2021 Ice Fishing Hacks
Ice fishing can be an enjoyable activity. It can also get frustrating because while nobody cares how many fish you reel in, where's the fun in sitting hours on end and barely catching any fish?
There are time-tested ice fishing techniques we all know works. This year, these principles remain, that is, if you plan on catching a lot. Here are the 2021 Ice Fishing Hacks to make your ice fishing adventure a resounding success.
1. GET YOUR TIMING RIGHT
The first and perhaps most important hack is timing. During the early ice, smaller, shallower lakes are more comfortable to fish in. Fish will usually cluster and are much more active in smaller lakes' basins, especially when the depth difference is high in the basin.
As winter starts to pass, the larger areas become better spots for jigging. In the late winter, ice fishing in smaller sites can become less rewarding and even begin to feel like a chore. Why? The ice thins out, and oxygen levels start to deplete, the fish lose interest in whatever you're dangling as they become more interested in energy conservation.
Primetime fishing happens around hours of low sunlight, i.e., dusk and dawn, which are also much preferable for angling as less sunlight means fish don't have to stay in the shadows, and movement is less restricted.
The fish use communal spots as shelters, and even though they are still very wary of any watching eyes left, they always return to that spot because it's where most of their food is in many cases. These communal spots can be easily detected by some form of plant life in the area.
2. DON'T ROLL WITH THE CROWD
Fish can become very disturbed by the commotion large crowds tend to draw. Not that crowds are outrightly a bad thing in fishing areas. Staying on the fringes of crowds can be very productive. Hanging around and observing veteran fishing groups will often offer invaluable pointers to the best spots to set up camp.
3. GET FAMILIAR WITH YOUR FISHING SITE
The importance of research cannot be overstated when ice fishing, especially for rookies; you'll want to avoid digging too many holes in a small area. Maps will help discover basins with an immense depth in the area. Digging fishing holes isn't precisely a noiseless activity, and with too many holes, you could inadvertently end up scaring fish away.
4. USE TIP UPS
Tip-ups can often come across as a lazy way of ice fishing; not everyone is fascinated by the idea of watching their tip-ups flag when a fish is hooked in. But if your moral standards and fishing laws of the area permit, using tip-ups can also be fascinating. They help you cover more water, which won't hurt mastering the area's best fishing spots.
To get more efficiency with the tip-ups, some modifications should be made. Always reduce the size of the hooks on the tip-ups. Fish are not going to be enticed with menacing treble hooks staring them in the face. Fluorocarbon leaders are also advised to help hide the visibility of the lines to fish nearby.
5. PACK ONLY WHAT YOU NEED
Because ice fishing often requires that you carry a bunch of gear for a considerable distance, it's essential to consider how easy you'll be able to move your tools. Doing your homework on ice fishing sites will help you be as compact as possible in packing your fishing and allow you more mobility.
A jigging rod and reels are all you need to do the job. However, selecting fishing lines is more deliberate, and you should make sure your lines are as light as the fish you expect to catch. Even your tip-ups should be set with restraint; you don't want a scenario where you cannot keep up with triggered tip-ups.
Gas and electric powered augers are faster than their manual counterparts but are heavier and noisier. Drilling the holes with a manual auger will also double up as a light warm-up exercise.
Ice fishing does not have to be a frustrating activity for you. With these five hacks, you will become better at catching those fishes without having to strain yourself. For fishing tips, visit www.biggamefishing.org.