The following are some important considerations, safety measures, and tips to keep in mind before you and your buddies set foot on the ice. If you want an enjoyable and successful ice-fishing experience, when everyone comes away with a full bucket of fish, consider the following: Things like convenience, environmental impact, safety, location, and maintenance are more important than one might think at first glance – and this comprehensive article, which has been meticulously put together, will tell you everything you need to know about using your chainsaw to cut ice like a pro.
The use of a chainsaw to cut ice on a river or lake is prohibited in many locations across the continent, primarily due to the dangerous oil used by these power tools. This is primarily due to the oil used by these power tools. So, before you begin, check your local laws to determine whether there are any that specifically prevent you from engaging in this activity. If ice-cutting is prohibited by your local ordinances, we recommend that you refrain from doing so.
These restrictions, which may appear to be burdensome, are in place to safeguard not just the environment in which you live and the water you drink, but also you as well. As a newbie with no prior experience, you run the risk of cutting through too much ice and injuring yourself, which is something no angler would want to happen to themselves.
However, if you are capable of doing so without violating any laws, the information provided below will provide you with some of the most important information one should know before embarking on an ice fishing adventure on one’s own.
How To Get Started
The first thing you should do is determine whether the lake in which you intend to dig a hole is public or private property before proceeding. In either case, you must first obtain permission to do so. Despite the fact that it appears to be a no-brainer, many people fail to do so, which can result in unpleasant fines and irate neighbors. Furthermore, some of those water bodies may serve as breeding places for endangered species, thus it is important to be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Having a map of the body of water where you wish to fish or intend to fish is often recommended by fishing professionals. A GPS will allow you to do this for a very minimal cost, so if you have the opportunity to bring one, do so. You will not be disappointed.
It’s important to look around to see whether there are any shallow regions or hot springs nearby, as these could weaken the stability of the ice sheet, and you could end up trapped beneath the ice. You can contract pneumonia and possibly drown, which should give you an idea of how serious the situation is.
What You Need
Packing the necessary equipment is crucial for any form of fishing, not just this particular one. Fortunately, you’ll only need to make a few easy purchases, which we hope will not put a strain on your budget. You’ll need a good fishing pole, a durable winter-friendly reel and line, and, in addition, some brightly colored jigs to get started.
Don’t forget about the lure, as well as the fact that everything should be designed for use in colder weather and at temperatures below freezing. For those who don’t already have one, the market is your best friend, since you will almost certainly be able to locate an outstanding fishing rod and reel combination to suit your needs.
It is also highly recommended by many experienced fisherman that you invest in warm apparel that is both insulating and waterproof. Fishing boots are a necessary, as are gloves, because you’ll be out in the elements for an extended period of time. The use of ice bites might result in finger injuries and even amputations, if you are careless.
And, of course, you’ll need a chainsaw to complete the task. You might use a more traditional model, such as the one you might already have around the house for cutting wood, to do this. It has the potential to be efficient and speedy, but it must be easy to operate and have non-slip handles, even when wet or slick with water. If you don’t have any, you can use winter gloves, which are readily available.
In the market, you can get specially built chainsaws for ice cutting, as well as a high-quality ice fishing rod, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that they are not significantly more expensive than your usual instrument, as you might expect. A word of caution: the cutting procedure can be a tad messy. This will be discussed further in a moment.
Specialized ice-cutting instruments, such as ice augers, are also used by some persons. They are a sort of tool that is used to cut circular holes in the ice with a circular saw. They have a diameter of approximately 6 to 8 inches and, in most cases, do not require any oil to function correctly, which is beneficial to both the environment and the health of the fish in question. If you’re completely out of choices, you can resort to using an ax, but this will involve a significant amount of effort.
The use of a huge spoon-like tool to scoop the ice out of the hole, or even a bucket, which can be used to carry your gear and serve as a seat if you flip it over, are other modest items that may come in helpful. It is possible to make an even longer list, but the ones shown here are more than sufficient.
How To Go About Things
The methods of ice fishing, as well as the equipment necessary, have changed significantly in recent years. Anglers may drill and check hundreds of ice holes in a single day with ease if they use light equipment and fast and powerful augers and chainsaws, which is the epitome of success in ice fishing.
You can also invest in a sonar system, which can scan the water for signs of undersea activity, saving you the time and effort of testing the water every five minutes. You may also use it to locate a suitable position for drilling the hole – drill it two feet away from where the fish are hiding so that you don’t scare them away from their hiding place.
Furthermore, equipment such as these can assist you in determining the depth of the water, allowing you to know what to do or expect in the event of an accident. Using a sonar to measure the thickness of the ice is another expert method that will help ensure that you don’t drill into a weak region.
A modern ice angler can use advanced reels installed on shorter fishing rods if he or she does their study and reads buying recommendations that have been prepared to assist them in their endeavors. This enables them to successfully fish by correlating all of the information they receive from their tools, and to do so without having to struggle to wield bulky rods or other equipment.
Ice fishing, according to experts, can be done at any time of day that is convenient for you, depending on whether the fish you wish to catch is most active at dusk or first light. Different fish species are active at different times of the day, so it’s a good idea to ask around to find out how things work before you go out fishing yourself.
There are various lightweight and portable shelters on the market if you want to experience this at night; variants that mount on plastic sleds and deflate conveniently for transportation are available on the market. They can range from simple one-person shelters to elaborate structures that can accommodate more than five people at a time.
Once the hole has been marked, it is time to drill it. You will proceed in the same manner as you would with a tree. It’s important to learn how to wield a chainsaw safely if you’ve never done so before in order to avoid getting injured. That’s not all, either. It is necessary to thoroughly clean the top portion of the product with hot water and soap in order to remove any oil that may have accumulated on its surface, as this might kill the fish and pollute the water.
There is no need to be concerned about rust because it can be quickly and simply remedied with some canola oil, which is both environmentally benign and non-toxic to marine creatures. Another advantage is that it is inexpensive, and it has moderate antifreeze characteristics.
If the ice is particularly thick, you’ll need to use a long bar on the chainsaw. Your tool will be able to take care of it this way. All you have to do, according to ice fishermen, is carefully chop it down by inserting the blade into the ice with slow, deliberate strokes. You will experience some resistance; however, do not allow the ice to overwhelm you. Keep your pressure low so that you aren’t caught off guard when the bar reaches its other end.
Additionally, because the chainsaw will discharge water as it cuts, you must be particularly cautious about where you position yourself in order to avoid getting wet. To get the larger ice cubes out, you’ll need to use an ice pick or a bar to pry them out. If at all possible, try to push the blocks behind the ice, as they have the potential to slide and strike someone if brought to the surface.
If you decide to use chainsaws to collect fresh fish, you must do so in a manner that is environmentally friendly, especially if you intend to repeat the process in the future. Also, avoid doing it during breeding seasons, as it can result in a drop in the fish population during that time.
As previously said, you will need to drain and wipe clean the crude oil before refilling the chainsaw with vegetable oil – which is often less expensive than conventional oil. After you’ve completed cutting the holes, make sure to thoroughly dry your chainsaw to avoid rust and freezing damage.
Each angler can make educated guesses about the size of the holes when it comes to their favorite species. To have a good voyage, an eight-inch hole should be more than enough space. When it comes to the number of drills, the decision is entirely up to you and your good fortune. Just make sure they aren’t too near to each other to avoid weakening the ice sheet as a result of the proximity.
Charles Reynolds is an engineer from New York University with a passion for fishing. His earliest memories of fishing go back to the days spent on the lake with his grandfather who taught him the sport. Reynolds spends a large part of his holidays fishing with his son and passing on the skills to the little one.