early ice success

3 Tips for Early Ice Success


I’ve been ice fishing for a long time and over the years I’ve learned a few things that have helped me find success when heading out for the first time of the season. The following is my top three tips regarding your gear that will ensure you have early ice success.

3 Tips for Early Ice Success

The first tip is to make sure your drag is set correctly. It’s a real simple thing, but I know I personally have forgotten to do this more than a few times. You know, you’ll take a rod out of storage to use for the first time. Start fishing and when you go to set the hook, you have got the drag way to loose and miss the fish.

It’s a real simple thing that can be easily overlooked.

The second tip to ensure you have early ice success is to spool up new line before each year. Having fresh line is such an important thing as an angler. You don’t want to go into the ice season with line that has lots memory or a possible nick in it.

Now, if you have your reel spooled up with some braided line then you may be okay for a season or two especially if it didn’t get a lot of use, but if you have your reels spooled up with mono or fluorocarbon line you should be respooling your reels every season. It’s real cheap insure to make sure your gear is ready for the task at hand.

Now my third tip is to be efficient when you are packing your gear. I see a lot of anglers who tend to bring all their gear out onto first ice when in reality they may only need a handful of jigs for panfish.

Packing too much gear is going to slow you down as an angler and frankly you probably aren’t going to need every lure that’s in your box.

What I like to do is pack a few different jigs or spoons for whatever species I am chasing and then I’ll just keep it in my pocket. That way I am free to move around and I don’t get stuck hauling around a bunch of gear I don’t need for early ice.

Hopefully these tips will help you have some early ice success this winter.

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