One Last Trip on the Ice

News & Tips: One Last Trip on the Ice

OneLastTripJA blog you are lucky enough (or unlucky enough depending on how you see it) to live in an area that has been getting hit with the extended snow and cold, ice fishing might still be on the agenda. And late season ice fishing can be great. Some of the best bites from northern, trout and salmon come this time year as these species start to move and become active.

Regardless of the body of water you plan on fishing all late season ice fishermen should plan for the worst. Floating ice suits, life jackets and survival gear (ice picks and rope) should be packed carefully. Even though ice maybe over a foot think in spots, warm weather and strong currents can create thin porous ice. Drilling/chipping frequent holes in the ice as you make your way out to your favorite spot is always a good idea. Just because there are old tracks or fishing sign that does not mean the ice is safe. Knowing how much ice you are walking on and what the ice looks like from the underside is key to keeping you as safe as possible.

If you find a body of water that has safe ice try to key on areas that fish are likely to frequent this time of year. Research the body of water you are planning on fishing to figure out what where fish will likely be. Many experienced ice anglers feel that mobility is the key to success with late season ice fishing. If you can find the fish, you will probably get them to bite. The key is to get your bait to where the fish can find it and the best way to do that is by moving frequently. Drilling several holes in a fishy area and jigging for a few minutes will let you know what is around. Keep moving until you get on a hole that has fish under or around it.

One last idea when fishing this time of year is not getting hung up on trying to catch just one type of fish. In most cases one fish species for some reason or other will be feeding heavier than others. Be adaptable enough to switch tactics or presentations at a drop of a dime if you suspect a different target is in the area feeding. Get out for one more trip onto the ice this weekend or next it might just be the last of the season.