Preparing for Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is a great way to get out and enjoy the outdoors with friends and family.

There is something about the winter that drives people to hard water to go fishing. Once you have done it one time, it is in your bones and you don’t want to stop going. There are a few things that you need to prepare before you head out on the ice so you can have a wonderful experience. 

1. Ice Thickness

First and foremost is safety! You have to make sure that the ice you venture out on is safe and there are some guidelines that you need to follow beforehand. There is a standard chart that you should go by with ice thickness and two inches or less you must just stay off the ice, period! Four inches or better is good for ice skating and walking out to ice fish, 6 inches is good for an ATV or snowmobile to travel on and the chart goes on for ice up to twelve inches to take a vehicle out…but I would avoid that altogether if I was you.

ice angler fishing for trout

(Photo credit: Fish TV)

2. How to Stay Warm

Is being dressed for the elements! You have all heard the term layer your clothing well and that is so true when it comes to ice fishing. You can always take clothes off but you can never add them if you don’t have them. Most of the time you are sitting still when fishing so it is very important to have the proper boots and suit for ice fishing. I like to use rubber boots with really good insoles because when you use the auger to cut the hole, water will come out of the hole and get on your boots so a good pair is a must. The suit is another very important piece of equipment that you will need and there is nothing that beats a floater suit. This does two things -- keeps you warm and if God forbid, you ever fall through the ice this will save your life.

ice fishing tip up

(Photo credit: Fish TV)

3. Modest fishing

The thing about ice fishing is that you can get out and fish for relatively little money. All you need is an ice fishing rod, hand auger and a few baits, so you don’t have to run out and spend hundreds of dollars on equipment.

4. Do Your Research

Before you head out do some research on where you are going, check the internet as there are all kinds of local fishing clubs you can find that will help you get started. They will also let you know how the fishing and conditions are before heading out. Local bait shops are another great way to get some information.

person laying on snow near snowmobile

(Photo credit: Fish TV)

5. Family Friendly

Finally and probably one of the most important things is to get outside in the great Ontario outdoors. Take your family, if the kids get bored of fishing have fun making a snowman or a snowball fight, whatever gets them outside. These are the things that they will never forget and you will have memories that last a lifetime!


About Ron James

Ron has been fishing for over 35 years. He started fishing when he was just a youngster with his father Bill James (God rest his soul). He moved onto tournament fishing as his passion grew. With numerous wins and top finishes, the next step had to be taken. He met Leo, and the unstoppable force of Fish TV "is the best thing that has happened.

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