Ice fishing

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is a fun and exciting method of fishing that is one of a kind. It is very unique and even has its own entire kind of gear, so make room on your shelf! Once you fall in love with it you will need the extra space. One of the most important factors is safety, making sure the ice is thick enough, making sure you stay warm, and be sure not to get lost or stranded in the snow. There are two main methods,jigging with a short ice fishing rod, or just using bait in place. There is also something called a tip-up which is basically just a spool attached to some bait and a flag which lets you know when the fish is on then you pull it up. Since the new rules in BC i dont recommend using a tip-up since you can only legally use one line per person. There are all sorts of fish you can catch through the ice but the main species in the southern half of BC are Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout, Kokanee, and Lake Trout. Further up north you can target other species such as Northern Pike or Artic Grayling and on some lakes even find Bass, or Walleye. But always do a little research on the lake your going to before you head out.

Getting Started

If your getting geared up for your first time ice fishing i recommend just buying the basics. There is no use going all out if you ultimately wont be interested in it. The basics don't cost too much, maybe a couple hundred dollars if you already have some good warm clothes. All you need to head out is a hand auger which runs for around $60-$80, I recomend an 8" auger because its big enough to land good sized fish and still easy to drill through a couple feet of ice. Next is a couple of ice rods, there usually around 24-28" long and range from light to heavy action. Medium light is a good and action packed with neon green or orange 4-6lbs test line. Make sure you use ice line, they come in mono, braid, and fluro and are designed to keep their strength in the ice cold conditions. I recommend using a neon colour line for your main so its easier to judge your depth in the water compared to the fish you can see swimming under you. Next is a basic tackle box, then to fill it up. There are many starter packs out there so you can pick up one of those and i recommend getting a couple little foxies and whirltails as well in mini and 2" in a variety of colours, also dont forget split shots to get your jig weighed down. Now your ready to hit the ice! Make sure you have some snow boots that are water proof and dress warm in layers, remember the wind is your enemy for staying warm so if there's wind in the forecast dress extra warm. Dont forget your lawn chairs, and make sure they are nice and comfy. Good luck and tight lines!


Saftey is something I can't stress enough. Making sure the ice is thick enough is always the biggest concern. Before you head out do a visual check of the ice and look for discolourations, which will indicate soft spots in the ice. After you've done this drill a test hole just off shore to check ice thickness.  Remember since this is in shallower water it will be a lot thicker than out in the middle. The rule of thumb is 4" is safe for ice fishing, 8" for a small car, and 12" for a full sized truck, but remember the ice thickness can vary throughout the lake. When your out on the water always make sure you have ice picks up your sleeves in case you fall in you can pick your way out of the water. It's also a good idea not to go out alone, just in case, Rachel always comes with me. Always check the forecast before you go out to look for storms but remember during the winter and up in the mountains storms can come and go without warning so be cautious. Also its recommended not to drink alcohol in excess or at all since it can alter your feeling of cold and greatly increases your chance pf hypothermia. Always remember a safe outing will be a good outing, and you will have more fun.

Write a new comment: (Click here)
Characters left: 160
DONE Sending...
See all comments

| Reply

Latest comments

22.09 | 10:54

I was wondering if anyone could tell me what time of year these lakes usually freeze up?

12.08 | 08:30

Thanks for this info. And idea if this Lake has swimmers itch? We’re going with the kids and want to be prepared!

07.06 | 08:31

Is the nickel open?

06.06 | 13:34

give it a shot, caught a 1.5 pounder last summer. i used a frog and attacked thick cover

You liked this page