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Ice Fishing Forums For All Of The Bucket Butts Out There

The lakes aren’t yet frozen over, but soon they will be. Now is the time to start brushing up on some of your techniques and making sure that you have the right jig for the job. Just how do you do that in the off-season? By visiting an online forum geared toward ice fishing.

Just like those that partake in this rugged sport, ice fishing forums are few and far between and not always easy to spot. So how do you know which ones are worth visiting and paying attention to, and which ones you should slide on by?

Stick with us, as we go through some of the best ice fishing forums out there.

Why Visit a Forum?

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A forum is a great place to connect online with like-minded people that share similar interests. Users from across the globe can hold discussions, ask questions, share information, tell tales, and talk about the one that got away. Pros can offer advice, and beginners can expand their knowledge base. Often forums will include competitions hosted by sponsors where users can win prizes. Unlike a chat room, conversations are typically able to be viewed long after they started.

Just as ice fishing is seasonal, the ice fishing forums tend to go through a period of hibernation. During the off-season, the conversations can become a little quiet as many users take up other hobbies and endeavors. Some of the threads continue to be active, though most are left to rest until the season draws nearer. As the weather takes a colder turn in the fall, more and more anglers flock back to their favorite forums, getting geared up.

Ice Fishing Forums: IceShanty

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IceShanty is one of the most active and helpful sites around. Even through the offseason, members carry conversations throughout the day. This time of year, they’re motivating each other with videos of last season’s highlights and lamenting the fact that the lake can’t freeze over fast enough.

They tout themselves as the ice fishing spot for everyone. Whether you are a rookie ice-man or seasoned ice fishing master, you will definitely learn something. You can discover what jigging rod, reel, auger, fish locator, or portable or hard side shack is appropriate for your methods and budget. If you think ice fishing isn’t necessarily your sport because of the temperature, there’s a special section on “Dressing For Ice Fishing.”

Canada is featured in prominence (where better to fish cold weather?), but each cold-wintered North American State from Alaska to Maryland has its own thread featured! This is where locals and visitors, alike, can share reports on their favorite ice. This forum maintains one of the most exhaustive lists of technical threads with conversations on equipment, “Ice Shack Tips,” and Darkhouse Spearing, to a very lengthy list of every kind of ice fish imaginable. If you’re looking to increase your knowledge base and make some friends across North America and beyond, IceShanty is a great forum.

There are typically upwards of 300 visitors to the site at any given time, and over 20 contributing members.

Ice Fishing Forums: In-Depth Outdoors

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In Depth Outdoors is another highly active forum, especially given the current off-season. Posts are updated within the hour daily, so there is always plenty of fresh new content to draw you in. If you’re looking for a new perch rod, or tip down system, there’s plenty of expert advice to be had. If you’ve got an opinion on which auger is the best for you, feel free to throw your 2-cents in on your favorite: hand powered, 2-stroke, 4-stroke, or electric.

While threads aren’t organized well into easy-to-locate-and-navigate sections, there is no lack of variety and information. You’ll have absolutely no trouble locating a wealth of knowledge. While they don’t list how many members are a part of this forum, or how many are currently active, we get the feeling the quantity and quality of posts speaks for itself.


This Ice Fishing Quick Start Guide Covers All You’ll Need!


Ice Fishing Forums: Ice Fishin 247

Ice Fishin 247 is also a relatively active site, though not quite to the extent of the previous two. Many conversations are updated daily and members are starting to really get in the mood for the upcoming season. There are generally over 200 users online at any given time, though the vast majority of them are guests, with less than five contributing members at a time. That appears to change during the ice season. This is likely the result that this forum doesn’t have the same quantity of members as the other ones.

Content is solid and extensive, with already over 8,000 topics garnering over 75,400 posts. Posts are easily organized and broken down into easy-to-digest topics. New to the sport? There’s an entire section dedicated to “Ice Fishing For Newbies,” where beginners can glean knowledge from more experienced experts. There’s a whole section dedicated to “Ice Safety” (making it hard to miss for those in a hurry). Just as with the larger IceShanty page, Ice Fishin 247 offers all the information you could desire on ice fishing in the States and beyond.

They even offer an occasional contest or giveaway.

Though the lakes aren’t yet frozen over, the time is coming! Get inspired to hit the ice with your cleats on this year by visiting one of these informative forums!

 

Ice Fishing Auger Comparisons – Interview With Minnesota’s Abby Olson

If you’re itching to get out there in the peace and quiet of the still winter air, alone on the ice with your thoughts and the fish, don’t think you’re alone.

If you’re counting down the days until you can spend time sharing the experience, trading back and forth between beer and coffee holed up in a shack with a couple of buddies, you’re not alone.

Coooooold is blowing in and the water is cooling down. The ice is coming.

Are you ready?

Do you have the tools it takes to get yourself set up with ease? Check out our comparisons of the Top Ice Fishing Augers. Fishing expert, Abby Olson shares her top picks and her experience with them.


