Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ice Ice Baby!

Could this be the Siberian cousin of the Tenkara Sasquatch???
With winter on the doorstep, all of us fishermen have a decision.  To put up the rod until spring or to battle the elements of cold, ice and snow...  I made the decision last year to ski in the morning and fish in the afternoon.  And it worked out great!  But, this year, I want to add a new dimension to my winter fun.  Ice Fishing!  That's right.  And to learn from one of the best on the summer stillwater and the winter ice... Craig Peacock.  This fisherman is from my hometown, Salt Lake City, and helped me find my first tiger trout last year.  And this winter...yes...it is "Ice Ice Baby"!

Thanks, Craig, for giving us a few tips today on ice fishing and keeping those fishing rods out during the winter months!

By Craig Peacock

I am honored to be a guest blogger for the week.  I hope for a speedy recovery for the patient and the return of the River Damsel in the very near future!

Gone are the summer days of camping. 

No more riding:

 No more BBQ:

It is time to face the reality that the float tubes and still water fishing are done for the year.   It is time for the ice to gum up the guides and the snow to stick to the boots and the bugs to get smaller and smaller.  It is everyone’s least favorite time of the year!  (Except for the River Damsel's)

No more of this...

May I offer an alternative to this cold miserable time of year?  ICE FISHING!  Granted, it is not my favorite type of fishing, but it is better than not fishing at all.  Done right with the right equipment and gear, it can actually be quite a riot!  I would suggest you need some gear to get out and enjoy it and the initial investment can be fairly cheap or super expensive depending on what your tastes are.  You can go as cheap as a used hand auger and ice fishing rod a few jigs and get a setup for under $50 and be fishing.  You also can buy an ice hut, heater, flasher, power auger, multiple rods, tons of tackle, and a snowmobile to haul it all out and invest 10K.  It is all up to you! 

This author chooses and ice hut, heater and power auger for comfort.  I am a wimp when it comes to the cold sometimes.  Being toasty and eating a nice, hot bowl of soup and catching fish at the same time... is a lot of fun.  We generally bring out the lanterns and can fish all night if we want to.  But with a heater you can fish in short sleeve shirts and be comfortable in the tent.  (I can see the River Damsel shaking her head "yes"!)


I would recommend visiting your local sporting goods store and talking to the sales staff.  You will need some basics and ice rod, strike indicator, jigs or bait, warm clothes, and something to sit on.  The best piece of advice I was given, was the strike indicators.  The bit is so light even with some really large fish that you must have this piece of equipment.  Do not wait until you can feel the strike!  When the wire indicator moves... you set that hook and hold on!!  Give it a try and you might find that ice fishing is the cure for the winter blues. 


  1. I tried ice fishing once...once! I think if I had an ice hut, thermos' full of hot stuff to drink and a heater I could do this.

  2. Oh, good...Howard. C'mon out to Utah in January and we will set up shop for ya! I've got a camera ready to roll... = ) Heehee.

  3. Have ice fished for years (in Idaho). I will say that if you get the proper equipment and spend adequate time out on the ice, you will become an addict. Not planning on any ice fishing this year (Colorado), will spend my time tying flies and getting ready for next season.