As winter descends across Wisconsin, the mercury drops, the snow falls and the lakes freeze over–but that doesn’t mean there are no outdoor activities to enjoy. On the contrary, wintery weather creates the perfect conditions for a wide range of family-fun fun winter activities, especially in and around the year-round vacation destination of Wisconsin Dells! From ice skating to sledding, and cross-country-skiing to snow tubing, the cold weather brings a whole new way to enjoy the outdoors. Perhaps one of the most popular winter activities in Wisconsin is ice fishing. On a frozen body of water, anglers attempt to catch fish through an opening cut in ice two feet or thicker.
Safety First While Ice Fishing
If you decide to try your hand at ice fishing, it’s extremely important to take all of the necessary precautions in order to preserve the safety of all involved. Heavy felt-pack boots, waterproof gloves, long johns, and a warm coat are essential to sustain you in the cold temperature. Also, wear sunglasses to prevent bad headaches and snow blindness while ice fishing. We recommend that you obtain an ice shanty–small shelters that protect you from the wind and snow while you fish. These shanties are made of wood or plastic, and can be rented at many area sport fishing stores.
Before You Hit the Ice Fishing
Pack your sled full of fishing lures and jigging rods before heading out on your ice fishing adventure. With your tools in tow, head to the best waters for ice fishing in Wisconsin. Don’t forget to bring your Wisconsin fishing license. Bring a small fishing rod with bait like crappie minnows or waxworms. You can also use a tip-up, which comes with a flag attached that “tips up” whenever something gets hooked on the line .
On the Ice Fishing
After you settle on a frozen laketop location, you’ll use an auger (which looks like a giant corkscrew) to cut into the ice and create your ice fishing hole. Simply screw the auger into the ice by winding it. A skimmer is then used to skim ice and slush from your fishing hole, to help keep it from freezing over again while you fish. Next, drop your line and bait and sit back and wait to catch tasty bluegill, yellow perch, northern pike, or walleye!