LEARN MORE ABOUT ICE FISHING IN OUR QUICK START GUIDE


Best Hand Ice Fishing Auger: Strikemaster Lazer Hand Auger

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Lazer ice augers seem simple at first glance, but they’re designed for comfort, speed, and precision. The Strikemaster Lazer Hand Auger is efficient enough to match up to a powered performance. Don’t let the lack of power fool you. This auger is able to make every revolution count, so you won’t need to use as much energy as you do with other augers. It cuts through the ice as quickly and easily as a manual auger is able.

Because it only weighs between 5.5 and 8.5 pounds (depending on the size) it’s a great choice when you need to pack light. It also breaks down into two pieces to make it extra portable.

The chrome alloy, stainless steel blades are dipped in powder coated paint, which reduces the amount of ice build-up your stuck dealing with, and they stay sharp longer than the blades of most other models. They cut through most surfaces quickly. The ergonomic handle design helps to reduce fatigue and transfers your effort directly to the blade. It’s built to last for years out in the freezing cold temperatures.

There is a good deal of variation to be had with this model with the size range from four to eight inches auger length. The handle is also adjustable, making it easy for different people to work with it, and the rubber grips make the auger comfortable on your hands. The blade guard protects you from harm.

The auger can be adjusted to move from 48” to 57”, so cutting through 15” of ice in a minute is no problem.

Best Electric Ice Fishing Auger: K-Drill Electric Ice Auger System

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The electric auger movement hasn’t yet swept completely across the nation; experienced ice-angers are a bit skeptical still. But ANGLR Expert, Abby Olson was introduced to her cousin’s K-Drill Ice Auger System last winter, and she fell in love with its ease of use and lightweight design. It’s been designed specifically for modern high-powered, brushless, handheld cordless electric drills, making it a very lightweight system.

“When driving out to a spot is not an option, it takes a load off of the weight of the sled,” says Olson. “Unlike the Ion (22#) or the Strikemaster (24-27#) electric ice augers, the weight of the K-Drill auger is only five pounds.” That lightweight design “will make it easy for any ice fisherman or woman to “hole hop” quickly and easily,” she explains.

You can purchase the system by itself to use with your own electric drill, but it also comes as a combo package with either a Milwaukee or DeWalt Drill. With no gas or propane involved, there is no exhaust or “smell” left in the ice shack.

The efficient chipper blade design ensures you’ll be able to drill easier and with more confidence than ever before. That’s thanks to the unique three-blade high carbon steel chipper design which chews through both fresh ice and old frozen holes. So far, it’s the lightest and easiest ice auger system ever developed and the ONLY system designed specifically for cordless electric drills.

“The best part of the K-Drill system is the high speed,” explains Olson. “The drill chews through the ice. Even a pre-drilled hole that has frozen over, common in permanent ice shacks, is no problem for the K-Drill’s efficient chipper blade design.”

It has a float at the attachment point of the auger, allowing the bit to float in the water should it become unattached from the dill.

Big bonus? Olson tells us the Chromalloy blades that are made in Minnesota can be sharpened by the company for free!

Best Gas Ice Fishing Auger: Eskimo Mako 43cc Quantum Ice Auger

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The two-stroke gas-powered Eskimo Mako 43cc Quantum Ice Auger ($378) runs on a high-performance, 43cc Viper® engine and has cutting ability far above the rest of the crowd thanks to a combination of the powerful engine and Quantum blades. This makes it a great choice if you’re getting a later start in the season and the ice is already thick and hard. It’s easy to operate with just a light touch to the controls, so you don’t have to remove your gloves or mittens to use it.

Extremely reliable, it doesn’t take but a tug or two before it’s ready and raring to go, no matter how frigid the temperatures are, in part thanks to the included primer. Fuel efficiency isn’t a problem. People tout they can cut multiple holes without having to refuel. We think it’s also one of the most pleasant augers to hold since there are minimal vibrations. There’s no jarring your cold bones with this one, especially given the anti-vibration foam-grip handlebars.

8” model weighs 31 pounds. 

10” model weighs 33 pounds. 

Things to watch out for:

  • The pull cord is a bit more fragile, so you may want to use a little TLC when tugging. Since you don’t ever have to really manhandle it, it shouldn’t be a problem.
  • The tank takes a mixture of fuel and oil, so it requires a little work before you fill the tank, but what a small price to pay for a great high-performance auger!

Best Propane Ice Fishing Auger: Eskimo Mako HIGH COMPRESSION 40cc Propane

If you’re going with propane, who doesn’t love an auto-prime fuel system? All you need to do is flip the switch to ON and start drilling. No priming. You can’t argue with that! The Eskimo Mako 40cc with 10” Quantum Ice Auger is both lightweight and powerful, and the high compression ratio makes it eat through ice like it’s butter.

The auger features a 40cc, four-stroke with a 10-inch two-blade system that’s 42 inches long, making it both lightweight, and powerful. The transmission is ball bearing and this auger operates well in most cold conditions.

Though propane, there aren’t gas fumes, so it’s a great choice for indoor drilling. This Mako is easy to start and a one pound tank should get you around 100 holes with no effort.

