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IceShanty Main => General Ice Fishing Chit Chat => Topic started by: thinblueline on Mar 11, 2021, 12:31 PM

Title: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: thinblueline on Mar 11, 2021, 12:31 PM
I am just now turning 50 years old and I have never ice fished. Iíve been a fisherman my whole life but never on ice, even though Iíve lived a half hour south of Green Bay for the past 18 years. I have zero equipment for the sport, and I know if I ever got into it,  Iíd have to have the latest and greatest in rod and reel outfits, auger, electronics, clothing, etc... Iím really debating if I should just leave the sport alone to avoid pouring that kind of money into another hobby. I hope to retire in about four years, and thereís a part of me that thinks if I really get the fishing bug in winter, Iíll head south to find open water. I also donít have an ATV or snowmobile, and Iíve had some knee and ankle surgeries that will make long distances across snow covered frozen lakes a bit of a pain. Iíd be curious to know how many of you ice fish just to pass the winter blues, and how many do it because they love it more than most other outdoor activities. Iíd also be curious how many of you still love doing it after you have passed the half century mark, and how long you plan on going with this sport.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: ICEHOLE on Mar 11, 2021, 12:37 PM
I am just now turning 50 years old and I have never ice fished. Iíve been a fisherman my whole life but never on ice, even though Iíve lived a half hour south of Green Bay for the past 18 years. I have zero equipment for the sport, and I know if I ever got into it,  Iíd have to have the latest and greatest in rod and reel outfits, auger, electronics, clothing, etc... Iím really debating if I should just leave the sport alone to avoid pouring that kind of money into another hobby. I hope to retire in about four years, and thereís a part of me that thinks if I really get the fishing bug in winter, Iíll head south to find open water. I also donít have an ATV or snowmobile, and Iíve had some knee and ankle surgeries that will make long distances across snow covered frozen lakes a bit of a pain. Iíd be curious to know how many of you ice fish just to pass the winter blues, and how many do it because they love it more than most other outdoor activities. Iíd also be curious how many of you still love doing it after you have passed the half century mark, and how long you plan on going with this sport.

Do you like the cold?
Do you like spending money?
Do you have space for the extra gear?
Are you willing to be outside of your comfort zone once in a while?
Do your feet sweat?
Wife?
Do you have muscles or a machine?
Ok with spilling your coffee before you make it to the ice?

there are more but i gotta get back to work!

i suggest link up with someone who does it regularly and hang out a few times before making the plunge...but you are asking ice fisherman if you should ice fish  ???
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: GOTICE? on Mar 11, 2021, 12:45 PM
Like they say, How do you get a million dollars ice fishing? Start with two million.
No its not that bad, but yes it can add up pretty quick if you let it. I love ice fishing better than soft water fishing but living in Columbus Ohio our season is short.
 I would suggest if you take it up to start small and work your way up. I started with two schooley rods and a bucket. I would fish open holes other people had left because I didn't have an auger. Now I have 5 shanties, dozens of rods, vexilar and three augers.
I am 59 years old and still walk everywhere I fish with the exception of Erie. When you go out 5-6 miles a sled is a must have. As I stated start small before you go all in.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: PikeKing23 on Mar 11, 2021, 12:56 PM
One "trip" south to find open water in the winter would probably cover a great basic setup.  A couple thousand on beginner level ice gear would go a long way.  You don't have to walk far to get going.  A machine can come later.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: primepin65 on Mar 11, 2021, 01:04 PM
Hey there! Welcome to the site! I'm sure if you spend some time browsing all of the different sub-forums, you'll find a wealth of knowledge about the sport to get you up to speed on how things go.

As far as starting to ice fish at 50, I don't believe that it is too late for you! I'm not familiar at all with the Green Bay area for ice fishing as I'm from the Finger Lakes region of New York, but I'm sure there are tons of places that you could fish with short walks from the parking lot. You could also make a post on the Wisconsin sub-forum to find a fishing partner that would be willing to take you out and bring you back on the bigger bodies of water. For gear, I would start out by looking for mostly used equipment like an auger, flasher, and shanty. Most areas that have decent ice fishing have tons of posts on facebook marketplace, craigslist, garage sales, and local fishing forums for used equipment that you could deck yourself out for a fair price. I personally wouldn't start out buying used rods/reels unless you are an avid open-water guy and know what to look for on an abused rod/reel. You can get used jigs/lures on marketplace as well. I would guess that you could get fully loaded on gear for less than $1000 if you're willing to do some leg work online.

