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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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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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was to wear cotton socks on the drive up then switch to wool or acrylic right before you get out of the truck. The cotton will absorb any sweat from your feet and your boots will be warm and dry when you put the other socks on. Lot more fun with warm feet.
That's a great idea! Thanks Kastmisser
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
Last weekend I changed socks and into my boots right before hitting the ice. I used my thinner snowboard socks as a liner and some RealTree Merino (blend?) wool socks. My toes were pretty cold for the first 1-2 hours on the ice then my feet apparently warmed up and I was fine for the remaining 3-4 hours we fished.

Any of you other guys have cold feet for the first few hours?

Anything I could do to start the day on the ice with warm toes?

Thanks guys!
 
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