Month: July 2018

How to choose ice fishing shelter

Choosing good ice fishing shelter isn’t that hard, if you know what qualities and features to pay attention to. Some people buy shelters based on their looks, and i guess that’s fine if you’re okay with replacing it once every year, but if you’re interested in getting something to last, you will need to do proper research and read some reviews. Also don’t buy whatever the salesmen recommend, either. Their loyalty lies with the outdoor gear stores and brands, so it’s in their interest to sell you whichever brand or product will make them most profit.

 When looking to buy ice fishing shelter, the first thing to consider is the size. How big do you want the shelter to be? If you don’t have many friends who share this hobby with you, you’ll probably want to stick with smaller versions. There are hub-style shelters, that function almost like a tent, and there are flip-over versions, which are quite hard to describe. Just look flip-over shelters on YouTube and you’ll get it. The main difference is that the latter are much easier to transport and set up. Which means that if you’re looking for mobility and flexibility, flip-over shelters are the way to go. Otherwise – stick with the other. With both types of shelters, insulation is very important. You don’t want to get a simple tent. You want the shelter to actually shelter you from the cold. Some of them also come with additional chairs and other gadgets pre-installed, which is also a plus. After you make sure that it’s properly insulated, it’s a good idea to get quality portable heater. It will save you from freezing in harsh temperatures of winter.

   Prices vary depending on the size. Smaller versions cost around two to three hundred dollars, depending on what additional features they have. Also quality plays important role. Some cheap shelters might be properly insulated but they’ll have constant problems with zippers and minor stuff like that, so they’re not worth the investment. I’d advise to save some money and buy something decent instead. There are few brands that you can trust – Frabill, Eskimo, Clam. All of their products are trustworthy, so are their warranties and customer service. There might be few other brands making quality stuff, but these are the three big fish in this field and i’d recommend sticking with them.

 If you do have few friends who are into ice fishing, consider an option of pooling money together to buy one big ice shelter to share. Large shelters can cost up to four hundred dollars, but when you’re buying it as a party of five, it turns out to be much cheaper than buying them individually. Of course, there’s issue of over-usage, but i’ve never had problems with that. We always go ice fishing together, anyway, and it’s not a very common event.

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Guide to buying ice fishing bibs

Preparation is important for any hobby, let alone ice fishing. This hobby can be kind of dangerous, unless you take proper precautions to protect yourself from extreme cold weather. Getting good ice fishing gear is first step towards this process. Main danger associated with going on ice fishing trip is the weather, so getting warm and sturdy clothes should be your number one priority. You’ll be amazed how many people ignore my advice and once they come home, they have to deal with cold or something like that. Getting yourself nice protection from freezing cold weather is easy and inexpensive, i don’t see why you shouldn’t do it. Even if you’re concerned about budget, there are many ways to save money. One way is to buy used ice fishing bibs instead of new ones. Sometimes i find really good deals on craigslist.

  A lot of people ask me – do i really need ice fishing bib? Why can’t i just use warm clothes? The thing is, sure, you can use warm clothes instead of buying special bib to wear, but those clothes aren’t designed for ice fishing, so there are still some risks associated with wearing them. Ice fishing bibs, on the other hand, protect not only your upper body but also legs. In tandem with ice fishing boots, they ensure your physical safety and i think that’s hard to put a price tag on.

  Other big concern that many people have is bulkiness. When they hear warm clothes, first thing people imagine is bulky and thick clothes that are constricting and uncomfortable. That may’ve been true once, but not anymore. Thanks to modern technologies, manufacturers have managed to make ice fishing bibs that are comfortable and warm at the same time. Sometimes bibs are breathable too. To find out about these qualities and whether the product you’ve chosen has them, you need to read reviews by experienced ice fishing enthusiasts.

  Ice fishing bibs usually cost around hundred dollars, so you shouldn’t rush before making a purchase. I’d advise you to take your time, find out what advantages and disadvantages each products have, and make a decision after analyzing that information. Also, i’d advise you to go with mainstream brands like Frabill and Clam. With those brands, you can be sure that you’re getting the best product for your money. There may be some cheap knockoffs out there, but those ice fishing bibs won’t last and eventually buying them will cost you more. If you don’t have time to pick one by yourself, there are many lists compiled of quality bibs on the internet.  

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Ice Fishing in Minnesota – Basics

Because of it’s geographical location, Minnesota offers most and some of the best best ice fishing lakes compared to anywhere else in the states. If you live here, or in some warmer states and want to come as a visitor, this tutorial will answer all your questions and explain everything you need to know. We’ll talk about lake locations as well as buying or renting ice fishing equipment locally. If you have or plan to bring everything on your own, that’s acceptable as well.

 If you’ve never been ice fishing before, first thing you should do is making sure that you have everything you need. There are tons of things that you might need, but in this article i want to talk about most essential parts of ice fishing gear. First of all, you will need auger to cut holes in the ice, so that you can access the waters underneath it. There are many different types of augers, so their cost varies too. The cheapest and most reliable option is to simply buy hand auger. If you like to change your location very often and don’t have the patience required for manual work, you can buy gas or battery powered augers. They’re quick and much more effective.  You’ll also need ice fishing rod and reel that you’ll use to actually catch the fish. I would also recommend to get variety of jigs and other types of baits, but if, for some reason, you can’t, get at least a few different ones. Lastly, but most importantly, warm clothes. Especially pay attention to what you wear on your hands and feet. You have to make sure that the boots and gloves you choose to wear are absolutely waterproof. In my experience, it’s also good idea to get cleats for your boots. Even though outsoles of boots are designed not to be slippery, ice is especially slippery in Minnesota, and you don’t want to take any chances. If you need help with choosing good ice fishing boots, either ask your friends or read a review written by expert.

  Once you’re done with organizational preparation, it’s time to go out there and actually catch some fish. Most common fish in Minnesota’s lakes are walleyes, northern pikes and lake trouts. I generally don’t go out fishing for specific species, but i believe there is map somewhere that shows lakes that have significant amount of each specie.

  Season in Minnesota starts quite early. Starting mid-autumn, it’s possible to find some decent locations. Most people don’t go out that early though. January and February is usually the time when mainstream anglers head out to lakes for ice fishing.  If you’re just a beginner and don’t have any friends who are experienced in this field, don’t worry, there are plenty of guides that you can hire. They’ll show you good spots and answer any of the remaining questions you might have.

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