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Aquaman01

Ice Newbie starter set?

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Hi,
Been ice fishing once, and would like to do some this year, too.
I'm not springing for a shelter or heater this year, but I have a couple of spinning-reel ice rods.
My questions are...
What sorts of jigs, etc. should I pick up on a VERY limited budget for crappies-n-gills-n-perch & such?

Is a tip-up the preferred method for taking northerns, and if so - how do I use them?

Is there any basic gear that I shouldn't be on the ice without?

Is there a significant difference in how much energy it takes to drill an 8" hole vs. a 10" hole with a hand-auger?

My partner is gonna be a 5 year old boy who is of exceptional patience - but is still a 5 year old boy - any pointers?

Thanks -
Rob

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Stick with a 8" hand auger a 10" is much harder to turn. As for gear hear are just a few things I would get on a tight budget. Plain hooks and splitshot, ice buster bobbers, some swedish pimples, angel eyes, plain jig heads, glow devils, ice ants, Northland Rattle spoons, Northland Forage minnows, gem n eyes, frostees, hawger 2000 jigs. That is a small list and buy whatever size and color you think will work best for the fish you target. You dont need it all at once of course. Remember a lot of what you use in the summer works just fine in the winter. If your sun is with I would at least get a heater and a small sled to pull gear and act as a wind break. Also hot Chocolate for him as well as treats. Also a life vest and picks and some rope. Can never be too safe. Remember if something happens to you on the ice he will be in trouble too!

[This message has been edited by Northlander (edited 11-09-2003).]

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My suggestion would be to befriend somebody with an ice house and a heater! Seriously, it might be a rough start for a five year old if you take him out when it's miserable out. Or, I'd just be really selective in my choices of days to fish- that way you'll guarentee your youngster can have a good time. Sometimes it tough to have fun when you can't feel your fingers, but this is really the case for a five year old.
Where are you located?
Scoot

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I don't think they make a 10" hand auger.
If your going to be cutting through 3' of ice you may want a 6" or 7".
Your son will be attracted to the ice scoop and minnow bucket. Buy or make an ice scoop that floats. smile.gif Also make him his own rod out of a broom stick with eye screws for guides and a line wrap.
Every young fishermen needs plenty of snacks and drink so bring healthy stuff and let him snack at will. Nothing worse than a candy bar in the snack bag that he can't have yet. smile.gif Little buckets and shovels so Jr can build, might as well take a couple Tonka trucks along too. We've forgotten how fun it is to crawl around in the slush but your little one hasn't, bring extra mitts, boots and snow pants.
A couple 5x6 tarps and 3 poles can make you a 2 sided wind break that doesn't require a shelter license. A drain oil tin makes a good base for a small fire and a fire is just one more activity for junior to explore. Don't forget the wieners and marshmallows. If your using a sounder explain how it works to the little ones.
Keep it fun and Jr just might outlast you on the ice. smile.gif

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I would start with tip ups and one jig stick. That way when he gets bored you can entertain him and still be fishing. Pulling him around in the sled, playing catch, building a snow fort. Then when the flag goes up with a scrappy little northern on, he can just grab it and start backing up. At that age not much for playing a fish, they just want to get it in. Good Luck

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I would go with a 6" auger at most, for a hand auger. Very few fish won't fit through a 6" hole. 2 - 5 gallon buckets. Hooks, floats, split shot, a half dozen to a dozen small ice jigs like a genz worms or some teardrops. Tip up, rigged with braided nylon line, or any other heavy line around your house.

I'm not a dad so I can't really help you there, but one thing I can mention is that for alot of guys I know, ice fishing is a couple of tip-ups, strategically placed and the warmth and luxury of their cars, less than 200 feet from there tip ups of course.

This could come in handy when your son need to warm up for 10 or 15 minutes.

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Thanks for the advice & info!! I appreciate the responses!
Scoot,
I'm in Buffalo. My goofy work schedule is probably gonna keep me from hooking up very much with folks for a while. I've got a friend who has extended an invite this year, and I hope to take him up on it when one or both of us can play hooky from work. My fishing times are gonna be Tuesdays, during the day.

I'm gonna start keeping my eyes open for a used hand auger.

I have a few seemingly basic questions I could use some help with....

On a tip-up, does the spool stay underwater?

Are rattle-reels typically set up above the ice on a board, like a tip-up is?

So, when a fish takes yer bait and sets off either the visual cue (flag) or audible cue (rattle) a guy pulls the apparatus out of the way and then hand-lines the fish in? Is that how these things work?

Thanks,
Rob

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The spool goes in the water, that way when the hole freezes over you'll still be good to go. Yes its a hand over hand deal. Rattle reels are for a heated shack otherwise the line will freeze in the hole.

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For $100 you can be well rigged for 2-4 anglers and for most of your open air ice fishing needs. You already have a few rods so you already have a head start.

Tip-Up- I recommend the Frabill Pro-Thermal Tip-Ups. They store easily in a bucket, have a handy tackle tray built in for a depth checker and other tackle basics, and remain frost free to -25. They cover the hole and limit the need to constantly remove drifted in snow and ice that will form. They $15 a piece and well worth it. I recommend 1 per angler and jig with the second line.

For the bulk of your needs a 6" hand auger will serve you well. Try hitting the Pawn Shops, they always have one around. If you can get one at a fair price (lets say $20) get new replacement blades first thing($12). Most of the time that will be the only maintenance item with a hand auger and new blades really make the auger preform better. Don't waist your time trying to sharpen the old ones if they are shot, far cheaper just to get new freshly milled blades that are perfect.

I think were up to $62 now? What else do we need?

