can find fish quickly, you can sometimes - quite literally - sit on top of a school of fish and catch fish after fish. You also only need a few gear essentials to get started.
On the other hand, ice fishing can be challenging at times. Hiking through thick snow is hard work. Also, winter fish will concentrate in certain areas, so it will take time to find them. Additionally, certain fish species, such as bass and trout, can be notoriously fickle biteers. As with any type of fishing, though, part of what makes ice fishing fun is overcoming the challenges of the day and successfully finding and catching fish.
The main aspects to consider in ice fishing include the following:
l Ice fishing safety
l Dressing for ice fishing
l Essential ice fishing equipment
l The best times to ice fish
l Popular ice fishing target species and where to find them
l Jigging tactics
l Tip-up tactics
l Best baits for ice fishing
Since ice fishing tends to be colder days, it's important to bring a little extra help to keep warm. Something like the Ocoopa Union 2s rechargeable hand warmers would help you fight the cold with confidence. The rechargeable hand warmers could be used individually or using the magnets as one, one for each pocket, and offer you 4 levels of heating temperatures, these hand warmer would be one of your best winter outdoor products!
Fish are cold-blooded animals, so their habits change entirely according to the water temperature. During the summer months the fish are very active so it is easy to get them excited and they will bite. Once winter sets in, everything below the surface slows down and the fish are less active.
Their activity depends a lot on the species you're catching, so it's important to know which fish will be more active when winter river fishing. Of course, the type of fish that is most popular depends entirely on where you are in the country, but I'll try to be broad. These fish are mostly found in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions, so keep your eyes open for these when the water starts to freeze.
Bass - they may not be as popular in rivers as they tend to spend most of the winter in the muddy depths, but if you can find a calmer part of the river deeper in the river and cast there, you have a chance of catching to some perch. These fish are active even in the cold, and some would say they are more aggressive in winter. Hop around the eddies that seem to have a lot of mud and you'll find plenty of bass.
Barracuda – One of the most popular cold weather fish is the barracuda, which can be found everywhere in the winter. They're aggressive and more than willing to bite anything you throw in the water, and they're common in rivers throughout the Northeast, so you shouldn't have a problem catching these guys.
Walleye - Popular in the Great Lakes and Northeast, expect to catch the biggest walleye around the currents of two rivers converging into one. Try jumping off rocks or stumps, the best strategy is to wade through water so you can cast very accurately. Walleyes are known to be aggressive in winter, but they are lazy so they won't travel very far to attack your bait, you need to make them irresistible.
Trout - We obviously can't talk about cold river fishing without talking about trout. You can find them in even the smallest creeks throughout the Northeast and Midwest, so expect to catch plenty, especially in March and April when the snow starts to melt. Try rubber worms near rocky areas and slow-moving entrances.
Types of Structure to Ice Fish
The time a point actually comes into existence is often thanks to some great structure. There are three things to keep in mind when choosing the best location for drilling.
Once the foliage begins to change in the fall, the aquatic vegetation changes too. How quickly a weed bed dies depends on how mild the winter was.The further north you go, or the colder and snowier the winter, the less likely aquatic vegetation will survive. The further south you go, or the colder and less snowy winters, the more likely aquatic vegetation will survive.
Because weed beds are rare in winter, they are ideal places for fish to congregate. Fish love them because they can flit around the thick cover with ease, surprising unsuspecting prey. If you're setting it up here, you'll want to use baits that are energetic or have some kind of vibration so the fish can grind into your bait.
Fish congregate year-round around boulders, rocks, and gravel areas, but they are especially valuable to ice anglers. One of the best benefits is usually improved water clarity in rock bottom areas. Since ice fishing is usually limited to a few holes and a few lines, it is beneficial for anglers to have clear waters where predators can spot your bait from great distances.
When you discover a rocky area, it's best to focus not only on the structure, but also on the area around the structure. Fish often move to different spots throughout the day, so finding edge locations where rocks turn into sand or rocks into mud can help you find fish you didn't know were there.
The change in depth is one of the best places to find fierce fish, and the spot is one of the best places to find change in depth. This almost guarantees that if you see a point protruding from the shore, there is some sort of significant change in depth around it.
The depth change is especially attractive to those targeting fish that are most active in low light. For example, walleye and bass will stay in deeper places during the day and move to shallower places at night. Setting it at one point allows you to fish at various depths and stick to it as the fish moves from deep holes to shallows.Be careful though, as points are usually the most likely places for anomalous ice. Always exercise caution around areas of large depth variations and use contour maps to avoid sites that may contain unsafe ice.