Have you ever thought about how ice fishing has changed throughout the years...50 years ago ice fishing consisted of wooden shanties randomly strewn across vast frozen water with fishermen sharing stories of catching the one that got away. Today, ice fishing has become almost like tailgating at a Bears’ game; Music, portable grills, beer, underwater camera’s! That’s right, new technology has made it almost impossible for you not to have fun and catch fish at the same time. Think about it...light weight portable shanties, fish finders, gas augers, underwater cameras, handheld gps locators, advanced tip up systems and not to mention the advanced technology within snowmobiles and four wheelers. You see we really have no excuse . Ok, granted some fish species and overall populations have declined within many lakes over 50 years, but our technology has also advanced.
How do you use this technology to your advantage. Most newer shanties have built in sled systems making them easy to pull and can quickly set up within minutes. Gas Ice augers can be used to drill quickly with out the tremendous physical effort of conventional hand augers. The advantage these days is drilling multiple holes quickly. Not just 2 or 4 holes, but 25 or 40. Unless the weather is terrible you don’t want to just sit in the shanty all day, but try and fish multiple holes. This really increases your chances of catching fish by covering more ground.Underwater cameras are also useful because you can scout areas after drilling a hole. You can see exactly what the bottom structure looks like or if fish are present, even in the dark. Fish finders can also come in handy showing fish to be present at specific depths. Handheld gps units can place you almost exactly on a spot or structure that was hot the last time you fished it. Various tip up systems are very advanced, some containing advanced bearing systems in their spools. Some even glow and contain night lights to warn you when a fish strikes. If you don’t have these products you may want to consider researching them and making an investment for the next ice adventure.
Remember to practice safe ice etiquette. Check the ice thickness before you get too far out and try to always bring safety spikes. Natural springs could be prevalent and can be dangerous. Keep your ice fishing area clean for the sake of others and the wildlife.