Best definition of Ice Fishing that I have seen is “catching fish under ice”. It is a great wintertime outdoor activity for the whole family. Getting outside during the winter beats cabin fever.
The equipment for catching fish under 18’ ice is somewhat different than fishing from above the water. Rods, reels and bait for ice fishing are inexpensive.
You will be fishing through a hole in the ice. If the lake where you are planning to fish does not offer fishing holes that have been pre-drilled, you will need to drill your own fishing holes or ask someone else to do so for you. Perhaps, a friend or a nearby fisherman would do that for you.
Keeping warm is a concern. But for outdoor winter activities you probably already have the layers of warm, waterproof clothing you would need.
One of the main concerns of this type of fishing is safety. Safety on the ice and keeping your body warm enough while fishing. One good idea is to take with you an extra set of dry clothing and towels.
When ice is about 18” thick, it is usually regarded as safe to drill holes for fishing. Also, fishermen drive their vehicles, such as trucks, small campers, snow mobiles and such onto the ice. Majority will set up some type of shelter in which to sit while fishing. Some structures are set in place for the winter; others are set on skids or runners that can be attached to a vehicle and moved from place to place.
On the other hand, you have those who come out with the minimum equipment to fish for the day or a few hours. They will be dressed warmly, have their fishing combo and bait, something to carry their fish in, plus a tool to drill in the ice. (Note: some lakes will already have pre-drilled holes in the ice every so many feet apart.)
When the fishing is in full swing, some larger frozen lakes look like small villages on ice.They have all these fishing shelters scattered close together on the ice.
Many communities within ice fishing regions schedule festivities during this season. Outdoor activities are planned for all those attending, no matter their age going to be Prizes are awarded for these many things.
Also, there are many fishing tournaments during this time. These tournaments may be local or regional, state wide, or National. Some states will have a free fishing one weekend during ice fishing season.
All in all, ice fishing is a great wintertime activity that many in the northern tier of states enjoy when the lakes are frozen over. Maybe more of us should think about participating in this sport, especially if we live where lakes freeze over.