Tuesday, December 1, 2015

5 Preparations and Tips for Ice Fishing

5 Preparations and Tips for Ice Fishing

The Illinois hunting season's time is running up with less then a month to go for ducks in the Northern and Central Zone leaves some to ask what's next?

Well, you're in luck.  Ice fishing is right around the corner.  It's better to get prepared during those weeks leading up to first ice.  Here are 5 Preparations and Tips for Ice Fishing and just a few things that we recommend you look at before you head out on the ice this winter.

Safety First - On the ice safety is and always should be a priority.  Remember All Ice is Unsafe Ice!  With first ice its important to have always have someone with you.  Always check the thickness of the the ice with an ice chizzle or an auger.  Like a life jacket safety spikes should always be worn but especially during early ice.  If you do go through the ice.  Remember to STAY CALM!

1. Auger - Make sure your auger is in good condition and those blades are sharp.  It can be a long day with dull blades.  If you have a gas powered auger, be sure to replace last years gas.  Do a quick tune-up and be sure it starts before you head out.

2. Fishing line - It's always good to redo your fishing line each season.  Replacing your line takes the doubt away of possible knots or those pesty nicks in your line.  4 lb test is the max we recommend for ice fishing.

3. Rod, Reels and Tip-ups - Identify and repair possible setbacks.  For example the tape to hold your reel on maybe worn out. And dont forget to check the eyes on your rods.  Ice fishing is rough on our gear;  fix the ones with sharp edges to avoid putting nicks or possibly cutting your line.  In the rough winters reels can have malfunctions.  Check to make sure they are working properly and give them a quick tune up.  Use some synthetic grease on those gears.   This is preemptive maintenance.  Keeping your gear in top condition allows you get more use out of it and makes for easier days on the ice.

4. Tackle - This is important because you may not remember what you had or used last year.   Ice-fishing is delicate.  You can be fishing right next to someone catching fish left and right and the only difference is the color in your jig.  So stock up on some jigs and other tackle you may need.

5. Shanty (if you have one) - Again, just make sure your shanty is in good condition.  Patch up any of the holes.  Also, with enough time you may be able to make modifications to your shanty allowing for easier and more efficient fishing.

These are just a few things that we feel can help you prepare for the upcoming season.  Looking for more ice fishing?  Check out the Capitol Outdoors Show Ice Fishing Adventure.  Please leave a comment if you have any recommendations.