Though fishing can be done all year round, it is one thing to fish during the spring and summer months and another thing entirely to fish during winter with temperatures dropping to sub-zero levels and lakes and other water bodies getting frozen. This process of fishing during the frigid winter period is what is referred to as ice fishing.
Many people engage in this kind fishing for many reasons. While for some, it’s for the occasional pleasure, for some it is a hobby. Actually, it is also a sort of competition in several places in the world. This is far different from what was obtainable in the years gone by when it was done as a means of livelihood.
It is popular in places like Asia, northern Europe and North America. Specifically locations like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Vermont, New York, Ohio, New Hampshire and parts of Canada. You can learn more about this here.
What will be Needed?
Because of the freezing temperature and thick ice, the gear needed are specifically designed to fit these conditions. Asides warm clothing, you also need essentials like a stool or chair for sitting, a shelter, sled, a flashlight, propane heater and a compass or GPS finder (this you will need both for locating your holes and for finding your way back home).
Other things you will need include specialized gear for fishing like, an auger or chisel to cut a hole in the ice, rods, lines and reels. You will need a spud bar, a skimmer or scoop, a gaff hook for pulling fish out of the whole, buckets, lures and baits. You will also need a license before you can fish on ice as a lot of states require it.
While some people fish in the open, some prefer to be comfortable and shielded from the elements so they do it from inside of a shelter.
Different types of shelters exist. Some are like tents covered with canvas with aluminum frames and zippers that protect from the wind. They can fold and are easily carried. There is also the ice shanty, a type of shelter that is made of either plastic or wood. This can be rented or constructed by the fishermen. It is usually tall enough for people to stand up in and can include seats or benches.
For people who prefer to be very comfortable, they rent a fishing house which can be a container or trailer and can take several people. These usually offer different levels of comfort include TV, heating, lighting, bathrooms, kitchen etc.
Choosing Fishing Bibs
One of the most important pieces of accessory for any ice fishing expedition is the bib. It is what keeps you warm and dry. Although a good shelter or heater may be of help, but if you need to go out, kneel on ice or fish in the open, you need a good bib.
In choosing ice fishing bibs, there are some things to be aware to ensure you pick the right one. Let’s look at a few of these factors.
Knowing the Difference
There are different types of bibs. While you will see a lot marketed as fishing accessories, many are not and are only good for use on rainy days. Also snow bibs may keep you warm when you have to trudge through snow but they are not the best as they do not have knee pads to protect the knee. Ice angling requires a lot of bending and kneeling. You must therefore get the one that is right for this kind of fishing.
It should be Waterproof
A part of fishing and especially on ice is that you will get wet. Getting wet during warm weather might not result in a health issue but that can’t be said of getting wet in extremely cold weather. You could catch a cold or even a more serious ailment. To guard against this, buy a bib with high waterproof properties.
Fishing on ice has it attendant risk and one of it is breaking through the ice and getting submerged. As much as you take precautions to avoid this, one of these precautions should be to get bibs that can help you float and save your life in case of such an eventuality.
Before stepping on ice to fish, you need to know and understand what it takes and get prepared for it. You cannot be over-prepared. It is important to get all necessary gear and accessories that are needed. This will help you have a successful time fishing and maybe also save your life.