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Kids and ice

12/13/14 @ 8:22 AM
User since 12/12/14
I am a life long whitetail/pheasant/turkey and coyote hunter. I am NOT a lifelong fisherman. I have managed to pick up most of the gear over the years and I fished quite a bit when I was young (pre kids), I am upfront and honest with the fact that I really know about jack squat when it comes to fishing (okay maybe not quite that bad) My 7 yr old boy and 9 yr old daughter want to coyote hunt and ice fish with me. Any suggestions on where to start (lakes; I live in the very SE corner of Dane County) for pan fish as our main focus. Also, where to look for said pan fish within the structure of the lake itself (weeds, drop offs? and such?) I am not looking for an in depth (don't mind the pun) instructional advice, just some general ideas of how to get the kids on fish so the enjoy their time outdoors. We have had great success over the last 2 yrs with deer and turkey and I have them geared on the outdoors, and would like to continue that in fishing. We would love to catch fish for dinner, but just catching fish would be the goal, even if we are releasing.

2/8/16 @ 3:50 PM
User since 1/12/14
My 3yr old boy still giving it at 9pm. Super proud dad!

2/8/16 @ 3:42 PM
User since 10/2/14
Kids and Mentors Outdoors (KAMO) has some kids who like to learn how to ice fish. We could use some more adults to take these kids out. A lot of people are knocking on KAMO's door as the word spreads about our existence.

12/27/14 @ 8:50 PM
User since 3/6/09
In Dane county you can't go wrong heading to Monona Bay, even if the fish aren't huge your kids should be able to catch lots and lots of fish which will keep them occupied when jigging. I haven't been to the triangles yet this year myself so I can't offer any suggestions on jigs that are working well, but from past experience 2 white spikes seemed to always work, the more beat up they were the more fish they caught. The shell station on park st sells spikes.

12/26/14 @ 6:29 AM
User since 8/23/09
I have 4 kids cant seem to get any of them into icefishing. My oldest says it is cause its too easy....i beg to differ when im drilling holes for extra people. I find that as stated making the trips about them having fun weather its playing catch or eating special snacks, helps make it more enjoyable for them. I dont live in the area but I can say that although what the guys on indepth outdoors are doing is mostly on lakes in mn they tought me plenty of tactics that can be applied to lakes in my area... Kids seem to love big fish so pulling panfish may bore them. But if you set out flags and jig in the shack occasionally to warm up it maybe all the jigging you do. But as stated most importantly make day about them and not just fishing.

12/25/14 @ 9:02 AM
Brent Hess
MEMBER since 12/18/07
Forgot to mention, that was when my boys were younger...

Now they are 14 and 17 so we bring the snowmobiles too, they love that.

If the fish are not biting they can go for a spin, the snowmobile trail is across the street from Browns Lake....

The Woodlands Resort
(262) 661-3968
12/25/14 @ 9:00 AM
Brent Hess
MEMBER since 12/18/07
I agree with the first two posts...

The younger kids get cold pretty easy so a shanty with a heater really helps. Also bring a couple of thermoses, one with hot chocolate, another with soup (my kids love tomato), and one with coffee for yourself.

Distractions really help too. Bring a portable camp stove with some brats and beer to cook them in. I demoted one of my wife's older skillets and keep it in the ice fishing shanty. The kids love cooking on the ice.

Also, buy something special, something you don't typically let them have at home, like Mountain Dew or some other special treat.

Another good one is to let them bring as many friends as they want. They always enjoy horsing around with their buddies. You can also put more tip-ups out with the extra people, and the kids absolutely love chasing down flags, so you can keep their interest.

Not sure about Dane County, but Browns Lake in Burlington is a fun starter lake for kids. Lots of stunted Pike. You won't catch any keepers, but the kids will get their fill of chasing down 23 inch Pike...

The Woodlands Resort
(262) 661-3968
12/25/14 @ 6:55 AM
grinner stew
User since 12/25/14
buy your kids the warmest boots you can find my 8 year olds boots are rated for -76degrees happy fishing now

12/14/14 @ 8:06 AM
User since 1/16/14
I can't speak to lakes in your areas for certain. With the kids I think it's always a good idea to to run tip ups. My son is 5 years old and would much rather chase after a flag than sit and jig for pans all day. My other advice to you would be to bring plenty of heat, a warm shanty is a must for the kids. Lot's of snacks and distractions from the fishing are a good plan too. I generally don't have time to jig up many pans if my boy is with as we are generally tossing a ball around, or looking at stuff through the binoculars. Lastly, if the kids decide they are done, pack it up and call it a day. I hated it when I was a kid and wanted to go home and my dad just wasn't ready to miss the afternoon bite. The most important part of a trip out with the kids is to spend quality time with them and make memories for a lifetime!

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