If you're like most people who will soon be enjoying their first ice fishing trip, you're probably feeling a mixture of excitement and apprehension concerning your upcoming adventure. Like almost everything else in life, a successful ice fishing excursion depends highly on being properly prepared and knowing what to expect from the experience. Following are five things you need to know before you go on your first ice fishing trip.
You'll Need a Special Fishing Pole
Don't count on taking along your regular fishing pole and having any luck on your ice fishing trip—you'll need a special pole designed for ice fishing only. These poles are shorter than traditional poles because there is no need to cast in ice fishing.
You'll Need Special Foot Gear
You probably already know that dressing warmly is an important part of staying safe and comfortable while enjoying any type of winter sport, but ice fishermen need to give their feet special attention. You'll be standing on ice, so it's a good idea to have the warmest possible socks as well as foot warmers. Your boots should be specifically designed for this type of activity, and to minimize mishaps on the ice, purchase a good pair of ice cleats to go with them.
You Should Purchase Your Bait From a Local Source
Bait is something that successful ice fishermen never skimp on. Purchase your bait from a local source on the day you're going fishing—the fresher the bait, the more likely the fish are to bite. As an added bonus, the guy or girl behind the counter of your local bait shop may be generous with inside information concerning where the fish have been biting most lately.
You Should Refrain From Dumping Extra Bait Into the Lake
You may be tempted to simply dump your bait into the lake when the day's fishing is over, but this is a very poor idea. Chances are that the minnows you're using for bait aren't native to the area. The practice of dumping bait into waterways is responsible for the introduction of invasive species in many places, so be sure to dispose of your bait properly.
You'll Enjoy the Experience More in an Ice Fishing House
Your first ice fishing experience will most likely be an exhilarating one that you'll never forget, but face it—you're going to get cold and tired. An Ice Fishing House provides a better overall experience. You'll have a place to enjoy your lunch and obtain shelter from cold winds, snow, and sleet. Some are even comfortably furnished and equipped with heaters, bathrooms, bunks, and cooking facilities.