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How to Ice Fish

Follow these tips to keep safe when catching dinner out in the freezing cold.


  • Step 1: Contact the DNR Contact the appropriate state agency to buy a fishing license and check for any ice warnings.
  • Step 2: Research fishing spots Research popular fishing spots on the web or from people at local bait shops.
  • Step 3: Pack and dress for the weather Pack all your fishing essentials and a towel in a bucket. Wear warm clothes, boots, gloves, and a float coat.
  • TIP: Dressing in multiple layers will keep you warmer.
  • Step 4: Walk with a spud bar Walk onto the ice wearing ice cleats and using a spud bar to spear the ice as you go.
  • TIP: If the bar sticks in the ice, stop and back up slowly -- the ice is not secure.
  • Step 5: Drill a hole Drill a hole with an auger and scoop out the ice.
  • Step 6: Measure the line Let the line from the fishing pole loose into the water with a depth finder attached until it reaches the bottom of the lake. Reel the line up 2 to 3 feet and attach a bobber where the line hits the water
  • Step 7: Attach hook and bait Pull the line up and attach the hook and bait. Drop the line back into the water and you are now ice fishing.
  • FACT: In 2006 in Wisconsin, ice anglers spent 11 million hours catching 14 million fish.

You Will Need

  • Freezing cold weather
  • A fishing license
  • A towel
  • A bucket
  • Warm clothes
  • Boots
  • Gloves
  • A float coat
  • Ice cleats
  • A spud bar
  • An auger
  • A scooper
  • A fishing pole with reel
  • Fishing line
  • A depth finder
  • A bobber
  • Hook
  • Bait
  • A lake with fish

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