Ice Fishing Learn how to in British Columbia Canada
In this article we are going to cover a bunch of popular questions that we field daily during the ice fishing season. Most of which are asked at our sports shop. Spud Valley Sporting Goods Ltd located at 1380 birch road in Pemberton. Most people think that Ice fishing is simple. Drill a hole in the ice and stick a piece of bait down there on a hook. Sure you might catch a few fish but we can help you catch more, even on lakes you’ve never fished before.
What gear do I need for Ice Fishing
Initial costs of Ice fishing can be a bit Overwhelming. If you take care of the gear, it will last a lifetime. First, you’ll have to start with clothing. Dress for subzero temperatures, winter jacket, toque, gloves, snow pants and waterproof insulated boots are a must. Things like an Ice hut will make those cold days a whole bunch more enjoyable. An Ice drill or Ice Auger will make a hole in the ice, which you will fish from.
In British Columbia you are only allowed to use 1 Rod with 1 hook on it. For this reason I always tell people to buy a good Ice fishing rod and reel combo. I like to have at least 1 or 2 backup ice fishing rod combos. The reason for this is simple, have 1 set up with a spoon, one set up with a jig and or one set up for dead sticking. Each rod will have a different sensitivity. I like a rod with a medium action for jigging spoons. A medium light rod for twitching jigs and an ultra light rod for dead sticking. Dead sticking is when you leave a piece of bait near the bottom, bites are typically very light.
Now that you have most of the basics the rest you’ll probably have laying around the house. Somehow you have to clean the slush and ice from your ice hole after you drill a hole. I have used numerous things but an ice scoop works the best. A bowl will also work. Bring a seat, it will make your day better. What we use for a seat is a 5 gallon bucket. Flip it over, put a cushion on it and you have a seat. Flip it up right and you have something to carry your ice fishing gear out onto the lake. Depending on how much Ice fishing gear you have, a toboggan may come in very handy. Safety spikes are a must.
Why are ice fishing rods so small ?
Ice fishing rods are small because you are fishing over a hole. Therefore, you do not need length to cast or to pick up slack, keeping your line tight or to control a fish. It is very common to ice fish in an Ice hut, which is usually tight corridors. Ice fishing is all vertical, straight up and down an ice hole. You do not need length for that.
How do you do ice fishing?
Now that you have all the gear, let’s go Ice fishing. Ok, where do you start? First thing’s first, make sure you have safe ice for Ice fishing. I always suggest bringing a friend when Ice fishing or learning how to ice fish. Walking on a frozen lake can be very dangerous especially if it is covered with snow and you don’t know how thick the ice is. Do not venture far from the shore before you make your first test hole. I always suggest you have at least 4″ of clear ice before you venture any further away from shore. The first trip is always the toughest. You can always wait till you see everyone else out there Ice fishing.
You’ve done your safety checks and the ice is safe. Hole is drilled, now you need to know how to catch them. Some days they like an erratic jigging motion, some days they want a small twitch and the next they want a dead stick. Therefore, mix it up. If dead sticking isn’t working don’t spend the whole day dead sticking. I hope this makes sense.
How deep should you ice fish
Depending on how deep the water is you’ll only have so many options. Typically, if i am ice fishing in shallow water 2′ – 6′ I am fishing just off of the bottom. In shallow water you will typically see plant life and usually a muddy bottom. Keep your bait out of the mud, it is ok to periodically dip your bait into the bottom. This will stir up some mud, this makes feeding fish nuts. Small twitches and dead sticking is deadly. In shallow water if you look down through your ice hole, you should be able to watch fish eating your hook. Remember not to change what you are doing when the fish enters the strike zone. A subtle change can make the difference between a hook up or not.
While fishing medium depth water 7′ – 20′ depending on water clarity you may still be able to view the bottom. This depth is usually where the shoal or the weed bed ends. I love fishing the edge of a weed bed or shoal. Strikes can be very aggressive. The reason for this is simple, the small fish “bait fish” tend to take cover in the weed beds. a shoal or the edge of a weed bed is an excellent ambush spot. Plus, it is also very visual from the open water. For this reason I love jigging crippled looking spoons or I will get really aggressive with a jig tipped with bait. Sometimes a dead stick will work near the bottom.
How do you Ice fish Deep water effectively
How deep is deep water? I am referring to water with a depth of 20′ or more. To effectively ice fish deep water the use of electronics is a must. Electronics will help you choose the depth you will want to fish. Literally without a fish finder or a flasher you are fishing blind and there is a lot of water to cover. If you pay attention to your electronics, you will find that fish will typically travel at the same depth throughout the day. Most of the time it is near the thermocline. Thermocline is a steep temperature gradient in a body of water such as a lake, marked by a layer above and below which the water is at different temperatures.
If you don’t have electronics, it’s time to get creative. You are going to have to count your cranks on your reel while you are reeling up from the bottom to the top. Let’s say from the bottom to the top you have 40 full revolutions of your reel handle. So, 10 cranks is 1/4 of the water column, 20 cranks is mid column, 30 cranks is 3/4 of the column and so on. Therefore, if you break the water column into 1/4’s you will cover the water sufficiently. Cover the water and don’t lose count. My guess is if you catch a fish and got back to that depth, you’ll catch another. In deep water you will want to use spoons and big jigs, depending on the size of the bait fish. Depending on species, you’ll find certain colors and shapes will work better. Get jiggy with it!
What is the best bait to use for ice fishing
In British Columbia we are not allowed to use fin fish as bait for Trout. For this reason I am going to suggest table Shrimp as the best bait to use for Ice fishing. I like Shrimp because you don’t have to worry about it freezing, it stays on the hook, most lakes naturally have freshwater shrimp, it is easily dyed and takes cures like no other baits. It naturally omits oils and a heavy scent. When you are done Ice fishing you can simply through it back in the freezer.
A close second is worms, be it earthworms or mealworms. The only down side to using worms is that you have to keep them warm. This can be difficult while ice fishing, most days you have to keep them inside your jacket or they will expire quickly. Nothing wiggles like a worm, that wiggle drives fish crazy.
Don’t forget about Powerbait. Powerbait works great on stocked lakes. Someone told me it is a similar formula to what they feed them in the hatcheries. Makes sense if that’s the case. I just hate getting that stuff all over my hands and fingers. It always ends up all over everything, bring a rag to clean up.
Ice fishing Trips and guides in British Columbia
I could literally write a book about Ice Fishing but I’ll save some for a later post. If you are thinking about getting into Ice fishing I always suggest going with a professional Ice fishing guide your first time. It’s like anything else, you want to learn how to drive, go get driving lessons. You want to learn how to operate a boat, there is lessons for that to. A professional Ice fishing guide will go over ice safety, techniques and tips while keeping it fun and safe. We call this the fast track to Ice fishing success. People don’t realize that showing up to a frozen lake and expecting to catch a fish isn’t easy. You need to know where to fish, what to use, how to use it and what to do once you’ve got one.
Join us this Winter call Toll free (877)905-8121 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or book online in the comfort of your own house https://pembertonfishfinder.com/book-now-2/ There is nothing more Canadian than Ice Fishing. We look forward to Ice fishing with you, Pemberton Fish Finder.