Personally, I prefer ice fishing to open water anymore since I don't have a boat. Winters where I live are inconsistent and ice varies greatly from year to year. I've been ice fishing for 16 years and have no plans to ever give it up.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: MumbleSEED on Mar 11, 2021, 01:13 PM
Been a member since 2010 and this is your 3rd post?  Thinking about getting into it now?  I'd say what are you waiting for?
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: hardwater diehard on Mar 11, 2021, 01:19 PM
Hey there! Welcome to the site! I'm sure if you spend some time browsing all of the different sub-forums, you'll find a wealth of knowledge about the sport to get you up to speed on how things go.

As far as starting to ice fish at 50, I don't believe that it is too late for you! I'm not familiar at all with the Green Bay area for ice fishing as I'm from the Finger Lakes region of New York, but I'm sure there are tons of places that you could fish with short walks from the parking lot. You could also make a post on the Wisconsin sub-forum to find a fishing partner that would be willing to take you out and bring you back on the bigger bodies of water. For gear, I would start out by looking for mostly used equipment like an auger, flasher, and shanty. Most areas that have decent ice fishing have tons of posts on facebook marketplace, craigslist, garage sales, and local fishing forums for used equipment that you could deck yourself out for a fair price. I personally wouldn't start out buying used rods/reels unless you are an avid open-water guy and know what to look for on an abused rod/reel. You can get used jigs/lures on marketplace as well. I would guess that you could get fully loaded on gear for less than $1000 if you're willing to do some leg work online.

Personally, I prefer ice fishing to open water anymore since I don't have a boat. Winters where I live are inconsistent and ice varies greatly from year to year. I've been ice fishing for 16 years and have no plans to ever give it up.

Agreed ..after this season I suspect some deals for used equipment..as the pandemic anglers give up the sport . I would start with the safety basics first ..cleats ...spud..and picks ...then some good warm clothing. A good Jet sled ..some basic gear ..tip ups..some simple jigging rods ..as for an auger ..lots of choices hand..gas/propane...electric..cordless drill . If you can find a buddy and/or a new friend that could show you the ropes for an outing or two to let you decide if this is a sport for you .
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: Walted on Mar 11, 2021, 01:53 PM
Join date 2010? You have been thinking about this for a least 11 years. Might not be your thing.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: jrjach75 on Mar 11, 2021, 02:06 PM
It might be worth it to hire a guide for a day, or half day trip. That will give you a taste of what all equipment you might need, and a good guide would at least teach you some technique.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: FG Steve on Mar 11, 2021, 02:11 PM
Iíd be curious to know how many of you ice fish just to pass the winter blues, and how many do it because they love it more than most other outdoor activities. Iíd also be curious how many of you still love doing it after you have passed the half century mark, and how long you plan on going with this sport.

I too am a soft water fisherman.  I am in my 50's and ice fish because I love it.  I plan to do it until I am physically unable.

I have the same all-or-nothing disease.  This will be a terrific retirement activity, but don't jump in without spousal support.  Not everyone is lucky like me to have married a fishing partner.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: A man called horse on Mar 11, 2021, 02:21 PM
You can ice fish successfully for almost nothing.
A hand line, warm clothes, a spud, a license which u already have. I seem to have more success when I hit the ice as a minimalist rather than taking all the toys.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: WALL E GATOR on Mar 11, 2021, 02:26 PM
I never fished on the ice till I was about 48. We used to drive by going Steelhead fishing and laugh at the idiots sitting out there on the ice in the cold. Now I am one of them idiots. Like others said find someone to go with and see if you like it. I have about 10k in gear now including the SnowDog to pull it all out on the lake. I have more and more fun every time I go. Gave up Skiiing and Snowboarding, just to much for this ol' fat man. But I love to sit in the Flip or hole hop around the ice chasing fish. Gets me out in the Winter and for me that is about 80% of it, just get out n do something.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: thinblueline on Mar 11, 2021, 02:57 PM
I joined this site years ago to start a little research but didnít post much cuz I didnít have anything to contribute. I think at the time I was remotely interested, thatís why I joined, but knowing my tendencies to go all in, I figured I better step away at that time. Now my kids are gone and Iím thinking I might want to get into it and get what I need before I find myself on a reduced retirement income. That should explain only three posts since 2010. Thanks for the commentary gents.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: hardwater diehard on Mar 11, 2021, 04:14 PM
I joined this site years ago to start a little research but didnít post much cuz I didnít have anything to contribute. I think at the time I was remotely interested, thatís why I joined, but knowing my tendencies to go all in, I figured I better step away at that time. Now my kids are gone and Iím thinking I might want to get into it and get what I need before I find myself on a reduced retirement income. That should explain only three posts since 2010. Thanks for the commentary gents.

