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Discussion Starter #1
I plan on trying ice fishing for the first time this winter.

What are the minimum essential items I need?

  • Do I need an auger or how else can I cut a hole?
  • Can I use the spinning setup I already own? Would a kids pole work okay?
What advice would you give to a first timer?

What is something you wish you knew before you started ice fishing?

Is it frowned upon to mark the holes you drilled with paint or something? (I'm going to try taking my kids and want them to visibly see where we drill)

Does the bite generally die down during the day?

Any tips/advice is greatly appreciated.

I plan on hitting Chatty or the Crack when the ice is nice and thick, relatively safe, since I'll most likely be trying it with my kiddos.

Thanks guys!
 

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Best advice I can give is to go with someone who has all the gear and check it out before you go invest any money. Once you see how it all works then you can invest wisely and get just what you need to start and expand from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Best advice I can give is to go with someone who has all the gear and check it out before you go invest any money. Once you see how it all works then you can invest wisely and get just what you need to start and expand from there.
So.... when can I tag along with you?!? :)

I may try to get some buddies to pitch in on some gear.

Unless there is another option of cutting a hole, I plan on getting an auger off Craigslist. I've seen used ones from $5-40 just haven't found one that was conveniently located.

Harbor Freight has a heavy 48" tile scraper for $10. I was thinking it would make an adequate spud bar.

Here it is: http://www.harborfreight.com/48-in-heavy-duty-scraper-60572.html

And I figure if I don't like it I'm only in $40-50 and can always resell the auger.
 

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I plan on trying ice fishing for the first time this winter.

What are the minimum essential items I need?

  • Do I need an auger or how else can I cut a hole? Hatchet or spud bar, but an auger is the best
  • Can I use the spinning setup I already own? Would a kids pole work okay?use what you got,but ice rods are shorter because your generally right on top of the hole, plus the guides are designed to not ice up.
What advice would you give to a first timer? Try Evergreen lake when it fully freezes, or the Chatfield ponds, better action for the kiddos IMO.

What is something you wish you knew before you started ice fishing? It gets cold.

Is it frowned upon to mark the holes you drilled with paint or something? (I'm going to try taking my kids and want them to visibly see where we drill) I don't see the point in the paint..

Does the bite generally die down during the day? For me it is usually better in the early morning and dies off around noon.

Any tips/advice is greatly appreciated. Dress warmer than you think you need to, your stationary and on ice, it can get cold.

I plan on hitting Chatty or the Crack when the ice is nice and thick, relatively safe, since I'll most likely be trying it with my kiddos.

Thanks guys
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What is something you wish you knew before you started ice fishing? It gets cold.
LOL

Is it frowned upon to mark the holes you drilled with paint or something? (I'm going to try taking my kids and want them to visibly see where we drill) I don't see the point in the paint..
I was only thinking of marking the holes so they wouldn't accidentally step or trip on one that we aren't actively fishing but it may not be necessary.

I'm an Eagle Scout, I usually overdo it when it comes to the Scout motto, "Be Prepared!"

Thank you Pistol!
 

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Dallas,

Safety first!!!

There are tons of ways to fish and you can get real bogged down with what types of lures & jigs to use. So the advice Fishinlooney gave you is real sound advice. If you can't find someone to take you along who has the gear and experience there are plenty of guides who do ice-fishing trips. Money well spent to learn from someone who does it for a living, has all the gear and will usually supply you with a sandwich or two for your hard earned dollars.

Meanwhile there are thousands of videos on YouTube you can watch to gain more knowledge and tips on what to use and "how to".

Good Luck and BE SAFE!!!!
 

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Dallas,

Safety first!!!

There are tons of ways to fish and you can get real bogged down with what types of lures & jigs to use. So the advice Fishinlooney gave you is real sound advice. If you can't find someone to take you along who has the gear and experience there are plenty of guides who do ice-fishing trips. Money well spent to learn from someone who does it for a living, has all the gear and will usually supply you with a sandwich or two for your hard earned dollars.

Meanwhile there are thousands of videos on YouTube you can watch to gain more knowledge and tips on what to use and "how to".

Good Luck and BE SAFE!!!!
Best advice yet. Check this link out of Nate Zelinsky's Tightline Ice Fishing classes....well worth the money for an ice newby!!!

http://tightlineoutdoors.com/ice-school/
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ninja,

Youtube and you guys on the forum is what is giving me the itch to get out there!

I watched the video Colorado.Mackinaw posted about surviving a fall through the ice and read several articles.

I've read quite a few articles on what lures to use. I have a general idea but know I need experience, aka trial and error!

I plan on getting some Swedish Pimples or other similar lures and possibly tipping with wax worms or a bit of shrimp.

I plan on picking up a portable fish finder on Craigslist that I can also use in my canoe.

From the responses so far, as far as equipment goes, I'll use the poles I have and I'll need to pickup an auger and a spud bar to start.
 

