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Thread: First time ice fishing...

  1. #1
    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    Default First time ice fishing...

    Well, we didn't catch anything, but I did get a few nibbles and the whole family had a good time. That's what matters anyway. I have collected the "bare bones" ice fishing kit this year - most of which is interchangeable with typical summer fishing gear. In fact, the only gear specific to ice fishing would be the pole, hand-cranked auger and two-dollar ice scoop spoon.

    I live just a few miles from Knik Lake, and we frequently catch trout there in the summer so we decided to give it a try today. I called the Knik bar this morning to ask about the ice thickness. (I have five kids and a 3/4 ton Suburban - I wanted thick ice.) They assured me it would hold, so we packed up our gear and for the first time in my life I drove a full-size vehicle onto a lake.

    I wasn't too concerned, especially since I saw a 3/4 ton Dodge quad cab diesel with a trailer full of toys already on the lake.

    I parked just about where I remember getting the best action in the summer months, walking out with hip waders and casting to the deeper channels. I un-loaded the gear and auggered my first hole. Three feet of solid ice! I finally found water though. I read somewhere that the best spot for bait is about a foot off the bottom, so I stuck some weight on a stringer (I knew already this wasn't very deep) and dropped it through the hole. It went slack at roughly 8 feet, and I knew where to set my bait.

    I pretended to be an expert ice fisher, just in case anyone was watching. Then I set one pole (my only ice-fishing pole) and turned to the task of cooking hot-dogs on the camp stove for my hungry brood. I tore open a bag of chips, sipped on a jug of sweet-tea and enjoyed the sound of my childrens' laughter.

    Later I auggered another hole and set a line on a stick for my wife. She decided to try fishing too, and since she went through the trouble to find her own stick, how could I refuse? She held that stick for about 13 seconds, then turned it over to our two-year-old daughter (see pic below).

    For what it's worth, ice fishing is in my opinion an outstanding family activity. The Suburban was there if anyone needed to warm up, and the lake was there for the little ones who are content to play in the snow. I learned a little, and someday I will drag a fish through that little hole. Until then - I am happy when my family is happy. We cooked hot dogs on the camp stove right on the ice and it was a great day. Here's a couple pics:
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  2. #2
    Member Rising_Creek's Avatar
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    you are doing everything right. The fish will come.

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    This is my favorite post on the whole site. Good for you guys!

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    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    Awesome, AKsoldier. The fish are just a bonus, really. Good times that the kids will always remember.

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    just remember that it is cheeper to go to the store an buy the fish, if you add up all the money you spend on equipment, an time, it will be cheeper, but it is the experamce with the family, an getting out there in the out doors, an the family will never for get it, as well as you , enjoy it, as they growe up faster than you think, sounds like every one had a good time

  6. #6

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    Just in case anyone is interested, Sportsmans in Wasilla has the Eskimo Quickfish 3 ice fishing tents on sale for 145. They are regularly 210. I picked one up. They are really nice.

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    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone, we did have a great time. My wife will be gone this next weekend with the baby, but I think I might take the four older kids out again for another try.

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    Ak soldier a really good place to try with kids is finger lake lots of little ones and some bigger my little boy was pulling them up consistently (tiny ones no keepers) but had a blast also it really helps w/kids to have a fish house like quickfish and a small propane heater and some buckets or folding chairs inside little hot chocolate some snacks. use baby shrimp for bait and fish close to shore . Most of all have fun. Makes the winter go by alot faster fishing hard water.

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    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archeryarm View Post
    Ak soldier a really good place to try with kids is finger lake lots of little ones and some bigger my little boy was pulling them up consistently (tiny ones no keepers) but had a blast also it really helps w/kids to have a fish house like quickfish and a small propane heater and some buckets or folding chairs inside little hot chocolate some snacks. use baby shrimp for bait and fish close to shore . Most of all have fun. Makes the winter go by alot faster fishing hard water.
    Thanks for the tip! I did pretty well on Finger this last summer, and it's high on my list of lakes to try this winter too.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

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