Ice fishing is the practice of catching fish with lines and fish hooks or spears through an opening in the ice on a frozen body of water. It can be done in many different ways. Ice anglers may sit on the stool in the open on a frozen lake, or in a heated ice fishing house or cabin on the ice, some with bunks and amenities.
Ice Fishing Locations
There are many great ice fishing locations around the world. It is a popular pastime in Canada, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Germany. In the United States, people from northern states with lakes and long cold winters also enjoy the activity.
Ice Fishing Houses
Ice fishing houses are great for the ice fishing angler who wants to stay warm. A structure with various local names, but often called an ice shanty, ice shack, fish house, shack, bobhouse, or ice hut, is sometimes used. These are dragged or trailered onto the lake using a vehicle such as a snowmobile, ATV or truck.
The two most commonly used types are portable and permanent. The portable houses are often made of a heavy material that is usually water tight. The two most common types of portable houses are when your shelter flips behind the user when not needed, or a pop up shelter so the only means out is through a door. The permanent shelters are made of wood or metal and usually have wheels for easy transport. They can be as basic as a bunk heater and holes or having satellite TV, bathrooms, stoves, full size beds and may appear to be more like a mobile home than a fishing house.
Ice Fishing Equipment
Having the right ice fishing gear is an important part of any ice fishing adventure. Ice fishing gear is highly specialized. First, an ice saw or auger or chisel is required to cut a circular hole or larger rectangular hole in the ice. It is recommended an 8 inch or 20 cm hole is drilled through the ice. Power augers are sometimes used. If these are not available then axes are used to chop a hole in the ice. A skimmer which is a large metal spoon with holes in it, is used to remove new ice as it forms and to clear slush left from making the hole.
During colder periods most ice anglers choose to carry a heater of some type. The heater is for warmth and it also keeps an anglers fishing hole from freezing. When temperatures reach -20 °F or colder it becomes very hard to keep a fishing hole open.
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