It is a little scary thinking about the dangers of ice fishing, but it probably is no more dangerous than standing in my bass boat on one foot while wearing heavy boots and a snowmobile suit, and fishing alone. I have often thought that if I hit something with my trolling motor and fell overboard I would probably drown since my clothing would pull me to the bottom!
I have warm clothes, but would they be suitable for ice fishing? Would I need to carry my propane heater, or would hand warmers be enough? And how would I ever keep my hands warm?
Building or buying a hut and finding the right place to put it would be a challenge. Just deciding where to drill a hole would be a skill I would have to learn, as would the actual drilling itself. I probably would want to keep cutting new holes trying to find the fish! Would I need a depthfinder? And I understand the fish do move and conditions change. Watching those guys on the In-Fisherman TV show pulling big old catfish through holes that looked too small showed me how much I would need to learn.
Sitting in a hut, warm and comfortable and safe from the outside air, while jigging through a hole in the ice and watching tip-ups stationed all around, sounds like fun. Staying in one place might not be so bad! It reminds me of the nights we put out trotlines, built a fire on the bank, cast out a few lines and then waited in warm comfort for a bite. That was very relaxing, and great fun!
But what would I need. Could I be happy with the basics - a bucket, some line and hooks and an auger? Probably not, if you look at all the junk in my bass boat! I would want all the stuff I could get, and even more! I am sure I would want a sled to haul it all on!
I know walleye and perch are often caught through the ice, but was suprised to find out bass, catfish, crappie and bream also bite when their world is frozen over. I would have to learn how to catch all of them!
And when are the best times and worst times? I have heard people get on the ice before it is really safe because first ice is a good time, but what about later in the winter. Do fish really bite at night under the ice?
I have got to go ice fishing!
All these links, and more, can be found in my library of ice fishing links.