A small cheap ice scoop, a few plummets for checking the depth, some new ice line, a selection of hooks and shot weights, a selection of ice jigs for panfish, a couple vertical jigging lures for walleye and pike.....MMMMM..Ahhhh...conservatively maybe another $30.

Were hit $92 and you have still have some bait Money left.

I will share a tip that will save you lots of cash on ice gear over time. Buy ice jigs in July, mid summer for sure. look for the bargain bin and start digging for gold. Many of the big sporting outfits clear the shelves of ice gear in early spring and they latter on dump them in a bargain bin to eliminate the stocks. You can save big and often on the same items you were hot for in January.

------------------
BACKWATER GUIDING
701-281-2300
backwtr1@msn.com
><,sUMo,>

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Definitely opt for a jiggle stick for the 5 year old verse the rod and reel. It's so much easier and less frustrating. One trick all my kids used on the open ice was instead of pulling the line up hand over hand they'd lift the rod up and slowly walk backwards until they saw the fish pop up out of the hole. They don't even need to take their mittens off to do this and they lost very few fish this way.

Like others have said a 6" auger style auger will fit the bill nicely.

Lures are pretty cheap as long as you don't get carried away. Get a few teardrops and ants for panfish in yellow, white, green and orange and you'll have most situations covered. A few of those lead clip on depth finders. A couple of 5 gallon buckets and a dipper. If you want a depth finder you can adapt your summer unit for ice fishing pretty easily. Borrow your kids sled to haul all the stuff to your favorite spot.

Now here's another tip. For christmas pick him up a jiggle stick and a couple lures, bobbers and a small tackle box. There's just something special about catching fish on your own stuff at that age.

Bring plenty of hot chocolate and snacks. Those little bodies need some fuel just to keep warm.

Have some fun! grin.gif

------------------
I bad day of fishing??? I honestly don't know what you're talking about!

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Bring as many dry mittens as you have in the house and a complete change of clothes for the kids. Be prepared to go home early if they get cold -- you don't want to turn them off.

For years my heater consisted of a modified three pound coffee can and some charcoal. Use can opener to cut some holes around the outside base of the column, throw the charcoal in, & light it up. You can even add a heavy gauge mesh screen over the top to warm things up.

As seabass suggested, a 6" auger is sufficient for almost any fish. There are brand new strikemaster lasers available on hsolist for $35 below retail.

Borch, I taught my boys the same way -- set the hook and run!!! smile.gif

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Football! Bring a ball that you can play catch with. But, beware of the dreaded ice holes when playing football- can be an ankle buster. I always put a bucket or something right next to the holes when I'm fishing outside.
Snow ball fights, tag, whatever- just keep him entertained.
The snacks and goodies tricks mentioned above is a must. Good tips in here.
Scoot

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Last year at a kids ice-fishing event we hold, we gave out a bunch of Northland tackle TUBE-IT TACKLE TOTE kits, came with all the elementary stuff needed to start catchin' crappies and gills, just need a jiggle stick, bait, and you're all set. They come in a variety of sizes/prices, and the kids all liked wearing them around their neck.

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Games for the ice: My daughters favorite while on a weekend trip to mille lacs is golf!! A few orange balls, a putter and some partially drilled holes are entertainment for hours. Works very well on hard packed or bare ice. The biggest challenge I see you having is keeping him warm without a shelter, once a young'un gets cold it's time to hit the road. Just make it fun for him at all times, even if it means a very short trip.

Have Fun!!

Jeff

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Well, if the snow fall is similar to that of last year, you can always skate out on the ice! Saw guys doing it last year, playing hockey waiting for their tip ups. All you really need to have a good ice trip is a rod or two,a few small jigs and some wax worms, and a good bluegill lake. They are probably the best through the ice fish as far as availabilty and fight, especially for kids. Shoot me an email and I could drop a few "hints" about a few smaller lakes you might want to try for gills or pike. dreaj04@aol.com

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Aquaman,

I'd be willing to show you the ropes If you're ever in the Richmond area this winter (creature comforts included). I've a couple of noodle rods and maybe a reel or two that I'd like to donate to the youngster as well.

I agree with what the others had mentioned about the hand auger, you'll want to stay with a smaller diameter. If you've ever used an 8" auger and plowed through 2.5 ft. of ice, you'd know what I mean; its a pain in the you know what for most people. A 10" auger would wear you out so fast, you'd probably never get 2 holes drilled. The Strikemaster Lazer line of augers are a decent brand; Nils as well makes a quality product. I've never had good luck with the Mora line of hand augers, as I feel you get what you pay for. Spend a little more now and you'll lessen the hassle of drilling 3 fold easily.

Stephen
(tiebel1@aol.com)

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I would try and keep an eye out for cheap used shelter, I know when I took my son out when he was little cold kid means short trip. It is always windy out there, so being able to get out of the wind for a bit even without and kinda heater would be good.

Early ice when the ice is still thin and I am walking out I use my hand auger, it is a 7" and it ain't to bad I wouldn't go over that tho.

Keep it simple is the best I can say for the rest of the gear, you will probably be spending quite a bit of time entertaining him. And I agree with the get him his own gear and tackle, it is big deal to a kid to have his own and not use dads stuff.

If you have any other kids in your area take them with, when fishing is slow they will entertain each other. That and you will be the hero with the kids smile.gif I would always take other kids with for all kinds of fishing for the entertaining each other factor.

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Wow! Thanks a lot - all of you! I'll send off an e-mail to ya, Lunker.

Stephen,
I'd like that, thanks! I work weekends, though. Gonna make it a little tough to hook up with FM folks for this year, at least. My days off are Monday and Tuesday, with an outing possible on most Tuesdays.
Thanks - I appreciate it! smile.gif

Thanks to everybody for the awesome pointers!

Rob

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