Ice Fishing in Inclement Weather

By: Owen Trumbull 

     What do Jim Carrey, Buffalo Wings, and ice fishing all have in common? They all originated in the same place! According to historians at, ice fishing is believed to have come into existence about 2000 years in what is now Canada and the United States. Ice fishing is an easy way to catch fish for fun or for something to eat when the waterways, specifically slow-moving water such as ponds and lakes, freeze up. Here at The Squire, we went out in search of the best ways to catch as many big fish as possible when you ice fish this season.  

     To gain knowledge for your sake, we interviewed a junior here at Eisenhower, Zach Jerman. We asked Zach to briefly summarize what ice fishing is for us, and he did it in one sentence, “Ice fishing is the practice of cutting a hole in ice to hopefully catch fish with a rod or a tip up.” There are typically two main methods of catching fish under ice, with tip ups or a rod. A tip up is a rod with a flag and fishing line tied to the other end. When something grabs your bait, the flag tips up, alerting you that you have a catch.  

     You can also use an ice fishing rod to catch your prize fish. An ice fishing rod is just like a normal fishing rod except it is much shorter in length, approximately 3 to 4 feet. You drop your line through the hole that you made with either an ice auger or some type of cutting device. Once you feel a jiggle, lift on your rod to set the hook and starting reeling in.  

     Before you even consider using tip ups or a rod, you must first find a good place to fish. According to Zach, the spot you want to look for must include the following: Ice thick enough to stand on and somewhere that you know the fish are located. This is crucial to your ice fishing expedition because no one wants to end up wet and cold while having a nice relaxing day on the ice.  

     After you find a good spot to cut your hole in the ice, your next point of business is getting your bait hooked up. You can use several different types of bait for ice fishing that will all lead you to success. Some of the most used baits include wax worms, mealworms, night crawlers, spikes, and minnows. Zach made sure to inform us that he uses minnows when he is fishing. All the listed baits are sure to bring you success in the 2021 season as well as years to come.   

     One important thing to note about ice fishing is that it takes a lot of patience. You can spend the whole day on the ice regardless of whether you do or don’t catch anything. Finding ways to pass the time is very important. Some people ice skate, listen to music, or do other activities to keep themselves entertained when the fish just are not biting. We were curious to know what Zach does when he finds himself bored while ice fishing. Zach shared, “I usually play frisbee or watch videos on my phone if I have service.” Having an activity besides fishing while you are on the ice is great, but you must practice safety.  

     Regardless to what you may think about ice fishing, it is actually very safe. Most injuries that happen while ice fishing are from cuts and abrasions off of hooks, knives, and other sharp objects. Safety tips that Zach offered the staff at The Squire included, “Use a spud (ice cutting tool) to cut a hole into the ice nearby the edge of the water to test its thickness and always let someone know where you are.”  

     Make sure you have a fun, safe, and excitement filled time ice fishing this 2021 season. Everyone here at The Squire wishes you the best of luck. Now get out there and fish! 

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