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Fishing Through the Ice

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Howdy, Fishermen and Fisherwomen!

While the outdoors can sometimes feel less accessible this time of year in the higher and lower parts of the northern and southern hemispheres, there are always those people who don’t let the extreme climate interfere with their time outside. Fishers don’t let a frozen surface stop them from dropping their lines and catching some fish!

The right equipment gives folks the chance to fish even in the dead of winter with temperatures well beyond freezing! The winter version of fishing creates a whole new world to this long-practiced pastime. Instead of going out on a boat or casting your line from a pier, ice fishers head out on frozen lakes with a tool of some sort to create a hole.

How do They do It?

Some ice fishers are more prepared than others. They can create a quick, clean hole through the ice with an auger—a helical screw device for digging. Others use a chisel. And some head out simply with an axe (with safety first always in mind). Then, they catch their fish with lines and fish hooks through the opening.

Is it Safe?

Frozen lakes are pretty much perfectly safe to walk on once the ice reaches a certain depth. In fact, if it’s been cold enough for a long enough amount of time, you can even drive a vehicle on it. At 8 to 12 inches, ice should be able to withstand the weight of a medium sized car. At 4 inches thick, it’s considered safe to walk on or skate, or ice fish. Anything under that, however, and you risk breaking through.

Go Big or Go Cold

Lots of ice fishers will just head out and fish in the open. This works just fine, though it’s always a chilly experience! Others head out and set up heated enclosures that they bring along. They can range from small shacks for a day trip out there to bigger setups that include bunks and amenities for a longer stay.

The winter season can make it fun to keep curled up indoors, but after too long it can feel like a prison. If you’ve never gone ice fishing before, find someone with experience and escape the cabin fever when you head out on the ice! Practice safety first out there and have a blast on the ice. As always, thanks for reading!


- John


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