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Ice Fishing 101

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Ice Fishing 101

Alex Gaudette, Reporter

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GEAR!

GEAR!

2015 ice fishing season has started off great so far. It has produced some great fish. If I were to give any tips on ice fishing my first tip would be to stay warm, maybe invest in a little propane heater. Find something to keep the wind off you, which is always a good idea. The wind can make things ten times colder. Bring a warm hat, gloves, and good boots so you don’t get cold. Find a good lake or pond to fish and just try things out. You learn from not catching anything and from your mistakes, because you will know what to do the next time you go. Ice fishing can be really fun and a great winter hobby.

lately we have gone fishing for smelt and done very well at catching them. We go at night and drill one hole in the ice. Then put a light over the whole or in the water. It has to be a bright light because that draws in the smelt. Then we would drill a few holes to fish from right near your light within a few feet of it. If you are in an ice shanty, then you would have the light right on the edge of the shanty. Use a lure with a maggot and send it down to the bottom. Once it’s on the bottom, real up a little bit and wait. It might take a few minutes to have the smelt come in;  once they start biting they don’t stop. Every once and a while the amount your lure is off the bottom will change because the fish will move slowly closer to the light. Eventually you will see them at the top of the hole. With these fish you don’t set the hook, you simply lift your rod up, and reel up. The fish get hooked or hang on to your bait sometimes. Smelt are tiny fish, maybe only a few inches long, but it can be a lot of fun and good for first time fishing. They taste great!

 

Smelt

Smelt

Another fish we target is the Northern Pike. They are bigger fish and put up more of a fight. Most of the time we use tip-up reels for catching these fish. Tip ups are reels that sit in the water. When a fish bites the bait and runs, the flag goes off and you try to pull it up through the hole. With Northern Pike you use minnows to bait your hook, drop the bait about a foot to two below the hole with your tip up, set the flag, and wait. These fish tend to be in shallow water in the morning and work their way out to deeper water.

Pearch & Pumpkinseed

Pearch & Pumpkinseed

Some other types of fish to catch under the ice that can be fun are perch and pumpkinseed. You just put on a flashy lure, keep it a little bit off the bottom, and wait for when you can jig (bounce) it up and down a few times. You can add a maggot or a fish eyeball to your hook to increase your luck. By doing this you can catch a whole bucket of fish. Good luck fishing!

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The student news site of Harwood Union Middle/High School in South Duxbury, Vermont
Ice Fishing 101