Saturday, March 2, 2013

Fishing For Ice

The Old Lady keeps saying she doesn't understand why anyone would go icefishing when we have the technology to make ice!! Her problem is she is fixating on the first part of the word, not the operative part, the last part of the word.
This is me and a friend with our tents set up in the middle of the bay (at least a half mile from shore). Of the half dozen times I've been out icefishing the thinnest ice we've had was about 6 inches. The thickest was about a foot. Some will go and fish on 3 or 4 inches of ice or less. To be safe you need at least 4 inches to run 4wheelers or snowmobiles.

This shows the setup in the tent. My thermos of coffee, a camp stool to sit on, a Coleman back packing stove with a diffuser for heat, and my fishing supplies in a bucket. The heat diffuser came with an old Coleman one burner stove that I bought at a rummage sale. The stove never worked right and I couldn't get parts for it to fix it. When I did some online research, I found out that model stove got recalled about 6 months after it went on the market because it had a design problem. I modified the heat diffuser to work with the new stove as the new stove was smaller than the old one. Got 5 hours on one fill up one day.
This is a hole that I chopped with a spud. The ice auger that my friend has wouldn't work that day. Turned out there was a chunk of ice jamming the recoil start and couldn't get it to turn. It is surprising how much light is under the ice. The camera doesn't show how far below the ice you can see.  With a small lure on the line, I can see it over 20 feet down. Lake Superior is a pretty clean lake. Even with snow on the ice and a tent over the hole, there is a lot of light under the ice. With a light colored lure and light colored bait like a wax worm, the light reflects back off them a lot. It's hard to describe how it looks.

This shows just a few of the icefishing shelters. On the weekend it can look like a small cities on the ice with tents and shacks clustered in various spots where people have had luck catching fish. Also, the type of fish you are after will determine where you set up your stuff. I can see where having some kind of shack has its advantages. The shacks get left on the ice when it is thick enough and stay there as long as the ice is safe or until the end of March, then they have to be removed each day when you are done fishing. The advantage I can see to having a shack is the seating can be made more comfortable than a stool or bucket to sit on. Also you could lean back in the shack to get comfortable or if you have a bench in it you could stretch out and take a nap. Just put a bell on your fishing line.


  1. Looks like fun but never was much of a fisherman.

  2. We recently had three snowmobillers go through the ice on Rangeley Lake, about 40 miles north of here. The wardens have located the snowmobiles at the bottom of the lake but there is no sign of the drivers. Because ice diving is not considered safe the wardens will wait until thaw to search for the bodies.

    be careful
    the Ol'Buzzard

  3. I might be done icefishing. I can't go out for another week or so because I had cataract surgery and have to take it easy while the eye heals. Also my friend took back his tent, so I don't have a tent to use.


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