While going on a fishing trip in the winter time can be a wonderful break from the pace of normal fishing, such an endeavor also requires a slightly different amount of preparation than a normal weekend on the lake.
Research Your Quarry
Look into the type of fishing that you intend to catch. A properly informed fisherman knows when to set out the gear, at what time to expect a peak catch and what to expect when they get a tug on the line.
Keep Warmth in Mind
Make sure to pack multiple layers of clothing and start with some thermal underwear, also known as “long johns.” While it may offer some mild melting effect on the ice surrounding it, a heater is recommended when fishing in harsh cold; this may be less of an issue if you will be fishing within a lake-standing structure. Pack extra sets of clothing in the event that one or more layers gets soaked with water in the event of a fall through the ice.
Think About Safety
It never hurts to be safe when fishing. While you might not think to bring the usual safety attire involved in boating, fishing on the ice runs the risk of slipping through and falling into the water. Be mindful of safe-looking thickness for the ice you’re going to be fishing on. Also consider wearing cleats or other footwear that gives you some traction when walking across slick surfaces or through thick snow.
Look at Your Options
If you don’t live in an area where the conditions are perfect for winter fishing, you can always venture elsewhere for the experience. If you’re looking for the adventure of a winter fishing trip, without all the ice-breaking, you can participate in guided fishing at Queen Charlotte Safaris on Haida Gwaii, where several major salmon runs meet. Winter fishing doesn’t have to mean trudging onto a frozen pond with an ice pick—all you need for a great adventure is water, chilly air, and plentiful fish.
Useful Tools for Breaking Up Ice
While it becomes obvious that you’ll need some sort of tool to break the ice for your fishing spot, such as an auger or even a felling axe, you will also need a skimmer-a large slotted spoon to keep new ice from building up and impeding your fishing. The next thing to consider is what sort of fishing you plan on doing
- A traditional rod laden with baits and lures.
- Wooden or plastic tip-ups. These differ from a rod in that the line is supported by a static spot and the fisherman grips the line. The end result of using a tip-up is that the overall experience of catching a fish is less intensive.
- An old-school spear. Bear in mind that some jurisdictions limit which varieties of fish can be caught with this approach.
If you’ve followed these points about preparation and what to pack, then your winter fishing trip should go swimmingly. Stay warm and enjoy the art of the catch!