Be warned this sport can be addicting ..but it has many levels ...novice angler to super gadgets and gizmos angler ..any level can have great success in both fun and catches.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: Tuma on Mar 11, 2021, 05:00 PM
Go for it.  Now is a great time to find deals on used equipment.  If you get a fair deal you can resell it and get your money back if you donít like it.  Must haves would be cleats, picks, and warm clothes.  Then see if you can find someone to go with.  I much rather go with someone than by myself.  To start you donít need to buy the best rod money can buy.  You have no clue what you want to target or prestation you will be using.  Get a cheap set up until you fine tune what you want to do.   Itís all about having fun and getting out of the house.  You are never too old to try something new.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: vanhln on Mar 11, 2021, 05:19 PM
I joined this site years ago to start a little research but didnít post much cuz I didnít have anything to contribute. I think at the time I was remotely interested, thatís why I joined, but knowing my tendencies to go all in, I figured I better step away at that time. Now my kids are gone and Iím thinking I might want to get into it and get what I need before I find myself on a reduced retirement income. That should explain only three posts since 2010. Thanks for the commentary gents.

The first thing is, you need ice and Green Bay should give you that.  Like others have said, start small and see if you like it. 

I'm hooked...
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: Mr.Seaguar on Mar 11, 2021, 07:01 PM
I could easily outfit myself with everything I use in a season for $1000. I dont use a sled or anything, I have enough headaches as it is. I stay warm and catch lots of fish, what more do I need.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: Walted on Mar 11, 2021, 07:17 PM
I joined this site years ago to start a little research but didnít post much cuz I didnít have anything to contribute. I think at the time I was remotely interested, thatís why I joined, but knowing my tendencies to go all in, I figured I better step away at that time. Now my kids are gone and Iím thinking I might want to get into it and get what I need before I find myself on a reduced retirement income. That should explain only three posts since 2010. Thanks for the commentary gents.
Understood. Hope I didn't come across as a jerk. As others have said it doesn't cost much to give it a try. Especially since you are already an open water guy. You have everything you need to get started except a way to get through the ice. A hand auger can be purchased cheap and converted to a drill later if you so chose. One more thought is if you live near Green Bay and you are an open water fisherman then you must know someone who is an ice fisherman that would let you tag along. Good luck whatever you decide.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: fishsluggos on Mar 11, 2021, 07:27 PM
I don't have to listen to the bride nag. And there's no bugs. Gotta go flagup  :tipup:
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: thinblueline on Mar 11, 2021, 07:31 PM
Understood. Hope I didn't come across as a jerk. As others have said it doesn't cost much to give it a try. Especially since you are already an open water guy. You have everything you need to get started except a way to get through the ice. A hand auger can be purchased cheap and converted to a drill later if you so chose. One more thought is if you live near Green Bay and you are an open water fisherman then you must know someone who is an ice fisherman that would let you tag along. Good luck whatever you decide.

