Ice Fishing Tips & Strategies

ice-fishing-tipsIce Fishing Strategies – Catching More Fish Through The Ice

As the new year begins and the weather outside is “frightful” in Canada as well as the Northern United States, it means one of two things for fishermen. It’s time to catch up on your reading and/or television watching or it’s time to head out onto your favorite frozen lake and do a little ice fishing.

In this article I will outline a few ice fishing strategies that you can add to your fishing repertoire to help you catch more fish through the ice, no matter what species of fish you like to target.

One important point to make about ice fishing is that if you’ve never had the pleasure of using an ice house of some sort to go ice fishing, you should give it a try sooner rather than later. Being able to get out of the elements while you are fishing through the ice makes the entire experience of ice fishing much more enjoyable.

ice-houseWhether your ice house is permanent or inexpensive portable version, investing in an ice house is a great idea if you like to spend time “hard water”.

With that being said, let’s get down to the ice fishing strategies themselves, so that you can start catching more fish, what do you say?

Rod Sensitivity Is Key – Most species of fish are very sluggish in the winter with the extremely cold water temperatures, so detecting bites can be difficult. This is why the sensitivity of your fishing rod is a key fishing strategy when fishing through a hole in the ice. You want your rod to be as sensitive as possible, especially when targeting fish such as walleye for example.

early-morning-fishingWhen You Are On The Ice Is Key – Being on the ice when the fish are the most active is one of the best ice fishing strategies you will ever receive. There are three main ways to determine when fish will be the most active. The first is when light conditions change, such as in the mornings and evenings. At these times of the day fish are much more apt to be feeding when under the ice.

Second, when frontal systems pass through your fishing area fish will “turn on” or “turn off”, and third when the moon is in certain phases, fish will tend to be more or less active. Plan your ice fishing trips around one or all of these 3 factors and you will be on the ice at the most opportune time for catching fish, and thus experience more ice fishing success.

Using Electronics Is Key – With all of the advancements in technology, GPS’s, portable depth finders, and portable fishing finders are becoming extremely affordable and easy to using, making electronics a big part of any serious ice fisherman’s arsenal. Being able to locate underwater points, structure, and even fish using electronics makes any of the various ice fishing strategies that you employ that much more effective.

And being able to pinpoint spots that produce fish on a frozen lake using a GPS unit is invaluable to many ice fishermen. Using electronics is a strategy that every ice fisherman should employ if they have the opportunity.

The bottom line is that if you want to catch more fish through the ice, implement one or all of the aforementioned ice fishing strategies into your arsenal sooner, rather than later.




Trevor Kugler is co-founder of and an avid angler. He has more than 25 years experience fishing for all types of fish, and 15 years of business and internet experience. He currently raises his five year old daughter in the heart of trout fishing country.

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