I Didn’t Listen to My Own Advice…

It wasn’t long ago that I wrote a post about preparing your equipment for the ice fishing season as we awaited “safe ice.” Among the list of things to do were to charge your battery for your flasher and set up your portable ice fishing shelter to check for damage.

I didn’t do either of these things before my first venture out on the ice this season. I got out to my spot, drilled my first hole, and dropped my transducer down. I marked fish for about two minutes before my battery died. Then, as I was setting up my pop-up shelter, the roof braces fell out. It was a cold and windy day and I had to listen to the roof flapping in the wind as I fished without a flasher.

Luckily, I was able to catch about a dozen fish and take home a couple of keepers, but it was not an enjoyable trip because I didn’t take my own advice. Check your gear before you leave. It’s easier to do it at home than managing malfunctions in below-zero temperatures in the middle of a frozen lake.

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Ice Fishing is Coming Soon Enough… Be Safe!

The window for ideal fall fishing seemed to open and close more quickly than usual this year. High temperatures across much of the ice belt have been below freezing for about a week now. Some overnight lows have approached zero degrees. Skim ice has formed on ponds and the shallow bays of some lakes. This has some people champing at the bit to get out on hard water and drill their first holes of the year. Continue reading “Ice Fishing is Coming Soon Enough… Be Safe!”

Red River Fishing Report (April 15, 2016)

It’s been a busy couple of weeks between school, work, and other commitments so I didn’t let 30+mph wind and occasional rain deter me from getting out and catching fish this afternoon. Though the conditions weren’t great, the fishing was good and got better as the day progressed–likely due to rising water temperature. Continue reading “Red River Fishing Report (April 15, 2016)”

End of Season Ice Fishing Equipment Care

Before the lakes froze up, I posted an article on preparing gear for use after it had been in storage during the off season. Last week, I posted an article on late ice safety as it seems spring will be arriving early this year. It won’t be long until the ice is gone and we put away our ice fishing gear for another year. A little bit of preparation before stowing your gear in the attic can help add longevity to the life of your gear, and make things easier for you next season. Continue reading “End of Season Ice Fishing Equipment Care”

Early Warm Up = Be Careful On the Ice

We got a little rain last week which softened up the ice in many places throughout the midwest. There was a lot of standing water on the ice where we were at in Southeastern North Dakota on Saturday and the ice was slushy. The ice fishing season isn’t over, but its days are limited. With several daytime highs above freezing in the forecast for the coming week, the ice conditions will continue to slowly deteriorate.

My biggest piece of advice for ice fisherman is to Continue reading “Early Warm Up = Be Careful On the Ice”

Fergus Falls Ice Fishing Report (Jan 24, 2016)

We arrived at a small lake near Fergus Falls, MN just before 2pm so our fishing time was limited to a few hours of daylight. Having never fished the lake before, we set up near the crowd on a drop-off from 10 to about 20 FOW. The fishing was slow in the first spot which prompted a move slightly deeper into the basin which was about 25 feet deep. As soon as I drilled my first hole, I marked a school of suspended crappies as well as Continue reading “Fergus Falls Ice Fishing Report (Jan 24, 2016)”

Leaf Lake Ice Fishing Report (December 22, 2015)

Despite 25+ mph wind, we got out on Leaf Lake near Audubon, MN on Tuesday. We checked the ice thickness every five to ten yards on our way out to the first drop off from the access and there was an even 5-6″ of hard, clear ice. There was one hard-sided spearing house set up shallow and there was one snowmobile on the ice. With that said, the majority of the traffic was people on foot with portable shelters. Always be extremely careful on the ice. Continue reading “Leaf Lake Ice Fishing Report (December 22, 2015)”