Frabill's Tips for Ice Fishing Beginners
Frabill's Ice Expert Dan Galusha recommends anyone wanting to start ice fishing should go after the panfish end of things. This will give the fisherman action, and save money on ice fishing tackle and equipment, all while letting them see how well they actually like it. Below are the basic ice fishing techniques he suggests for any beginning ice angler.
- Frabill 24" Ultra Light Panfish Popper Plus Ice Combo
Blain # 565699
Compact 1/2" 18V Cordless Drill / Driver Kit
Blain # 571215
Sit - N - Fish Bucket
Blain # 011487
Powerbait Biodegradable Crappie Nibbles
Blain # 404233
Commando Ice Shelter
Blain # 594275
Brown Sandstone Active Quilted Flannel Lined Jac
Blain # 464490
Straight Leg Relaxed Fit Flannel Lined Jean
Blain # 486300
- Columbia Sportswear Company
Mens Core Glove
Blain # 627697
- Hi - Tech Fishing
Polar Retractable Picks
Blain # 474126
Trekker Portable Ice Shelter
Blain # 533086
- Starting on the ice is not expensive. The basic ice fishing equiptment tools are a rod / reel combination, drill, bucket with a seat, jigs and bait. Galusha also suggests adding portable ice fishing shelters to your gear, especially after the first few times if the decision has been made to stay in the sport.
- Galusha suggests a spinning combination with 24" light action rod. He specifically recommends the Frabill 24" Ultra Light Panfish Popper Plus Ice Combo for it's ease of use and spring bobber. If budget allows, purchase two combinations. The reels are ultra lights, which can also be used during open water times of the year.
- Next, comes a drill. This tool is essential, and a hand model may be preferred at the beginning, mainly because of cost. If you think you'll stick the the sport, Galusha suggests a power drill may be considered to drill your holes. The DEWALT Compact Cordless Drill / Driver Kit is sure to do the trick with it's 18V power and long batter life.
- Another essential of the sport is a stool to sit on while you're out on the ice. Frabill has a combination of bucket and seat called a Sit-N-Fish, which also has an area for bait and tackle. This multi-functional product has a padded foam snap - on seat lid and beverage holders on inner bucket lid.
- When it comes to ice fishing jigs, Galusha recommends sticking to the basics. Custom Jigs & Spins is one of the most popular and productive products in ice fishing tackle. The assortments he uses are the glow colors in the Ratso, Rat Finkee and Demon models, in sizes of 12 through 8.
- Wax worms are a good all around bait, but make sure to have some jars of Berkley Powerbait Biodegradable Crappie Nibbles as well. While there are other Powerbait items to consider, Galusha has had excellent luck in tipping the Rat Finkee and Demon jigs with the Nibbles. Powerbait colors to consider are white, chartreuse and pink.
- A Frabill one-man portable ice shanty is an excellent choice for any ice angler, no matter what level of experience. For a few more dollars, 2 to 3 man ice shelters can be purchased which will give room for a buddy, as well as extra equipment. More tips on choosing an ice shelter can be found here: http://www.farmandfleet.com/services/articles/article_ice_shelter.aspx
- Ice fishing safety is very important, so be sure to have the proper warm clothing, including a good pair of gloves. Frostbite and hypothermia can be a serious problem for ice anglers. Wear thick gear like a Carhartt jacket and flannel lined jeans.
- Another product for safety on the lake is a set of ice picks that are worn around the neck on a cord. Hopefully a person will never have to use this device, but if they fall through the ice, it is the easiest way, other than having a rope thrown out by another person, to pull out of the hole.
- As with everything, remember, safety first. Make sure the ice thickness is good (at least 3 to 4 inches). Check the ice fishing reports in your area. If possible go with a buddy, or where there is a group of other ice anglers close by. Even experienced ice fisherman can find themselves in some tricky situations if they let their guard down.