FTC Disclosure: This post contains affiliate link(s). An affiliate link means I may earn advertising/referral fees if you make a purchase through my link, without any extra cost to you. It helps to keep this little blog afloat. Thanks for your support.

Ice Fishing Tips and Techniques [6 Essential + 3 Special Ways]

Enjoy fishing during the winters? Well, you are not the only one. Ice fishing is getting more and more popular as we speak and due to a reason.

First of all, it allows you to catch fish in winter and it is completely different than any other form of fishing. As such, it is more appealing for those who want to try something new. Of course, because it is different, you will need to know a few ice fishing tips and techniques that may help you excel in your interest.

6 Essential & Useful Tips

In order to make this form of fishing successful, you will have to know some tips that are basic & essential. Below are some of the best tips obtained by professionals who know what they are doing.

  • 1
    Fish is located in shallow waters in smaller lakes and in deeper in bigger lakes
    If you perform ice fishing in a small lake, keep in mind that the fish will be located in shallow waters. They get more oxygen there and plenty of food as well. However, in deeper lakes, fishes will not be experiencing this issue, hence they will be located in deeper waters. 
  • 2
    Don’t forget that fish can see you above
    The most common mistake all beginners make is believing that fish can’t see them coming from above. This is precisely how they see a lure and why fishing is possible.
  • 3
    Jigging is definitely more than just helpful
    This method for fishing is quite helpful. Basically, you are using the lure to simulate the prey to attract the fish. This is the principle of how fishes hunts and how they find food.
  • 4
    Fish like Walleye, Crappie, and a few others are more active at dusk and dawn
    According to experts, all types of fish mentioned above are more active within 90 minutes before and after dawn and dusk. This is the best time to catch them. On the other hand, sunfish and pike are more active during the day. If you are looking for the right baits, click here for walleye baits or check out this list for crappie baits.
  • 5
    You should fish during full moon
    Fishes are more active when it is full moon. This is precisely the moment you should fish. Fishes actually prefers stable temperatures and weather conditions, hence you can go for fishing when these conditions are met.
  • 6
    Fish pay attention to the underwater structure
    Yes, it is true. Fish will pay more attention to the underwater structure and as such, you should invest in a proper map, or even better, a fish finder. With a reliable fish finder, you will be able to find fishes with higher success rate.

The 3 Extraordinary Ice Fishing Tips & Techniques

1) "Football Field" Technique

ice fishing tips and techniques

This is one of the oldest but still the most appealing techniques of all times. Basically, it means that you will have to drill a test hole and scan for fish. If there is a fish, well done. But a more probable way is that you will have to drill several holes in order to find fish.

You should map an area which is equivalent to a football field. Drill a few holes in all directions and scan the water. If there is no fish, you will simply move to the next, imaginable football field.

Keep in mind that some fish finders will work even without the need to drill a hole, but this isn’t the case with all models. In most cases, you are still going to have to drill a hole in order to get precise results.

2) Explore Sticky Bottoms

At the beginning of winter, fishes are usually located in shallow waters. There is still plenty of food, so they don’t have to move to the deep water. But, as the winter progress, food will be rarer and lesser. When this happens, fishes will start moving to deeper waters.

Deeper waters are more preferable due to the fact they have a soft, sticky type of bottom that is still rich in food. As such, most fishes will be located there and this is your chance to catch lots of fishes.

You can easily find these depths within minutes and if you happen to always fish in the same location year after year, you will want to map that area, then locate & save the precise locations so you do not have to map it again the following year.

Or, if you want a simpler way, investing in a fish finder will definitely help you fish more efficient and fast in terms of looking for types of fishes existing in your preferred locations.

3) Depression Technique

This technique is similar to the previous one. Basically, you will have to find a depression in the water. A depression is simply slightly deeper water in a lake or a river. There are countless ways you can find it. The best example is to use a high-quality fish finder which is accurate in finding the depth of the water.

The maps are the next best thing. Here we can see two main differences. The first one is the fact you will use old maps. They are still useful and accurate, but there is a much better alternative. New maps are usually paired with this factor when created, so they are more accurate, more appealing and easier to comprehend.

You can use all three methods if you prefer and you will still get accurate and decent results. Of course, you should choose one that works best for you and also providing great results.


We have helped you by listing out all the special and essential techniques and tips you are going to need. Ice fishing is a rewarding and appealing form of fishing and we are sure you will definitely enjoy it. If you manage to get a lot of success from ice fishing, you will enjoy it even more.

Adam Parsons

Hi! I'm Adam Parsons - a fishing enthusiast. I have been fishing for more than 15 years now and I still strongly remember that the toughest part for me was during the learning process. Most guides I read during that time was too technical to understand. Therefore, I make sure that everything I post on dream-guides regarding fishing is written well and easy to understand even if you are a newbie.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Reply: