The Adventure of Ice Fishing…

February 24th, 2011

Written by David Beasley, Fisheries Biologist

DaveBeasley_Ice_FishingWhen most people think of the sport “Ice Fishing” they often think of crazy people voyaging out onto an unsafe, freezing cold, snowy lake. Although these images may be accurate, there is a side to the sport of which many are unaware. Ice fishing has evolved into a much different activity in the last 10-15 years. Current technology and innovations make ice fishing both more enjoyable and more successful.

Fishing in freezing conditions can be brutal and is not ideal for even the avid ice fisherman. Modern portable ice huts (shanties) and propane heaters allow fishermen to keep air temperatures in the 60’s while having the flexibility to easily move to different locations to find active fish. Many ice shanties can be set up within seconds and are capable of comfortably holding 2 or more fishermen. Many shanties have comfortable seats, making the outing much more relaxing; and, with a couple people fishing together, the sport allows for a social atmosphere. Current fish finding technology allows you to locate fish and understand how they are behaving providing you a better understanding of how to catch them. Using ultrasonic sound waves and a colored screen (also known as a flasher) fishermen know exactly how deep the water is, if there are fish nearby, and where their lure is located. The units are very accurate, letting you understand where the fish are and how they are reacting to your lure and your fishing technique. Sometime fish species such as Walleye are very picky and they will actually put you lure in their mouth to determine the texture of the bait, but never pull on the line to make you aware that your lure is momentarily sitting in their mouth. Unfortunately for the fish, these modern fish finders show that the fish is within inches of your line, allowing avid fishermen to hook into fish that would normally have never been caught.

These fish finders make fishing very exciting, allowing an individual to catch dozens, even hundreds of fish over the course of a day. Staying entertained while also staying warm makes the sport very enjoyable. Other tools like power augers (used to drill holes through the ice), snowmobiles and hand held GPS units allow fishermen to travel to and set up at prime fishing locations quickly, providing more fishing time and far less time exposed in the elements.

For the avid ice fishermen, most days are spent catching far more fish than most would believe while relaxing in a comfortable, warm environment in the middle of a freezing cold lake, often miles from civilization.

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David Beasley is a Lead Fisheries Biologist and Regional Manager with SOLitude Lake Management. Since 1998, SOLitude Lake Management has been committed to providing full service lake and pond management services that improve water quality, preserve natural resources, and reduce our environmental footprint. Services are available throughout the Eastern United States. Fisheries management consulting and aquatic products are available nationwide. Learn more about SOLitude Lake Management and purchase products at

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