Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is a type of fishing which is done socially for fun or for competitive purposes. Evidentially, it can only be done in climates where winter is cold enough to create thick ice and ideal conditions. This is generally the case in North America, such as northern parts of the United States and Canada as well, but also places in Scandinavia including Finland and Sweden. The ice fishing in Canada isn’t the same as it is in Finland, but much of the gear and equipment are similar.

Some of the equipment required for ice fishing includes:

  • Structure; ice fishermen have huts where they can store all their gear allowing them to comfortably fish for long periods. The size of the shelter varies but can be small tents all the way to large portables which can hold many people.
  • Ice saw; an ice saw is necessary, as it is what is used to cut a clean and reasonably sized hole in the ice, to be able to drop and reel in a line successfully. The recommended size of the hole is about eight inches in terms of diameter. Augers and chisels are also great options for this.
  • Skimmer; this is a tool which resembles an oversized metal spoon. It is used to help pull ice out as it forms, and removes any slush or snow.
  • Heater; though it seems counterintuitive when dealing with ice, heaters are used to keep the actual anglers warm, but also are used to keep the hole open and not allow it to freeze over, because any temperature below -20 makes it hard for the hole not to freeze over.
  • The actual fishing line; this is entirely dependent on the type of ice fishing. There are rods used in combination with coloured bait and jigs. These poles are checked relatively frequently. There is a second type of ice fishing using tip-ups, which are devices made from wood (but can also be made of plastic) with a spool attached to them. These tip-ups have a swivel used to control the pole. Finally, there are spears explicitly designed for ice fishing, which allow fishermen to wait for fish to come to the surface, and then get speared.
  • Flasher; this is primarily a fish finder which uses sonar technology to track and find fish beneath the ice, and gives information that is detailed, such as the depth and exact location of the fish.

In addition to all this specialised fishing equipment, proper winter clothing and gear is essential, as you will be outdoors in the cold for at least a few hours.