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mainbutter

Looking for beginner ice fishing advice

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So let me first state that I'm a Texan who has spent the past 4 years going to school here in MN, so although this whole snow and ice thing isn't COMPLETELY new to me, I still can't help but think that lakes not being liquid is weird.

Anyhoo, I've been thinking of trying to go ice fishing this winter and was wondering how it is done? I've never seen people ice fishing other than recently looking at videos on YouTube.

So what is there I need to know about ice fishing as far as equipment, location(do fish go deeper or shallower when a lake freezes over?), lures, bait, and safety?

I'll probably not be doing a ton of ice fishing this season, unless I really get into it, but at least will be out on a small lake up north that has some walleyes, small pike, and sunfish.

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Always remember Safety 1st, no fish ids worth your life, 4 inchs of good clear ice to walk, 6" for snowmobile/atv going real slow and afoot for a small car. I always waituntil there is a solid 8" before I venture out, Ice will vary from a foot to a very few inchs, best thing would be to hook up with someone from here. Pick your self up asmall rod, and there are many to choose from, a snall jig box (some will fit in your pockets, a few lures/jigs and a ice auger, you can get one that you bore holes in the ice by hand for a bout $40.00, go to a bait store close to you and ask where to go. but the best thing would be to sit and read here all about it until things freeze over, and WELCOME.

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I would go with some one already into ice fishing to see if you really like.Or buy acouple of poles and some jigs.Go out where you see people already fishing ,and ask to use a old hole.Most of us ICEHEADS will help you out.With holes and how to if asked.I have help alot of people get into ice fishing.It will grow on you real fast.And yes safety first never go alone on ice.ICE JOHN

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As others have recommended, go with someone that has experience - someone that has a flasher (vex/marcum) to see what it is really all about.

To start out - you can keep it simple. You can have two lines out for MN. Get a cheap tip-up and rig with a shiner (for pike/walleye) and use for one hole. The other line use a ice combo and a ice bobber w/ a small minnow or wax worm for panfish.

Get a bucket to put your stuff in and sit on. If you don't want to depend on someone else for holes, get a cheap hand auger - one that cuts 6" holes are lighter and cut holes much easier. Just make sure it has sharp blades.

If you look around for used you can find this stuff pretty cheap. Best case would be $50-100 with a used hand auger. Don't forget to use a good set of boots & jacket that keeps out the wind. Layering is good.

machohorn makes good points on safety. Talk to people before going on a lake. Some lakes have areas that freeze much later than other parts of the lake. Locals/bait shop, can help you avoid these areas. Also, bring some ice fishing hand picks just in case for earlier ice.

Good Luck!

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First off welcome to the wonderful world of hard water, like they said try and hook up with someone before you buy lots of stuff. Before you know it you can be like me and have 3 house and enough gear for 3 others and i usually fish by myself. Post on here someplace where your located and see if you can go out with someone and try it, someone would be more then happy for you to go along and try it. its a lot of fun just takes a little time to get use to it. Good luck

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All the points mentioned already are right on. Being the first time on ice I would hook up with someone who has all the right equipment auger, vex, poles & ect. Believe it or not this will be a make it or break it if you aren't with someone who has the right equipment. If you were to go out with someone else who doesn't have the equipment to find fish and you have to sit on a bucket with your line down a hole not knowing if there are any fish there or not can discourage someone really quick if you can't catch fish.

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Going out the first few times with another with expierence would be of a great amount of help. I would stay away from the early ice as it can be very dangerous and tricky even for an expierenced ice angler.

As far as equipment, I would look for an ice auger and flasher first. Then also some ice rods and good warm clothing.

If you watch the For sale forum for Ice Fishing items, you may be able to find some good gear for a little less than going out and getting all new gear which will run into some money.

As suggested above, look for another to maybe take you out the first few times to try and show you the safer side of ice here in Minnesota and then also learn a few tricks to the trade.

As questions as you have any many will chime in and help as much as possible.

I would really watch the safety end of things going out on the ice as it can be tricky with different types of water on the rivers and lakes.

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So let me first state that I'm a Texan who has spent the past 4 years going to school here in MN.

Hey MB, you an Ole or a Carl? Ole here, from '89. If you ever want to venture as far as White Bear Lake (about an hour north up 35), you are welcome to come with, no gear needed. Myself and bro-in-law hit a local lake at first ice for some pike (tip ups) and some crappie and sunnies, but mainly the pike. Short walk from the road, and usually do pretty well.

You will have some pics your buds with back south will shake their heads at smile

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