Didnít take you for a jerk at all. Iíve got a pretty thick skin. Iíve probably been cussed out or threatened at least once a week on average, every week for nearly 29 years, so youíre gonna have to do more to offend me.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: bogtrotter on Mar 11, 2021, 08:42 PM
Find a friend who ice fishes - - Go out with him (or her) a few times - - And see if you like it.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: Unclegillhunter on Mar 12, 2021, 05:29 AM
Find a friend who ice fishes - - Go out with him (or her) a few times - - And see if you like it.
This is the way to go. someone who is in the sport will be able to cut the purchasing and learning curve way down. I am 67 and plan on doing it for the duration. one thing you should understand most of us started with one rod a hand auger and a bucket. we didn't go out and buy it all at once. I say go for it!
Keep it safe! JDL
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: Roccus on Mar 12, 2021, 07:19 AM
You can ice fish successfully for almost nothing.
A hand line, warm clothes, a spud, a license which u already have. I seem to have more success when I hit the ice as a minimalist rather than taking all the toys.
This is the best advise yet.. ice fishing can be as simplistic or as complex as we make it..
I was ice fishing  before you were born, simple gear,like a tip section of a fly rod with line holder taped on that was made from a coat hanger, axe and tire iron made the hole, a colander raided from the kitchen cleared the ice chips..bait was grubs found in golden rod pods and tipped an old tarnished Al's gold fish.. it can be that simple, obviously,  things have changed, we no longer have to stuff news paper in our boots for insulation,  clothing and quality gear can be had for a reasonable price..or.. you can make your own..no matter what you decide., a day out of the house in the clean crisp air will provide victim D and exercise and if you do catch a fish it will be a bonus..and you dont need to spend a fortune.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: VTLakers on Mar 12, 2021, 08:14 AM
Stop second guessing yourself and buy some cheaper stuff before you go all in to see if you like it. Then next year, go all out and buy all the toys and gadgets and brand new rods and reels you can afford, if you find a love for the sport like many of us have done. It can be the cheapest or most expensive sport you want to turn it into.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: Fish Farmer on Mar 12, 2021, 09:26 AM
I am just now turning 50 years old and I have never ice fished. Iíve been a fisherman my whole life but never on ice, even though Iíve lived a half hour south of Green Bay for the past 18 years. I have zero equipment for the sport, and I know if I ever got into it,  Iíd have to have the latest and greatest in rod and reel outfits, auger, electronics, clothing, etc... Iím really debating if I should just leave the sport alone to avoid pouring that kind of money into another hobby. I hope to retire in about four years, and thereís a part of me that thinks if I really get the fishing bug in winter, Iíll head south to find open water. I also donít have an ATV or snowmobile, and Iíve had some knee and ankle surgeries that will make long distances across snow covered frozen lakes a bit of a pain. Iíd be curious to know how many of you ice fish just to pass the winter blues, and how many do it because they love it more than most other outdoor activities. Iíd also be curious how many of you still love doing it after you have passed the half century mark, and how long you plan on going with this sport.

I'm 51, I do it less now than I did when I was in my 20's when it was new water and new sport for me. Vermont winters can be long, but can also be short. If I'm able I'm open water fishing into December/January for steelhead/salmon I'll do it.

I walk where I can, but don't in heavy snow and I don't have a 4wd vehicle now so some spots can be off limits if access isn't plowed. I rarely tip up fish, mostly jig for panfish which can be found within easy walks.

Other than several augers and a used flip over, I still have the same bucket, jigging rods and cheap sled from many years ago. I have a boat fish finder which I can use of ice fishing if needed.

