One of the favorite winter pastimes in the northern regions is fishing for white fish. During the winter these great-tasting fish are exceptionally fun and fairly easy to catch from the northern frozen lakes. Here are some suggestions on how to catch a mess of these fish for supper.
This time of year the northern lakes are frozen solid with several feet of ice. It is highly recommended to use a power ice auger to drill through the ice.
If you have four feet of ice to go through using a hand crank ice auger will take you at least an hour or more to bore through. By the time you strike water you’ll be ready for a nap, not a fishing adventure. Using a power arguer lets you drill through four feet of ice almost effortlessly. You’re fishing in just a matter of minutes. If the local fishing regulations permit, you can drill several holes in an area and double or triple your chances to catch fish.
Once you have your hole bored and the slush scooped out, you’re ready to fish. White fish like to feed on worms and fish eggs, among other things. Worms are an easy bait to use for ice fishing. They won’t die in the cold, although they may not wiggle much either. Rigging the line with the hook on the bottom and the sinker about 10 inches above the hook works well. This keeps the worm on the bottom or very close to the bottom where the fish expect to find worms.
Using fish eggs for bait is also very effective. Since fish eggs are normally found on the bottom of the lake the same rig used for worms can be used. Normally fish eggs are found in singles or in groups of two or three eggs. Use a hook small enough that a cluster of three eggs will completely hide the hook. This means using a No. 10 hook or smaller.
If you are fishing from just one hole you can sit in front of the hole and watch it. Some prefer to hold the pole but in cold weather this doesn’t always work well. Some anglers like to use a bobber. They drop the line to the bottom of the lake and then clip the bobber to the line so it floats on the surface of the water. This works well but requires constant monitoring so the bobber doesn’t freeze into the ice.
Another method is using a bell. They make a small bell that clips onto the tip of the rod. When a fish bites and moves the rod, the bell rings. This is effective when fishing with two or more rods.
If you use these suggestions you should be able to catch your daily bag limit of fish without any problem. However, there still may be some downtime, and playing fishing games is a perfect pastime.