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Last Ice: How to Stay Safe and When to Call it Quits
The ice at the lake edge is dark, slushy, and covered in standing water, as if the lake dug a moat around itself. Farther out, where I want...
Spearfishing through Ice: Modern Adherents to an Ancient Tradition
Ice Advice: Staying Warm During the Coldest Fishing Season
Bar Room Banter: The $18 Million Ice Fishing Drug Bust
Fact Checker: Do You Lose Half of Your Body Heat from Your Head?
Jan 17, 2020
Myths, lies and old wives’ tales loom large in the outdoor pursuits. Here at MeatEater, we’re dedicated to separating facts from bullsh*t, so we created this series to examine suspect yarns. If there’s a belief, rumor, or long-held assumption you’d like us to fact check, drop us a note at email@example.com.
You lose half of your body heat through your head, making it the most important part of your body to cover in frigid...
Five Easy DIY Ice Fishing Projects Your Gear Needs
Jan 8, 2020
Ice fishing materials and equipment are light years ahead of where they were a decade ago, but that doesn’t mean there’s a commercially available solution for every gear need. Plus, ice fishing enjoys a long tradition of tinkering and build-it-yourself contraptions like tip-ups and shanties. There’s just something about spending long nights in the shop, building tackle in anticipation of the next adventure on ice.
We came up with five helpful...
Hardwater Basics: A Guide to Tip-Up Fishing
Dec 27, 2019
After augering 10 holes and clearing the slush, we moved on to setting tip-ups. My fingers were already losing function due to the cold, but the adrenaline kept me going. As usual, we were first on the frozen lake, my father and I. The sooner we set up, the sooner our jumbo shiners would swim at depths haunted by big northern pike. To break up down-time between pike bites, we would set a few smaller rigs tipped with tiny emerald shiners for white...
First Ice: Early Hard-Water Fishing Safety
Nov 19, 2019
We stood in the trees near the shoreline, waiting for sunrise. The morning was frigid and windless. A few feet beyond, lake ice folded against land. As far as I could tell, we’d be the season’s first ice anglers; it was early December and a week-long cold snap had hardened my favorite local lake. In a month’s time the lake would be dotted with shanties, alive with the echoes of power augers and snowmobiles, but this morning it was empty and...
Hardwater Exposure: A Beginner’s Look at Ice Fishing
Mar 14, 2019
The four-wheeler groaned and plowed, tossing snow into the air as we hauled into the enveloping dawn fog. The skin on my face and ears screamed during the ride across the lake, nerves lighting up the registry of pain.
I’ve felt this pain before, working cattle in blowing Kansas snowstorms on the family farm. One of my hands pressed the insulated hood against my ear while the other held down the Pelican case, ensuring my camera gear didn’t launch...
Pike Under Ice: Advanced Tactics for Spooky Winter Northerns
Mar 8, 2019
I came to pike fishing by way of salmon, which is to say I was utterly unprepared. Landlocked salmon—the preferred quarry at the outset of my ice fishing journey 20 years ago—require delicate leaders, small hooks and pin smelts pierced gently beneath their dorsal. Call it finesse ice fishing, if such a thing exists.
What did I know about northern pike? Not much. A biologist acquaintance told me that pike were illegally introduced into the...
Ice Fishing (13)
Freshwater Drum (1)
Striped Bass (1)
White Perch (1)
Yellow Perch (1)
Wild Turkey (1)
Natural History (1)
Wildlife Management (1)