A Different Style of Ice Fishing

December 2, 2014 by  

by Bob Jensen 

There is no question that ice-fishing season has arrived early in the Midwest.  For those of us who like to go ice-fishing, that’s a good thing.

DSCN9196-articleimgI and some of my friends are going about our ice-fishing a little differently this year.  It’s going to be even more fun, and even more productive.  We’re going to be headquartering out of an Ice Castle.  Ice Castles are hard-sided ice houses on wheels.  They’re heated inside so you don’t need a bunch of warm clothing.  You can get them with as many features as you want, or as few as you want.  We’re going to be much more comfortable in our ice-fishing this year.  That will make our fishing more productive and more fun.  But, just because our primary shelter will be in a fixed position, that doesn’t mean we won’t be covering a large area on the ice.  We will.  Here’s how.

We’ll be headquartering in the Ice Castle, but we’ll still be moving around looking for fish that are willing to bite.  Before we start fishing, we’ll drill a good number of holes around our headquarters.  When the bite in the “Castle” slows down, we’ll get out and move around to those holes.  We’ll keep a close eye on the depth-finder watching for fish life below our hole.  If we don’t see something within five minutes, it’s off to another hole.

Dave 3In the past few years there has been a lot of clothing developed for the ice-angler.  But if you’ve got exposed skin, like your face or hands, you’re still going to get cold, and cold is not much fun.  This year, when we start to get cold, we’ll go back to our “headquarters” and warm up.  We’ll keep fishing, as the Ice Castle’s have several holes in strategic locations, and they don’t freeze over.  We’ll have a coffee or hot chocolate or whatever it is that the group is drinking, and maybe a hamburger or brat, and we’ll tell fish stories or whatever until we warm up again.  If we see fish under the holes in the shelter, we’ll probably stay there until we don’t see any more fish.  Then, we’ll go back outside and move from hole to hole again until we need more warmth.  This is a great way to spend time on the ice with family or friends.

When you see fish under your hole that won’t bite, this is the time to experiment.  The Buck-Shot Rattle Spoon is a time-proven bait for walleyes and perch through the ice and is a good bait to start with anytime, anywhere.  But sometimes the fish don’t want the rattles.  This is when you go to something quiet or smaller or a different color:  A Forage Minnow would be a good choice, but most importantly, just try something different.

DSCN9180Ice-fishing is fun and it can be a great way to put fresh fish on the table.  But ice-fishing also has a social flavor to it.  Boys and girls of all ages really enjoy just getting out together.  They have fun trying to get a fish to bite, but they also enjoy hanging out with each other in an environment other than a living room.  Ice-fishing is a bit of an adventure to some.  Headquartering out of a warm shelter while ice-fishing isn’t a new concept, but it is gaining in popularity in a big way.  There are a good number of places across the Midwest where you can rent an Ice Castle for a day or a weekend to experience this style of ice-fishing.  I’m guessing that if you try it once, you’ll want to do it again.

 

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