How to keep yourself warm on frozen lake

Nothing is more annoying and hard to withstand than being stranded on frozen lake in extremely cold weather. Things can get even worse though – you might not catch any fish. Still, there are things you can do to ensure your well-being under any circumstances. You should be prepared for even the worst. There are few ice fishing gadgets and other equipment you can get to ensure your survival in even the harshest weather. That list includes : ice fishing shelter, boots, gloves, bibs and portable heaters for your shelters.

 First and most important are ice fishing shelters. There are two major types of shelters – hub style and flip over shelters. Hub style shelters are generally larger – usually intended for 3 or more people. They aren’t that expensive. In fact, if you count by per-person capacity basis, hub style shelters are one of the cheapest options. On the other hand, flip over style shelters are usually rather small – for one or two persons. They are much quicker to set up as well. They are also easier to transport and carry on the lake. So if you’re into changing locations frequently, and don’t have that many people to go on ice fishing trips with, flip style shelters might be your best bet. Still, if you know three or more people who like to go ice fishing, you can all pool your money and buy one large hub style shelter to go on fishing trips together.

 Ice fishing boots are rather important part of your ice fishing gear as well. So you shouldn’t buy one without doing proper research. Any boot you buy must be warm and waterproof before anything else. Whether your pair of ice fishing boots (or any other piece of ice fishing apparel) is waterproof or not can be found out by reading the description and reviews by customers and ice fishing experts. There are certain materials that are waterproof, while others aren’t. I’m not going to get into details on which materials are good and which aren’t. It’s easy to find that information if you want to. It also doesn’t hurt for your boots to be stylish.

 Good mittens for ice fishing aren’t hard to come by. There are lots of winter sports, most of which require protection for your hands. For that reason, technologies for manufacturing warm, waterproof gloves have been developing and there are excellent products available to be purchased right now. Some people do use skiing mittens for ice fishing, but i don’t recommend going down that route. They are super warm, but mittens don’t offer enough flexibility for your hand to be as functional as it can be. Plus, skiing mittens are very expensive compared to good ice fishing gloves, which will cost you around fifty bucks. If you already have general-purpose glove for keeping your hands warm and dry in extremely cold weather, you might get away with just using that. If thats the case, there’s no point in spending more money on ice fishing gloves.

 Bibs, just like ice fishing boots, must be warm and waterproof. Being windproof is also a plus. Main point of wearing ice fishing bibs is to keep yourself warm and dry, therefore materials used in manufacturing it are also very important. I think reading about materials and details like that can be boring, so i’d advise against it. Reading reviews, both by experts and customers, can be helpful in deciding which one to choose. Another major reason for why people choose to wear ice fishing bibs is the convenience. So i’d recommend getting a bib that has large, convenient pockets for storing your ice fishing-related or just any type of gadgets. I like Frabill ice fishing bibs the most. I think being made domestically is major factor in measuring quality of a product. I personally wouldn’t trust ice fishing bib if it was imported. Quality of craftsmanship and materials is significantly better in here. Last, but not least, ice fishing bibs should be breathable. That is kind of hard to achieve when you have so much layers of insulation, but some manufacturers still pull it off.

If weather ever gets to extreme lows, shelter alone won’t do much to keep you warm. You’ll also need heater, preferably one that is portable and easy to transport. Heaters are able to keep the weather inside shelters so warm that some people manage to fish without wearing t-shirts while it’s freezing outside! These heaters usually run on electricity. If you want top notch comfort on your ice fishing trips, get one of these along with nice shelter, but if you’re on tight budget, unfortunately you can’t afford it.

 When choosing any of these equipment, it’s important to pay attention to brand names. Some brand names are associated with high quality and for a good reason. Picking a product by excellent brand facilitates choosing high quality product. My favorite brand is Frabill and i have shelters, gloves and bibs made by them.


How to use ice fishing flasher

I have been on many ice fishing trips and i’ve used many types of different equipments over my ice fishing career, but i haven’t seen any piece of equipment that is as useful and as strange as flashers are. Most people can’t even grasp what they are used for, and i don’t blame them. At first glance, flashers look like some kind of color palette, which is pretty hard to interpret. The worst part about all this is that there is little to no information about flashers available online. That’s why i wanted to write this post and clearly answer some of the most common flasher-related questions i’ve seen asked online.
To put it simply, flashers work like this : they measure sound waves in the lake, thus giving you some idea of where the fish are likely to be. It is very effective in helping you choose the right spots to fish. It also measures how solid an object is. For example, water is not solid, it is liquid, and the fish are more solid than water, so that will help you identify where the fish are.

 I love using the flasher, because i’m the kind of person who always doubts whether he’s in the right spot. Flasher allows me to judge my chosen spot with some certainty, so i can have peace of mind. Not only that, but it also allows me to see my jig and the situation around it. Usually, jigs will be marked as green on the monitor, and when you see yellow or red objects approaching it, that’s clear sign of some fish action. If you see that fish aren’t taking the bait, then you have the opportunity to change positioning or some other thing to improve your chances. Normally, if you were to make some kind of mistake, you would have no way of knowing. But with flashers allowing you to have all this information about what is going on underwater, you are much better equipped to experiment with your setup. Flashers are especially useful for data-driven OCD people like myself. I can’t rest well if i don’t certainly know that my ice fishing setup is done properly.  When you’re buying a flasher, make sure that it has both – good underlying technology and solid quality screen. You should also read the manual, as it will be good guide in helping you interpret the colors on the screen. As i said before, it might seem confusing at first, but give it some time, and you’ll get better with practice. If you buy it used and it doesn’t come with a manual, you can check out reviews of your flasher on Youtube. The manufacturer might also have the manual published on their website.

 Some flashers are simpler, while others are more advanced with advanced features. But even the more advanced versions are likely to come with option to automate most things. Simple, affordable flashers are also likely to allow you some degree of freedom in customizing your flasher’s settings.  The feature of my flasher that i like the most is the zoom feature. This feature allows you to ignore the waters that are empty and focus all your attention and screen size on the areas that are active. This is much better because it makes better use of your screen size, and you are focused on waters that actually matter. This feature is adjustable, so if something changes, you can set it back to default. Most flashers, as far as i know, come with this feature pre-loaded.

  Outside of steep learning curve, flashers don’t really have any disadvantage. They require little to care in terms of maintenance. The only thing that you might have to do is change a battery once in a while. Also, because it is electric, you should be careful around moisty frozen lake. You don’t want water getting inside. Having ice fishing flasher is really no brainer. If you can afford it, i definitely recommend getting one. It’s somewhat expensive, but no more expensive than good ice fishing shelters (about which you can learn here) or ice fishing apparel.