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Tips for Your First Ice Fishing Trip

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So you have your new custom fly rod, your bait, and a winter coat --you're ready to head out onto the ice and go fishing, right? Wrong! Ice fishing is unlike any other fishing experience, and there are lots of things to do and to consider before you head out onto the ice. The following is a list of tips from our pros to make your first ice fishing trip enjoyable and successful:

  • Find a safe spot to fish- Avoid fishing spots near spring holes, warm water discharges, and feeder creeks, as the ice is less likely to freeze solid in these places. When you do find a fishing spot, make sure that there is at least 3-4 inches of solid ice before you start fishing. 
  • Avoid the crowds- A crowded fishing area can make fishing on ice dangerous, not too mention the noise may scare off the fish. Fish somewhere where the crowds are sparse, but don't fish anywhere too isolated in case of an emergency. 
  • Take shelter- Shelters definitely aren't a necessity, but if you have one you are bound to be a lot more comfortable, especially if there is a breeze in the air. Don't have a shelter? Don't worry, you can rent one! 
  • Bring a buddy- It can be very dangerous to go ice fishing by yourself, so always bring a buddy along for the adventure.
  • Wear a life jacket- Even if you are sure that you found a spot with solid ice and you feel pretty good about it, it is never a bad idea to wear a life jacket.