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I plan on trying ice fishing for the first time this winter.

What are the minimum essential items I need?

  • Do I need an auger or how else can I cut a hole? Hatchet or spud bar, but an auger is the best Get a good hand auger, like a strikemaster lazer. Cuts like a knife thru butter and easy to transport.
  • Can I use the spinning setup I already own? Would a kids pole work okay?use what you got,but ice rods are shorter because your generally right on top of the hole, plus the guides are designed to not ice up.Spend the $30-40 on a couple cheapo ice setups from BPS or Cabela's. It'll be worth it for you and the kiddos to make it easy.
What advice would you give to a first timer? Try Evergreen lake when it fully freezes, or the Chatfield ponds, better action for the kiddos IMO. X2 -- Evergreen lake is a great place to take the kiddos. Better action.

What is something you wish you knew before you started ice fishing? It gets cold.Have good boots for you and the kiddos, and/or bring some mats to stand on. Cold feet can ruin a day of fishing.

Is it frowned upon to mark the holes you drilled with paint or something? (I'm going to try taking my kids and want them to visibly see where we drill) I don't see the point in the paint..No need to mark holes. Just drill a few and keep your eyes on them.

Does the bite generally die down during the day? For me it is usually better in the early morning and dies off around noon.Evergreen bite is best early/late, but you can catch fish all day.

Any tips/advice is greatly appreciated. Dress warmer than you think you need to, your stationary and on ice, it can get cold.

I plan on hitting Chatty or the Crack when the ice is nice and thick, relatively safe, since I'll most likely be trying it with my kiddos.

Thanks guys
Great advice from pistol...my tips are in blue. Welcome to the ice fishing madness!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thanks Bigassbassman! After a few outings I will probably invest in some ice rods.

I'll make sure the kids have good boots and are bundled up.

 

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Dallas, I started ice fishing about 3-4 years ago after hating on it for years!!! lol.. anyways, turns out I love it, mostly because my family loves it. My son and wife start talking about it in October and they both are excited to ice fish several times a year... That said, I think the advice in this thread is spot on... Don't buy anything until you try it. We will start ice fishing mid December, You are welcome to join us on a trip if it works out... Unfortunately, I am in Pueblo and fish southern lakes more, but I make it to 11 mile a lot, and usually we have a few groups that go together, so if you brought your family there would be plenty of gear to try.

The problem with buying without knowing much is you tend to get some things you just don't need or are of poor quality. Getting ice rods is a must, but again, don't have to the first couple times... It's as good of family time as we have in winter. I hope it works out for you. Remember stay dry, stay warm, drink beer.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Remember stay dry, stay warm, drink WHISKEY.
There I fixed it.

I think whiskey would keep you warmer! LOL

I would love to join you gentleman sometime. I found a Humminbird portable fish finder and am picking it up this afternoon!

I know I will love ice fishing, I'm hoping my kids will too. They love going to the local pond and even if they get bored they love the outdoors and exploring. My two boys will sled and play in the snow until I force them inside to warm up. My daughters on the other hand.... the 9 yr old loves fishing the 4 yr old not so much. But in the end, these will be memories they'll have forever. Even if it's "Hey Dad, remember that one time we froze our butts off ice fishing!"
 

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Ya, my son pays attention for about 30-40 min then starts doing other stuff...until we start catching fish.. He now is learning about the vex, so he loves that. To be honest, when I'm with the family, I put no rules or expectations on the trips... Just go and have fun till everyone is over it.
 

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Oh, and I am def a whiskey drinker!!! Sippin on the ice is good times!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Oyey,

I think the kids will dig the fish finder just like your son. When I go with the kids, which is 90% of the time, I hardly fish. I'm usually setting them up or teaching them something.

I used to get frustrated when they'd lose interest fast but quickly realized they have just as much fun exploring nature. Heck, as long as they're willing to go with me and be outside instead of playing video games, I can't complain.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks lvrider!

I'll have to see when the next time my pops makes a trip out here from California. I'm not sure how he'd do on the ice considering he's used to shorts year round!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
UPDATE:

I know you guys said to wait on purchasing gear but I picked up an ice auger and ice scoop on Craigslist for $15. The auger looks brand new, hardly a scratch on it!

I also picked up a Humminbird Piranhamax 160 portable fish finder that will work for my canoe and I've read in other forums it works decent on the ice. If you play with the sensitivity you should be able to see your jig (from what I've read).

And I got the kids all outfitted with snow gear and boots this weekend.

Looks like I need to get that spud bar (48" scraper) from Harbor Freight and I should be ready for my first expedition.

I really appreciate all the guidance you fellas have provided!
 

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what kind of auger? if it is a strikemaster make sure you get the blades that are made in Sweden not china. seems like a non-issue but the blades made in china are just awful.
 
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