Winter Fishing Tom Neustrom

Guest Blogger, Tom Neustrom, MN Fishing Connections gives us tips on getting ready for ice fishing.

It’s another season upon us and getting ready and preparing for the 2015-16 ice fishing adventures is an all important ritual that will be essential to have fun and be safe on the ice.

With the cool crisp mornings and evenings it’s time to prepare. Where do I start?? Most often you put away your tackle without stripping line from your rods and reels. Replacing line is the first step and it will be important to do so. Fill your reels with premium monofilament or braided line to insure a fresh start. Take a small amount of gun oil and apply a few drops to the spool shaft and bail spring connections. It will make sure you have smooth operation throughout the cold water period.

Strikemaster Tips Getting ReadyAnother thing you should do to get ready for ice fishing is to make sure you start your ice auger and replace spark plug when needed. I like to drain gas and fill with new to start the season. There is nothing worse than getting out on the ice for the first time and having an auger that doesn’t start. Check your blades and replace any that have nicks or gouges in them. Make sure the screws are tight for optimum performance. Finally check the starter rope and filters.

When it comes to portable shelters there are few thing to make sure you are ready before venturing out on the ice. For many reasons little critters like mice love the fabric of your fish house. They cause unwanted damage and have a tendency to chew holes in the fabric. Repair holes or take your fish house to a qualified canvas shop. Otherwise you will need a bigger heater!! Check the poles on your house and make sure they are sliding properly. Don’t oil or spray the poles, but apply small amounts of lip balm to connecting edges. This will insure proper sliding of the poles for long periods of time. Again a little maintenance before season will be your best friend.

When venturing out for the first time, especially when it’s early ice, take a spud and chisel hits in front of you as you walk. Four inches of ice is good enough for foot travel, but don’t even attempt to travel with snowmobile or ATV until the ice is at least 6-8 inches thick. Wear boot spikes that are easily slipped on and off. It will minimize falls that may cause tough injuries. Some anglers I know wear knee pads and elbow pads when out on the ice to insure bad injuries from happening. Check out the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources ice thickness guidelines before venturing onto any ice.

Kid Ice Fishing Tom NeustromHaving kids out on the ice is a great and fun experience and we all want them to enjoy the adventure safely. Take a tip and put a life jacket or a life belt on them and have each one wear it when out on the ice. For some who drill 10 inch holes a small child could fall through easily. Children are adventurous and additional safety is and could be a lifesaver. Ice fishing is a great winter activity and being ready and safe will make it a positive memory for all.

Head North this winter to Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Visit Grand Rapids is hosting a Head North Sweepstakes which gives you an incentive to check out all that Grand Rapids has to offer for a winter getaway.

Grand Rapids offers wonderful ice fishing opportunities on over 1,000 area lakes. You will find a wide variety of fishing species like walleye, northern pike, perch, crappies, bluegills, and trout. This gives fishermen and fisherwomen ample opportunity to catch fish! Grand Rapids has a wide variety of lodging properties to choose from including Minnesota Winter Fishing Resorts, conveniently located Grand Rapids Hotels and Motels, Grand Rapids Bed and Breakfasts, and Lake Home Rentals. You can download the Grand Rapids Visitor Guide or request one to be mailed to you.