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Thread: new to icefishing

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    Member fishak's Avatar
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    Default new to icefishing

    looks like im going to give it a shot this year. got a shanty and auger and thats all haha. made a list of things that i'll need to pick up before giving it a shot. Am i missing anything? rods, lures, heater, seats, shovel and ??. would like to be fully prepared before going out on a trip. as for trips, id be limited to where i could go with a 4x4 suv. been doing some research on big lake, long lake, meadow lakes, fuller lakes and so on and so forth. any other places i should look into? size of fish is more important to me then number of fish, which is why im looking at lakes outside of anchorage. would like to get into some rainbows, char, lake trout, pike and burbot. no specific order maybe just a different target species every weekend. feel free to pm me, i won't share your secrets without your permission. lastly, any tips for a newbie? the only ice fishing ive done before was for pike in the village. thanks
    hook, line, sinker, done.

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    Member bigcox's Avatar
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    Definitely read this, have fun and be safe!

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/fi...MatSuLakes.pdf

    Fish on!
    You know your not catching any fish when you start talking about the weather...


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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    You can catch big char up in Big lake and park your suv right next to your shanty. I'm in the dark as to where the big pike are everybody here is afraid to tell me cause they know I'll be on up on the podium when they crown the winner of the pike derby.





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    You can use your standard trout tackle for your first trip, but if money is no object, well, here goes.

    On a budget: a trout rod, some no 8 snell hooks, a bottle of salmon eggs, a can of CANADIAN NIGHT CRAWLERS the best ones come in a blue plastic container. they are the best and are cheap. you find em in the bait fridge at fredmeyers and any store really, some tesoros even have them.....if you can't find the blue can, any night crawler work.... you might also take a couple small spoons and a jig or 2, but I have to say http://www.troutfishingreview.com/wp...Trout-Jibs.jpg that jig is hands down the NUMBER 1 JIG EVER FOR TROUT FISHING if you could only have one piece of tackle, that would be it. look for em in walmart at the far end of the isle from the guns. that will about cover it, but for a switch up take a spinner too.

    rig up the bare hook with 1/3 of a night crawler then top the hook with a red egg. A bucket with a lid is good for sitting on then you can stick your fish in it too, or your bait and other assorted gear to keep thinks tidy maybe a shovel and an ice scooper, but you can kick enough snow away and use your hands (teh water is suprisingly warm) to get teh ice out. a sled might be in handy for puling gear if you go to area where you cant get your suburban (pretty common for good areas)




    For a guy with a BIG budget. get a short 2 foot ice rod, 8 Lb line, a folding chair with a holder for your beer, a 6 pack, everything I mentioned above, plus instead of a 5 dollar sled get a fancy jetsled with the high sides. also get osme wire leaders and some herring or some type of bait fish. Oh jeez, I had a hole list of things but I can't remember


    I doubt you will find big pike or char most places, although I cought a 22 inch char in biglake a couple years back but that was before I knew bait was illeagle. There are some new pike regs saying you can use bait but they confused me and I don't ever fish on big lake anymore anyway. if you ever come out to big lake give me a holler a day or 2 in advance or if its a spur of hte moment thing send me a message, I might get it in time, I'm homeschooled so I'm available most of the time. if you wanna go fishin I'll go with ya if you do the hole drillin I can supply the bait and hooks and all m usual fish slaying gear. I'd be glad to take ya out I know a spot with some nice rainbows, as for the others I can't really help ya. if your up for a bit of a hike (for medium size fish, mainly 12-16 inch fish it would be a 3 hundred yard walk, for some big feeesh (if they are small i will let you let them go hehe) we will try to get the 4 wheeler goin (it will be a long time till I feel safe taking the 4 wheeler out across the middle) and buzz a half mile across the lake and nail some lunkers (14-24 inches) if you want to go out in a couple weeks and try for some in the 12-18 inch size still fat, and sassy we can and I'll do my best to get you on a true trophy.
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

  5. #5
    Member Arcticmayhem's Avatar
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    You don't need much fancy gear to ice fish. Yesterday I went out and chipped a hole with a pry bar and used the back half of my trout rod. Just hung a piece of shrimp on a J hook and had a fish on before it could get to the bottom. Only caught 1 15" fish, the rest were little 4" nibblers. It would have been nice to have a shelter and an auger, but I was able to make it work with minimal gear.

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    Member fishak's Avatar
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    thanks for the tips, might seem like a dumb question but do you shovel snow and drill holes, move the ice from the holes then put the shelter over it? or do you generally just shovel snow then set up your shelter then drill the holes inside and let the ice stay in the hole too?
    hook, line, sinker, done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishak View Post
    thanks for the tips, might seem like a dumb question but do you shovel snow and drill holes, move the ice from the holes then put the shelter over it? or do you generally just shovel snow then set up your shelter then drill the holes inside and let the ice stay in the hole too?
    you always want to take the ice out of the hole so you can get your bait through it. and so you can feel light bites.
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Shovel... drill... get rid of as much ice/snow as you can... then pop up shelter. Ice skimming from the hole is an ongoing process, but I prefer to start out with a totally clear and clean spot. In my ideal dream world, I'd run a Zamboni over the area just prior to popping the shelter.

