The rough, unruly winters are that time of the year in the US calendar when white is everywhere underfoot. Never mind the chilling winds, as soon as there is some glazing of ice on the rivers, outdoorsmen and avid angler (s) make like holy men and walk on water in search of hot fishing action, popularly known as “ice fishing”. A simple sport where you just drill a hole and catch fish, there is more to it than simple outdoor entertainment. Yes, not many angler (s) are supposed to know that somewhere between the hole drilling and the fish catching, millions of dollars is spent on equipment. It is an astonishing fact that every year, there are quite a number of wealthy individuals and industries who are quite instrumental in supporting the ice fishing product economy, with some of them willing to shell out for every new gadget that hits the ice market.
The purpose of such investment in the ice fishing market is to promote the cause of ice fishing among the angling community. Coupled with it is the lure of camaraderie, which binds an angler to another in the ice fishing sport. Whether you are huddled together on four inches of ice on a frozen lake in Illinois with your lures, fishing bait, or a group of permanent shacks is parked on two feet of ice in northern Minnesota, the fishing takes a back seat to the total outdoors experience. If you are somewhat a foodie, all you do is step on any frozen lake any time of day and get into a group of ice fishermen and you will smell chili, stew, spaghetti, soup, beanie weenies, coffee or hot chocolate on someone’s burner. Remember the old adage: “food tastes better on the ice than in the kitchen”.
That said, it must be also admitted that the most favorite ice fishing targets are to be enjoyed with the family. If you are equipped with proper fishing lures, fishing tackle, fishing bait and other fishing equipment for ice fishing, there is nothing like the thrill of pulling a trophy northern pike or a trophy-sized trout fish through the ice. With a proper game plan and the right equipment (including your choice of lures and fishing bait), you can set yourself up to put some beautiful fish up on the ice.
With all the pluses ice fishing has going for it, there is still a multitude of anglers who have never ventured out for ice fishing with their fishing lures, tackles and fishing bait (s). May be they don’t ice fish because they are scared of walking on a frozen lake and of falling through into the icy water. However, this fear of angler (s) can be alleviated with an equipment called the spud bar. Basically an iron rod with a chisel tip used to check the safety of the ice, it is an essential piece of equipment of ice fishing anglers in various areas in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Not much ice fishermen in the US own this equipment, though. But in spite of the fear factor, there actually are some avid anglers who get real crazy about ice fishing on river backwaters, the Great Lakes, and on early and late ice (when it is the most dangerous). Can you believe, there are those who have fallen through over a dozen times, driven snowmobiles and ATVs off into the abyss, and all this for an eight-inch bluegill or an eighteen inch trout fish?
Nowadays the various fishing industries has come up with great lures and fishing bait equipment that are just ideal for Ice Fishing as well as open water summer fishing. There are several high quality ice fishing lures that expert ice fishermen desired. Ratso, Shrimpo, Finesse Plastics,
Ant and Rat Finkee all have been used with great success by anglers all year round.
Some of the most used fishing bait (s) that angler (s) use for ice fishing are as follows:
-Wax Worms, Preserved Natural Baits: These are genuine cream-color wax worms naturally preserved to retain their original consistency, scent and fish-catching power.
-Shiner Minnows (Large): Natural, wild minnows preserved to retain their life-like appearance.
-White Fly Flicks, Specialty Pork: The tiniest pork rind made, used to catch panfish, trout, salmon, bass, shad, pompano, small channel bass.
-Grass Shrimp, Preserved Natural: Miniature, whole grass shrimp naturally preserved to maintain life-like scent and appearance.
-Real Maggots: Preserved Natural: Genuine multi-colored maggots naturally preserved, with tender inside and tough outer skin.
With all these fishing bait (s) and lures, an angler can create a game plan to give him the highest opportunity possible to catch the monsters on the waters.