I'll continue to do it until the wife finds a way to pay our trips to Florida/Arizona in the wintertime when we retire.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: WALL E GATOR on Mar 12, 2021, 09:30 AM
I started cheap. Hell I think my first time out I had a Kiddie pole, cause thats all I found on short notice. Maybe spent a couple hundred to be mostly outfitted , auger, scoop, schooley, n a better pole than that kiddie pole I started with. Now 5 years later I bought a SnowDog to Haul all my crap out on the ice and I have more fun every time I go. Wooohaaaa!
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: Light liner on Mar 12, 2021, 09:46 AM
Yes, more time on the water is always better.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: Roccus on Mar 12, 2021, 10:39 AM
Yes, more time on the water is always better.
My Dad, always said that days spent fishing dont count against your time on earth..
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: Snitch#8 on Mar 12, 2021, 11:13 AM
I'm 63 and have been fishing for about 55 of them, both on the water and ice.  I live near Saginaw Bay where we have an abundance of walleye and perch.  There is also a good population of blue gills, crappies, bass both large and small mouth, pike, trout and a number of other species.  The reason I mention this is because Green Bay is pretty similar to what you can catch.  Yes, a machine to get out is essential, but not a must.  I have a bad heart and lungs and I still do a lot of ice fishing.  I get out on the shelf ice along shore during first and last ice.  This time of the year is a great time to find fish in the shallows.  I also have a quad for traveling great distances but that can wait.  Along with the shore ice, I'm pretty sure Green Bay has a number of marina's, cuts/ditches, rivers and other fish holding places along it's shore.  All of these are easily accessible to walking.  As stated above, start building your equipment now, before retiring.  But, you don't need it all at once.  You can find entry level flashers for about $250.  As far as I'm concerned a flasher is a must.  I have (2) walleye rods and two bluegill, crappie, perch rods.  I spent about $25 dollars for each rod.  As for the reels, I use in-line reels for bluegill fishing, each cost about $20 and I use the same reels I use for open water fishing for my walleye rods.  I just swap them from long pole to short one for ice fishing.  If you want to be comfortable in bad weather you will want a flip over shanty.  They can be had for a couple hundred bucks on Craig's list and at your local auction.  You will also need a good suit.  Your suit will most likely be the most expensive piece a gear you will buy.  Don't splurge.  A good one might run about $400.  As stated above start our slow and add to your collection every year.  One good place to check is the thread about "pay it forward" on here.  There are a lot of ice fishermen that have more equipment then they will ever use, who are more then happy to share.  I found it very rewarding when I gave my old jiffy auger to a fellow Vet.  If I were you I'd start with; a second hand suit to keep you warm, a flasher, a couple of poles, a spud-this is a must to check the ice and open a hole, a few jigs and a good pair of boots.  You most likely already have them and possibly a suit, so your ahead of the game.  Also like stated above, if you don't have friends to take you out to show you the ropes, there are a lot of guys and gals on here, who would be more then happy to help you get started.  As for how long I plan on ice fishing, I have three buddies that I ice fish with, who are in their mid-80's.  Some day, I hope to be doing the same!  Hopefully all the comments on here will guide you in the right direction.  And, welcome to the sport, you'll love it! 
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: thinblueline on Mar 12, 2021, 12:40 PM
Thoroughly enjoyed reading all of your comments and advice guys. Thank-you very much for taking the time to respond.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: Mr.Seaguar on Mar 12, 2021, 02:06 PM
I entered the tackle giveaway. If I win you can have it
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: Light liner on Mar 12, 2021, 02:13 PM
My Dad, always said that days spent fishing dont count against your time on earth..

Wow, I like that.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: Mr.Seaguar on Mar 12, 2021, 03:45 PM
I bet they count if you die while fishing. Drowning, eaten by shark, bear attack, getting caught in an auger, hypothermia, angry fellow fishermen attack, angry wife attack, you never know. Lightning, hailstones like a bowling ball, somebody drops a shoe out of an airplane. Could be anything.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: badger132 on Mar 12, 2021, 04:47 PM
If you are going to live in Wisconsin, you must at least be OK with winter, and since you open water fish, you already know some good spots. As far as the gear, figuring out what to get and how to use it, increasing your effectiveness as you go is part of the fun- once you can go out and catch fish at will, the thrill will be gone! People in the midwest ice fished in their deer hunting orange for decades before dedicated clothing, and there were plenty of fish caught on home made gear. Don't let the budget be a barrier- get a simple kit and give it a go. Now is the time when people are getting rid of gear- by next season you can find an older guy getting out of the sport that kept his gear in top shape- probably figured out what to buy from decades of practice too. I would set up for walking first- you are still too young to sit in a shanty all day- that will just make you old quick!

 :tipup:
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: Snitch#8 on Mar 12, 2021, 05:18 PM
I bet they count if you die while fishing. Drowning, eaten by shark, bear attack, getting caught in an auger, hypothermia, angry fellow fishermen attack, angry wife attack, you never know. Lightning, hailstones like a bowling ball, somebody drops a shoe out of an airplane. Could be anything.
One of my cousins and his brother were fishing together in a boat when the one had a heart attack and died.  I'll bet my last dollar if he had his choice, it would have been dying in his boat.  The unfortunate part was his brother having to witness it and not being able to help.  They are both gone now and I'll also bet that they're either hunting or fishing together still.   In the boat or blind, what a way to go!
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: Roccus on Mar 12, 2021, 06:17 PM
I bet they count if you die while fishing. Drowning, eaten by shark, bear attack, getting caught in an auger, hypothermia, angry fellow fishermen attack, angry wife attack, you never know. Lightning, hailstones like a bowling ball, somebody drops a shoe out of an airplane. Could be anything.
Ah..but they are not counted against  you.. they go down as time served!
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: 9huskies on Mar 12, 2021, 06:54 PM
I didn't ice fish until I was 48 years old. 13 years later I'm on the ice about 40 days every winter. My initial setup would cost less than $300 today. You can get into this sport without spending a lot of money.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: WARRIOR_ON_ICE on Mar 12, 2021, 08:53 PM
You can ice fish successfully for almost nothing.
A hand line, warm clothes, a spud, a license which u already have. I seem to have more success when I hit the ice as a minimalist rather than taking all the toys.

