What You’ll Want to Bring Ice Fishing in Iowa This Winter
I love to fish. I've been getting better at it each year, but because of the wealth of info from YouTubers who fish, I'm learning more and more. There are many channels to watch for different kinds and styles of angling. Tutorial channels are excellent because it's like being in class with a professor of Angling, but outside and, for the most part, hairier (seems it's a prerequisite to have facial hair if you want to be an excellent fisherman, not so much for fisher-women).
Ice fishing is something I've never done, but totally willing to try. After realizing how much I miss going out and reeling in a big bass or pike due to stupid Winter, I started looking into it. What I found was, I am too money-challenged to participate well in said fishing. In-season fishing isn't completely cheap, but can be very affordable for nearly everyone, of any age! However, to not freeze to death whilst ice fishing, one needs to open the pocketbook or warm up the credit card to purchase very specific things.
An ice auger first needs warm clothing. With temps, for the most part, below freezing, socks, tennis shoes, jeans, a winter coat, stocking cap, and gloves will get you out and onto the ice.... For about 20 minutes, tops, if not too windy. That's it. You'll soon enough walk, briskly back to your vehicle, start her up, crank up the heat, and drive away. All while using profanity, describing how cold it is and that ice fisher-people are *profanity* crazy and that you were *profanity* stupid to think for one *profanity* second you would enjoy it. Well, I imagine that's what would transpire anyway.
You should have good, insulated boots, most likely with warmer pads inside, to keep your feet from the cold ice you're standing on ($50 and up on Amazon). Thermal socks to go inside the boot and over your tootsies ($70 and up on Amazon). A nice and warm, but lightweight coat in which you can move around and crouch ($70 and up on Amazon). Waterproof and insulated gloves so you don't leave your hands behind when you leave ($30 and up on Amazon). And last but certainly not to be forgotten, a took (stocking cap)! ($10 and up on Amazon)
Now you're hopefully warm enough to spend a decent amount of time on the ice. Wait..... How do you get to the fish UNDER the ice that is safely several inches thick? If you just figured this out as you stood on the ice, you're ready to trek back to your vehicle, uttering plenty of profanity that your mother would be ashamed to know that you even KNOW!
You need an auger! The drilling tool to create a hole big enough to get a line and lure down into the freezing, liquid ice. These are not cheap. A manual one is around $60 or more if you feel you can afford it. If you KNOW you can afford it, might as well get the electric or fuel-fed motorized auger to make it easier and faster to get at the fish.
Now that you have an open hole, I hope to heck you thought ahead and brought an ice fishing rod and reel with the appropriate tackle... If not, take the walk-o-shame back to the car or truck and yes, feel free to cuss worse than a sailor. You deserve it.
More on ice fishing from someone who has yet to do so AND from others who have, coming in part 2!