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mild temperatures
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warm weather
first come first served basis
little knowledge
Ice Fishing: More Than Just Rooting Through The Freezer For Fish Sticks
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For some, fishing is a warm weather only activity. For others, fishing is a year round affair, and it only gets better when the lakes ice up. Ice fishing is not the same as summer time fishing, for a lot of fairly obvious reasons, the least of which includes the element of freezing temperatures.

Yes, it can be more dangerous, but it can also be that much more thrilling as well. Just like with everything else that is worth doing, a little knowledge can go a long way to making your ice fishing experience safer, more comfortable and potentially more successful. If you have never been out on a frozen lake before, you should keep the following tips in mind:

1. Follow all rules and regulations for fishing, including carrying your fishing license. Follow any posted advisories, especially if there has been a run of unseasonably mild temperatures. Remember, never fish on a lake that is deemed to have thin ice.

2. Dress in comfortable, removal layers. You can remove items if you become too warm, and then put them back on as the need arises. It is always better to have more clothing with you then you will actually need than to be stuck out on the ice without enough to be warm. Hypothermia is a potentially dangerous condition. (Try to avoid multiple layers of cotton clothing as it holds moisture and will contribute to your discomfort.)

On a related note, possibly the most important clothing item that you will put on will be your boots. Once your feet become cold and wet it will not matter what you are wearing, you will be unbearably cold.

3. Follow the rules of the lake for your shelter and your actual ice hole. Some lakes will only accommodate so many fisherman and their ice huts, so if that is the case, make sure that you get there early enough to avoid being disappointed. (In most areas, ice fishing is on a first come, first served basis.

4. Pay close attention to weather conditions, before, during and after your fishing trip. If you are in the middle of a fairly large lake and a blizzard comes up out of nowhere you may find yourself disoriented enough to become lost and at danger of falling victim to the harsh winds and blowing snow.

Use a compass or GPS tracking system. Many cell phones have a navigation app, which might make them entirely worth it if you are a frequent ice fisher. (A cell phone should be considered as standard safety equipment.)

5. Know the tools that you will need to be successful. You will need some extra gear a well as some very different tackle to use during ice fishing, so do your research and do not get caught out on the lake without the right tools.

Ice fishing has been enjoyed for virtually forever. Make sure that you are safe, warm and knowledgeable and you will possibly have a whole new wintertime activity to enjoy for years to come.


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