    And you really don't need a bunch of fancy gear for ice fishing. Forget about electronics, cameras, sounders and all those silly boat gizmos. Ice fishing should be plain and raw. You can pick up a perfect rod/reel combo for less than $20 at a big box store. For the most part, there's no significant difference between ice fishing rods. You have 2 choices... light or heavy. You can use a specific mono for ice fishing, but I've had just peachy results by winding my ice gear with the same braided lines I use on all my summer gear.

    A hand auger will basically get you through January. Ice up to about 6 inches is actually easier to deal with via hand auger over hauling a power auger around. However, anything much beyond a foot ice thickness becomes torture with a hand auger and forget about going beyond about 18 inches without some kind of machine attached. What does work for the occasional fisher on a budget is to get (or make) an adapter for that hand auger so you can run it off of an 18v lithium drill. The white 18v lithium Makita drill with the 50+AH battery will easily punch through 2 feet of ice on a fresh charge.

    Buckets are used by most, but I've found the $5 folding stools are so much more comfortable. You can get 2 folding chairs for less than the cost of a bucket and 1 padded bucket seat cover.

    I don't even own an ice rod holder. Ice rods ain't that heavy and I prefer to jig a bit anyway, so I never want to set the rod down.

    Bait... just get them single red eggs (they were on sale at the end of the summer... think ahead to the ice and you can stock up on bait in August on the cheap). The other item that works pretty dang good is shrimp. You can pretty much forget about catching much on lures and jigs, especially when you're hitting salmon stocked lakes. They can be drawn in by flash, but they'll rarely hit a bare lure. I won't even waste my time by going to a bait restricted lake for ice fishing.

    One more thing... if you get a Buddy heater, make sure you bring something to set it on. They really don't work as well if you have them sitting directly on the ice. Elevate them up about a foot off the ice on a milk crate or box. A Little Buddy can actually run you out of a Quickfish-2 sized shelter. Speaking of shelters... buy one size bigger than you think you need.
    Winter is Coming...

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post


    A hand auger will basically get you through January. Ice up to about 6 inches is actually easier to deal with via hand auger over hauling a power auger around. However, anything much beyond a foot ice thickness becomes torture with a hand auger and forget about going beyond about 18 inches without some kind of machine attached. What does work for the occasional fisher on a budget is to get (or make) an adapter for that hand auger so you can run it off of an 18v lithium drill. The white 18v lithium Makita drill with the 50+AH battery will easily punch through 2 feet of ice on a fresh charge.

    .
    While I've never used a power auger, with sharp blades on a hand auger I go through 3 feet of ice every year with out much sweating, although I do remember one time i had the auger handle extended all the way and the "curve" was about an inch off the ground when it broke through. that was in late february after 2 weeks straight of 40 below or colder.
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    If one were motivated enough, you "can" hand auger through ice up to the depth of the shaft. I was pretty much referring to the fun factor. Here's a shopping list of commercially made power drill adapters...

    http://www.google.com/products?q=ice...+adapter&hl=en

    I made mine by just tossing about 6 inches worth of 1-inch steel roundbar into the lathe. I turned down the first couple inches to the ID of the hand auger and then drilled a hole for the bolt. The top couple inches was turned down to 1/2-inch to fit the drill and then I put 3 flats on it so it can't spin in the chuck. I left a narrow flange of 1" diameter in the center and have a piece of aluminum flatbar (2x1/8) that's a foot long with a large hole in the center. The adapter goes through that hole (which is a very loose fit so it can spin freely) and then into the auger head. If the auger falls off the chuck when the bit breaks through the ice (which easily and often happens), this flat bar is wider than the hole and catches the auger before it plunges into the icy depths to be discovered by archeologists of the distant future. While drilling, it just spins with the bit, unless you hold onto it. I like this device much better than the straps that the commercial Ice Master uses to tie the auger to your drill.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

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    Member fishak's Avatar
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    So I see 8lb test and braided line for the rod. Is that a good lb test for the gauntlet of fish I would like to target?
    hook, line, sinker, done.

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishak View Post
    So I see 8lb test and braided line for the rod. Is that a good lb test for the gauntlet of fish I would like to target?
    Keep in mind that if you use braided line for icefishing, that in the absence of a heated shelter, when you wind wet braided line onto the reel and it freezes, you stand the chance to lose fish if you are depending on your drag to work smoothly (or at all). You can probably fisgure out how I know that. For this reason alone, I don't use braid for ice fishing.

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    Member bigcox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishak View Post
    So I see 8lb test and braided line for the rod. Is that a good lb test for the gauntlet of fish I would like to target?
    No, for light action rods, go with 6lb or 8lb mono. Don't mess with braid unless your fishing deep for big fish.

    Fish On!
    You know your not catching any fish when you start talking about the weather...


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  14. #14
    Member fishak's Avatar
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    looks like burbots going to be the first target hopefully this upcoming weekend. was thinking night time fishing at big lake. any tips/suggestions? thanks
    hook, line, sinker, done.

  15. #15
    Member fishak's Avatar
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    Does anyone know if anyplace rents gas augers? The one I had lined up fell through
    hook, line, sinker, done.

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    Member Hayduke's Avatar
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    I think 3 rivers does.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    you always want to take the ice out of the hole so you can get your bait through it. and so you can feel light bites.
    Mostly true but if fishing outside of a shanty and the bite seems off, a trick I use is to leave some slush in the hole to give your lure a more natural presentation under the ice. Simply use your rod to force the lure through the slush.
    "If your not the lead dog.... the view never changes"

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