With the advancement of technology, shifts in ice fishing began to take place. Enthusiasts no longer have to build permanent shelters on the ice, neither do they have to rely on guesswork to determine the right place to make a hole. For that matter, neither do they have to make that hole just by using their hands. There are special tools to do all of these tasks i’ve outlined above. Using those tools has its own advantages and drawbacks, but one of the most significant drawbacks has to be uncertainty of whether you have a good position or not. In the old days, you thought long and hard about the spot before you chose to start fishing there. Now, due to increased mobility, it’s no longer necessary to do as much research, but lingering question still remains and bothers us – should i stay here, or can i find better spot somewhere else? I’ve been ice fishing on and off for ten years now, and that question has never stopped popping up in my head so far. I’ve learnt to deal with it, so i decided to write this post so i could give some pointers on how to handle the stress and have good time on the ice.
The task of finding good location is obviously made easy with special electronic tools that tell you the location of the fish. If you chose a spot to make a hole, but you see that there are no fish underneath you, then the choice is easy – move somewhere else. But there are times when there are plenty of fish, but for some reason, they ignore the bait. When that happens, you’re dealing with something out of control and no matter how hard you try, you’re never going to catch any of them. If you will, it will be at great cost to your time. So in my experience, it’s just easier to move somewhere else.
Sometimes you will be catching a lot of fish, but it’s not the species you intended to catch. This is pretty common, considering devices can’t distinguish between different kinds of fish. If that sort of thing is important to you, it’s also wise to move.
Now let’s talk about when you should stay. Obviously, if you like the kind of fish you’re catching and the frequency at which you’re successful in catching them, there’s little reason to move. Although it is common pattern to see fish coming onto your bait, but only playing with it and not committing themselves to it. In my experience, that’s a good sign and if you stay put long enough, you’ll catch lot of them. There might be specific reasons for why fish aren’t biting just yet. It might be turbulent weather, something in the water, or any minor reason. Most important advice i haven’t yet given you, is to stick around for evenings and early mornings. Those are the times when day and night are switching places, and that’s when fish are most active. So if you’ve switched spots many times but still aren’t having any luck, it might just be because of the time of the day. If you stick around for evenings and dusks, you should be able to catch your fair share of fish. Provided that you have good ice fishing equipment of course. Rod is obviously important, but ice fishing boots, gloves and shelters are just as important. Having solid ice fishing gloves is especially important.
If you catch yourself switching holes too frequently, getting good powered ice fishing auger might be a wise idea. Manual augers are cheap and effective, but when it comes to drilling more than few holes, they are exhausting. Motorized augers, on the other hand, whether they are powered by gas or electricity, are extremely fast and efficient in drilling holes. They cost few hundred dollars, true, but the energy they’ll be saving you is worth it in the long run. That is, of course, if you’re planning to do this sort of thing often. If you’re just dipping your toe in waters of ice fishing, then it’s smarter to take your time before you make any significant investments in any of the tools i’ve outlined here. If you do decide to get powered ice augers though, make sure to pay attention to the reviews.