I am in Northern Illinois. We have a small lake nearby.
I would estimate that, after extended cold weather, the ice is at
least 15 inches thick.
I have never done ice fishing and I have questions that are pretty
1) I assume that with a snow shovel and a 6 foot long straight steel
prybar, it should not be a problem to clear a foot of snow and to
break through that ice.
2) When I was a kid, I walked past a recently abandoned ice fishing
hole in Russia. I was shocked to see a giant quantity of fish crowding
the hole, as if they were starved of air and needed desperately to get
a fresh breath of air. Is that due to oxygen deprivation on an ice
covered lake, or was the hole chummed?
Is there some way to get the same effect? The lake was frozen at least
for 5-6 weeks, IIRC.
Western Lake Erie is the Walleye capital of the world. I've been ice
fishing there since I was a kid. We always had a collapsible canvas shack
built on a pallet-like platform and use an ice auger that drills a 8" hole.
I have dropped onion bags filled with dog food and rocks in the holes to
attract baitfish that attract Yellow Perch, Walleye and Sheepsheads. I
don't know it that actually works. I too have seen fish congregate at a
hole. I think they are curious. When diving, fish come up and bump my mask
all the time; it's like they are saying "Whatcha doin' in there? Got
something to eat?" and I would often hand feed them nightcrawlers. You
would think they would be skittish but they're not and Smallies are the most
I've only been ice fishing twice and you want to use auger. You'll be
there all day and down right pooped with a pry bar, plus probably
loose the bar. I'm not sure, but for a 12 pack I bet there will be
someone there that has an auger. As for fish, well I've never seen
people catching fish. Always thought it was about getting away from
I've got a question for you. I was crusing around that big deep lake
in russia with google earth and was really surprised at the bright
blue ice, happen to know why it is blue? It's real easy to find, just
click on five pictures at the lake and one will show the ice.
I don't mean to pry, but what is your story? I would think someone
from there would be an expert at snow and ice. Kind of like the
people I have talked to in scandinavia that say they plow the roads
I grew up in northern New England and ice fishing was a good way to
spend weekends when everything was snowed in.
We carried a snow shovel and an ice auger ( you can make one ) and
just shoveled/scrapped off enough snow to get to something fairly
solid. Auger the hole and set your trap. As I remember we used live
minnows for bait.
The "traps" were a folding wood cross with a small reel, to hold the
fish line, on the bottom arm and a flag on the upper. The cross arm
kept it from falling down the hole :-) The flag was on a spring and
bent over and caught on the reel. If the reel turned it released the
spring. You built a fire and sat around the fire ( with the elders
frequently drank from some brown bottles that they kept in a hip
pocket ) and us kids ran around on the ice and when a flag popped up
raced to the hole to get the fish - just haul them in and throw them
out on the ice.
You can build everything you need so, other then the minnows, it is a
pretty cheap sport.
If it is a popular fishing lake, there will be holes from other fishermen
covered by thin layers of ice, much easier to get through than a whole sheet
of ice. PLUS, these holes are usually drilled by persons who know the lake,
have the equipment, and know where the fish are. All they need is a
"FISH HERE ------>" SIGN
Heart surgery pending?
Read up and prepare.
Learn how to care for a friend.
Download the book.
A pry bar is not a good way to cut through ice for a few reasons.
First, it's heavy and awkward to use. Secondly, you normally have to
make a much 'larger hole' in order at the onset in order to get you 8"
hole at the bottom. The ice hole that is created with such a tool
also creates HUGE chunks of sharp ice edges and you WILL easily cut
your line on those edges.
Ice augers can be found at places like BASS PRO or Wal-Mart for as
little as $30 or $40 bucks. The Normark augers have nice sharp blades
and I can get through 22" of ice in less than a minute or two. Also,
if you have a decent drill (250+ foot pounds) you can buy a simple
attachment that connects to the auger and you can drill quite a few
holes that only take about 8 to 10 seconds to get through the ice. So
all in all, it's not expensive to get through just about 'any'
thickness of ice
Fish in Many 'Heavily Iced' areas are easily attracted to sunlight
that appears when a hole is cut completely through the ice.. Compound
this with a body of water that has 'Very Little' fishing pressure and
you'll have some very eager and inquisitive fish. This phenomena
'rarely' occurs on a lake or body of water that is 'Heavily Fished'.
Also, the probability of fish at the 'Top' of the hole (surface of the
water) is EXTREMELY rare and is likely a result of a 'Larger'
predatory fish that has pushed a 'School of Fish' to the surface, thus
trapping some of them into the hole. Once inside the hole and
depending on the size of the fish, they will very quickly lose their
'bearings' and remain in the hole until they can escape.
Check with your 'Fishing Regulations' for your area before using Bait,
or Chumming the water! Use of any one of these methods can ABSOLUTELY
ruin your day, week or Month depending on the 'FINE' that you might
receive for doing using the former when it is 'not allowed'. Where I
live, the fines can be quite severe and as such, they are NOT limited
to the confiscation of ALL your Fishing Equipment, you CAR/TRUCK and
even your BOAT! So indeed, be aware...
Lake Baikal can will sometimes not freeze completely until
February... It depends on 'how cold' the Winters are and how quickly
them come. Having said that, sometimes the lake is frozen before the
middle of December! Ice thickness' vary, but it's not uncommon to
find 5' of black ice (very strong ice) so bring a 'decent auger'.
Oh Yeah,... The Sky is MUCH BLUER in places like this due to FAR, FAR
less pollution. From what I know, Dust isn't much of an obstruction
unless you live in or near a desert or 'desert-like' environment....