Yup, what he said except a few more things: A spud is perfectly fine for cutting holes in 6 or fewer inches of ice, beyond that you need a basic 6 inch hand auger. I am a tipup fisherman so would not go on the ice without them so ad those to the jigging rod as basic gear, but the point about being a minimalist I could not agree with more. So many guys just keep buying more and more gear every season, and I laugh at them because I outfish them by a lot with my basic gear that I have had for over 30 years ( I am 56 and have been on the ice every year since I was 22 ). Having a ton of expensive gear might make you feel better, but KNOWLEDGE of the lake and what the fish like for bait is what will get you success with ice fishing. Knowledge is earned from fishing a place repeatedly, and it is not given away and can't be bought.

You are not close to being too old to start this sport. GO FOR IT, it will change your life like you can't even imagine.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: P-Wo on Mar 12, 2021, 09:09 PM
I am not sure what the current ice conditions are in your area but if the ice is safe, and others are out fishing, put on a life jacket and go out and talk to them. Most will be more than happy to tell you anything youíll listen to. A friend of mine came out 4 or 5 times before he started buying his equipment.

I started when I was 45, and went anywhere on the ice I wanted to, pulling my sled as I went. Now Iím 59 and go only as far as I want to, still pulling my sled. Some days I go with a group of 6 or 8 other days I go by myself. Either way I enjoy myself.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: BRsnow on Mar 12, 2021, 11:47 PM
If you can catch fish open water, you will enjoy ice. The electronics make it seem like a video game. You need an auger and basic sonar. Cheap entry to Ice fishing.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: jiignut on Mar 13, 2021, 02:06 PM
No.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: 9huskies on Mar 14, 2021, 12:42 PM
No.



I say yes but he won't be adding to the fishing pressure where I fish.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: thinblueline on Mar 17, 2021, 09:36 PM
Well, you guys have convinced me to start ice fishing next season and now Iíve made my first purchase. I ordered a Striker Ice Hardwater Jacket and Bibs for 30 percent off, which I thought was a pretty good deal. Hopefully it fits. Next up, rods and reels. Next fall Iíll grab a fish finder, auger and pop up shanty to round out my big ticket items. Hopefully this will make the long winters go by just a bit quicker.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: slipperybob on Mar 17, 2021, 10:43 PM
Get some traction, ice cleats too, makes a huge difference to start.

Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: wyogator on Mar 17, 2021, 11:14 PM
I started out with two jigging rods, a Mora hand auger, a five gallon bucket, a few Swedish Pimples and Kastmasters, a small Plano tackle bag, and a $7.00 kiddie sled from Wal-Mart.  It's been 20 years, but I remember it like it was yesterday.  Once I realized I was going to be in this for the long haul, I bought a cheap $100 Eagle Fish Easy fishfinder.  The next winter, I bought an Eskimo Quick Flip, then a gas auger.  Every year, I added more and more gear.  I honestly think you can get into this sport for under $200, cheaper than a weekend ski trip.  I say go for it. Just don't buy a lot of gear until you are sure that you want to be an ice fisherman.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: wyogator on Mar 17, 2021, 11:16 PM
I forgot to add spud bar, cleats and ice picks... Super important!
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: jiignut on Mar 18, 2021, 07:10 AM
Beer
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: thinblueline on Mar 18, 2021, 07:20 AM
Of for sure Iíll have the cleats, spud bar and ice picks. Looking at videos, even with a floatation suit, getting back on that ice looks like it would be a chore without ice picks.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: Fry Flier on Mar 18, 2021, 08:45 AM
I am a year-round fisher and I do it my way, You just need to figure out your way. My way at 63 is hand pulling my sled with my gear in it or my 1 man shelter with a little less at times. Gear if you want to fish can cost as little or as much as you want to spend. You have bucket sitters, shelter tent & hub fishers, you have hard and soft side fisher, fishers with ice castles. It is their way to fish. A good example is my brother who fishes in the summer he has his 45 thousand dollar boat and will not fish it 1/4 of the time as I do with my 14 foot tinny because he needs help at the docks and launch (i do not), he will not launch into pocket water or roadside launches (i do), he will not fish the shallows(I do), he will not fish uncharted water lakes or water areas on those waters (I do). It is not go big or go home, It is what you want. Someday I might want an Ice Castle but now I do not, I do believe that I would make good use of a SnoDog or similar style sled, so I have been investigating the idea for 2 seasons since I will likely purchase one for my retirement present. Did not purchase one this year since I think you will find pandemic deals when this C-19 slows down. Good Luck find an icefisher go out a few x's, they will take you out to show and help. Hire a guide if you wish to go out and have all the essential items covered in the trip cost.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: Adironzach on Mar 18, 2021, 09:32 AM
absolutely get into ice fishing!! You can always meet some young guns to help drag your gear too. i'll always help drag some of the OGs gear that i fish with. Its my favorite way to fish. I cant wait for the cold weather every year and plan on doing this for as long as my body physically allows me too. Granted im only 30, so i plan to have another half century + on the hard water  ;D ;D As for gear, start light and low budget and just slowly improve and upgrade as the years pass. A stryker 4 would be my suggestion for a finder. it will get the job done and only runs $100-120. id suggest spending money on the reel over the rod. There are alot of good quality rods that can be found for <$30. If youre targeting lake trout in deeper water, definitely run braid, otherwise flouro should be more than enough for pannies or walleye. IS forums are a wealth of knowledge and if your ask for help, you shouldnt have to wait long before somebody will at least PM you with some answers. a spud is a must and one of the most crucial pieces of equipment youll own. Learn how to use it and keep yourself dry. my spud bar has definitely saved my life before by finding hidden weak spots in the ice. Good luck and tight lines!
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: thinblueline on Mar 18, 2021, 09:41 AM
Thanks again for the additional comments
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: thinblueline on Mar 23, 2021, 07:49 AM
As I said, Iíve been fishing all my life and I love to catch fish, itís just that I knew my tendencies to go all in on outdoor pursuits I love, so I avoided ice fishing. Now with kids gone, and debts paid, my wife gave me the green light to jump into ice fishing as I have steadily grown to fish more and hunt less nearing retirement.

After buying my ice suit on clearance, I just tackled rods and reels. I didnít want to spend money on a bucket full of rods and reels, knowing a lot of guys eventually reach past their pile for a select few they live by, so I decided to buy five quality outfits to serve all my purposes. Iíve scoured old threads on here and other sites for a consensus on rod makes and models, and Iíve read all the debates on what is custom and what is not, and what is cheap and what is too expensive for ice fishing. While there appears to be many happy customers for many different kinds of rods, the two that stood out the most to me and appears to have been written about more than any others is Thorne Brothers and TUCR.

My ice fishing time will be spent almost entirely going after bluegills, crappies and perch on inland lakes along with whitefish and the occasional walleye on Green Bay.

From the hundreds of opinions Iíve read over several years of threads, I special ordered two rods from Thorne Brothers, a Quiverstick and Powernoodle, and three rods from TUCR, a Precision Noodle, a Bullwhip, and a Precision. All rods will have REC guides and straight cork handles. To go along with those rods, I picked up five Okuma Ceymar C-10 spinning reels with the upgraded carbontex drag washers from TUCR.

Thanks for all the reviews and opinions you have given over the years that have led to my purchases. I look forward to using them next year.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: SLAYERFISH on Mar 23, 2021, 10:07 AM
Screw ice fishing. Its cold and miserable especially when you not catching. I couldn't care less if I never ice fished again! ;D
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: Bucket Rump on Mar 23, 2021, 10:56 AM
As I said, Iíve been fishing all my life and I love to catch fish, itís just that I knew my tendencies to go all in on outdoor pursuits I love, so I avoided ice fishing. Now with kids gone, and debts paid, my wife gave me the green light to jump into ice fishing as I have steadily grown to fish more and hunt less nearing retirement.

After buying my ice suit on clearance, I just tackled rods and reels. I didnít want to spend money on a bucket full of rods and reels, knowing a lot of guys eventually reach past their pile for a select few they live by, so I decided to buy five quality outfits to serve all my purposes. Iíve scoured old threads on here and other sites for a consensus on rod makes and models, and Iíve read all the debates on what is custom and what is not, and what is cheap and what is too expensive for ice fishing. While there appears to be many happy customers for many different kinds of rods, the two that stood out the most to me and appears to have been written about more than any others is Thorne Brothers and TUCR.

