Ice Fishing FUNdamentals

THERMAL TIP-UP TIPS

With this week’s TGO topic focusing on Tobin and tip-ups, I thought a tip-up tip might be appropriate–and this one relates specifically to thermal designs. When it’s really windy and cold, nothing matches the efficiency of a thermal tip-up. The hole cover frames block blowing snow while sealing in thermal energy from the water below,…

LATE ICE SAFETY

It’s late February. I’m driving from central Wisconsin, where the ice is nearly a foot thick, to Michigan, and surprised to find very little accessible ice remaining in northern Illinois, open water throughout most of northwestern Indiana, and only limited or poor quality ice across the border in southern Michigan. Traveling into the central portion…

TIP-UP DEPTH SETTINGS

I’m asked a lot of questions about tip-up sets, and among the most frequently asked are those involving depth placement. Are tip-up presentations best positioned directly on bottom, or just above? How do you keep your bait out of weeds? Do you ever suspend your presentations? How far up? Understandably, this can be especially bewildering…

SOMETIMES IT PAYS TO STAY SINGLE

When it comes to tip-up rigging, some say treble, some say single. A few stalwarts will remain neutral and claim neither is really right or wrong. As a whole, they’ll say, it comes down to personal preference–and there is truth to that sentiment. But let’s review some benefits of staying single. First, from a common…

ICE TIP FROM TOM: STAY HYDRATED!

Remaining warm on the ice involves various components–and some often overlooked principles. One of these is proper hydration. Cold, dry environs continually work against the body. In its worst form, dehydration may have dire health consequences. On another level–one many anglers might not even be aware of–not staying adequately hydrated also makes it difficult to…

DID YOU KNOW…

Ice is often said to be suitable for foot travel when it becomes approximately 4” thick. Of course, caution must still be taken because ice seldom, if ever, develops uniformly. There are simply too many influencing variables–including the elevation, shape, type and depth of the waterway, the presence, direction and strength of wind or currents,…

TIP-UP TIP FROM TOM: SECURING HOOKS

Securing rigs and hooks on tip-ups, especially classic “underwater” styles like HT’s Polar, can be challenging. While no method is perfect, I’ve found stretching a heavy duty rubber band around the frame opposite the spool does the trick. Provided the overall length of your leader material is shorter than the length of the frame, simply…

AVOIDING COLD FEET

As an ardent winter angler spending long periods of time on ice, one thing I won’t tolerate is cold feet. Ensuring this won’t happen begins with wearing comfortable, moisture wicking socks and quality, well insulated boots (a topic in itself for another time)–but here are some additional tips that will help as well: 1. Make…

LET THE ICE ADVENTURES BEGIN…SIMPLY!

With all of today’s talk about high tech ice fishing–wheel houses, GPS, electronic charting, high-powered sonar, under water cameras, high speed power augers, advanced ice rods, reels, tip-ups and accessories of every imaginable kind—it seems beginning approaches are often all but forgotten. This thought struck me recently while fumbling through a box of dated ice…