My ice fishing time will be spent almost entirely going after bluegills, crappies and perch on inland lakes along with whitefish and the occasional walleye on Green Bay.

From the hundreds of opinions Iíve read over several years of threads, I special ordered two rods from Thorne Brothers, a Quiverstick and Powernoodle, and three rods from TUCR, a Precision Noodle, a Bullwhip, and a Precision. All rods will have REC guides and straight cork handles. To go along with those rods, I picked up five Okuma Ceymar C-10 spinning reels with the upgraded carbontex drag washers from TUCR.

Thanks for all the reviews and opinions you have given over the years that have led to my purchases. I look forward to using them next year.

Sounds like you're getting pretty well set - congrats on getting into the ice fishing sport!  I've been at this endeavor in one form or another for over 50 years and I still don't have everything I "need" by my standards - something seems to get added to the arsenal each year.  Thought I had a handle on it and then the recent idea of trying darkhouse spearing again happened one day - did it a few times long ago as a teenager - and before I knew it another ice fishing B.O.A.T. (Bust Out Another Thousand) found it's way in.  Good luck to staying disciplined and have fun out there!


Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: A man called horse on Apr 04, 2021, 02:08 PM
Yup, what he said except a few more things: A spud is perfectly fine for cutting holes in 6 or fewer inches of ice, beyond that you need a basic 6 inch hand auger. I am a tipup fisherman so would not go on the ice without them so ad those to the jigging rod as basic gear, but the point about being a minimalist I could not agree with more. So many guys just keep buying more and more gear every season, and I laugh at them because I outfish them by a lot with my basic gear that I have had for over 30 years ( I am 56 and have been on the ice every year since I was 22 ). Having a ton of expensive gear might make you feel better, but KNOWLEDGE of the lake and what the fish like for bait is what will get you success with ice fishing. Knowledge is earned from fishing a place repeatedly, and it is not given away and can't be bought.

You are not close to being too old to start this sport. GO FOR IT, it will change your life like you can't even imagine.

The more toys & paraphernalia you have, the less attentive you are to whatís happening to your bait/ lure.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: Gamalot on Apr 06, 2021, 06:42 AM
I retired from the Thinblueline many years ago. I started fishing on ice back in the early 1960s and have been at it ever since. Anything that gets me off my ass in the dead of winter is a pleasure for me but at your age I will make one suggestion. Where gear is concerned some do it right because they do it twice. Buying cheap or not buying the necessities will be a costly mistake. I don't go ice fishing to freeze my rear off and suffer in pain. Every item I buy makes my ice fishing days more productive and more comfortable. With that said, the more you buy the harder it is to get it out to where you want to fish. You can set yourself up for light duty, short distance and fair weather ice or go for the gusto and also set up for brutal conditions and long excursions. I have both set ups and highly prefer the long distance and somewhat brutal conditions when I go with pals. Light duty and fair weather when I go alone. I prefer to target either trout or walleye and am not at all thrilled with panfish or slime dart freshwater barracudas, pickerel or pike. Plan your ice days based on the conditions and the body of water you will fish. Lots here go with a bucket, rod and some jigs and a flasher and they catch plenty of fish. Others go with hundreds of pounds of gear towed behind a machine and set up camp on the ice for the entire day or longer. Pop up or flip over sled mounted shanties are all the rage for the long and cold days but the more you bring the more you need a pack mule to do the dragging. Having a few buddies to join you on the ice is the very best part of this sport IMO. Lots of laughter and great memories ensue on days when you can all fish together and eat, drink and be merry while catching fish and screwing up with you buddies right there to poke fun at each other. Safety is the #1 rule that I go by. Safe ice, safe practices while out there and avoiding the dumb stuff that can get you hurt or seriously injured. Spud, Cleats, Ice Spikes and keep your sharp auger blades covered when not drilling and hooks not just dangling where they catch fisherman instead of fish. Be a Boy Scout and go prepared for the unexpected works for us. Unlike fishing from a smallish boat in cramped conditions a crew of buddies can all gather around on the ice and have a blast doing what they love to do.
Title: Re: Should I Get Into Ice Fishing
Post by: Fry Flier on Apr 06, 2021, 06:51 PM
The more toys & paraphernalia you have, the less attentive you are to whatís happening to your bait/ lure.
That is exactly why the Aquavu did not make it out this year, only used it 2 times in 2 seasons both last year. Likely sell it off this year and upgrade my Vex or Graph.