Five Fishing Knots You Need To Know Before Your Next Fishing Trip

The sun is just starting to rise above the horizon, steam is rolling off the water in the early light. As you get closer to the to the first spot your heart swells with anticipation of what’s to come. You take your position, crank back on your rod and fire the perfect cast. A few short moments later your heart stops.

You reel down hard and lean in to the full weight of the fish when… “SNAP”.  The line goes limp and you settle in for a long day. This feeling happens all too often among anglers. The good news is, it can usually be related back to one detail, the knot. In hopes to alleviate some of this heart ache, below are five foolproof fishing knots that may just save a day of fishing and help land that fish of a lifetime.

Fishing Knots: The Palomar Knot

Strength – 9 out of 10
Complexity – 2 out of 10
Purpose – Main Line to Hook

If there is one knot that I would consider a work horse this would be it. A tried and true champion of any class of line from heavy braid to small fluorocarbon, this knot will hold tight. I have gone days fishing with the same lure, being too lazy to re-tie, and this knot has pulled through for me.  Not to mention there hasn’t been a drop shot tied ever without this knot.

Being a simple self-tightening loop knot allows for fast ties and good line strength retention. One small detail of this knot takes it to the next level though. When completing the final step make sure the loop is on top of the knot and not resting on the side. This prevents the line cutting into itself which may cause early failure.

You can tie this knot to just about any bait and it will go to work. You may hear some people say not to tie it to walking topwater baits, jerkbaits, or crankbaits, but what that really comes down to is knot preference. The Palomar knot is a must know for the next time you hit the water!

Fishing Knots

Source: Shopfishheads.com

Fishing Knots: The FG Knot

Strength – 10 out of 10
Complexity – 10 out of 10)
Purpose – Main Line to Leader

This isn’t your average leader knot, this is for the big leagues. A super strong, low-profile knot that flows effortlessly through your guides. The FG knot provides a 100% line strength transfer. This allows the knot to stand up to the most savage saltwater strikes and hardest home run hook-sets. The way the main line weaves itself around the leader line forces it to bite into the leader, locking it into place. The small details in finishing this knot is what creates the most complexity.

First, absolutely terminate the FG weave with two half hitches, but don’t just tie them willy-nilly. Cinch them down slowly and as close to the FG as you can. Tying one away from you and the next towards you as the pictures describe.

This creates an even knot allowing it to cast and run through your guides that much easier.

Second, tying the finish, you will wrap away from you then “unwind” the knot and pull it tight. This creates tension, pulling the knot together every time you set the hook ensuring it will not work itself loose. Due to the complexity of this knot definitely practice, practice, practice until it becomes second nature. Once you get it right, you will be amazed as to just how strong it is.

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Source: Fishing.org

Fishing Knots: The San Diego Jam Knot

Strength – 8 out of 10
Complexity – 4 out of 10
Purpose – Main Line to Hook

This is one of the few knots that have made the transition from the ocean skiffs to the deck of a bass boat. Developed initially for thick monofilament, the San Diego Jam Knot has been a god sent for anyone who fishes fluorocarbon in heavy cover.

The design of this knot allows for the force of a strike or hook-set to be transferred evenly throughout the knot, eliminating the classic fluorocarbon “pop” on a hook-set. This has become my favorite fluorocarbon knot and it works with any test line.

A small change that I make which seems to have a big effect is using less wraps when tying heavy line. I have a smaller profile knot and one that holds better as well.

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Source: Fishing.org

Fishing Knots: The Davy Knot

Strength – 7 out of 10
Complexity – 3 out of 10
Purpose – Main Line to Hook

The Davy knot was one that was introduced to me on a small trout stream in Central Pennsylvania. I was fishing 6x tippet on size 20 – 22 flies and the knot I was using was simply too bulky. It was causing the fly to drag and sink.

Another gentleman on the stream came to my rescue and set me straight. He showed me the Davy knot which is also known as the Figure Eight knot.

Easy to tie and small profile, it is ideal for these micro sized flies.

Additionally, the ability to remove this knot when changing flies is not a problem with this knot. This proves exceptionally helpfully for forgetful fishermen like myself who never seem to have clippers. This may not be the strongest knot in the world, but without a doubt it can salvage a day.

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Source: Pinterest

Fishing Knots: The Snell Knot

Strength – 10 out of 10
Complexity – 3 out of 10
Purpose – Main Line to Hook

Living in Georgia, we are blessed with having thick vegetation nearly year-round. Allowing us to have a seven-and-a-half-foot broom stick with a cannonball for a weight on the front deck all the time.

Punching and flipping this grass pushes your equipment to its absolute limits.

You are going to want a knot that will take everything you throw at it and ask for more, the Snell is that Knot. Allowing for 100% line strength transmission and a low profile, the Snell knot is my go to when I know I will be dragging big fish that are buried deep into heavy cover. An interesting result of using this knot is when you set the hook on a fish, the hook doesn’t come straight to you, it swings out to the side increasing the chances of contacting the fishes mouth for a solid hold.

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Source: Fishing.org

With all of the variables that exist in fishing, all the curve balls we get thrown out on the water, our knots are something that we can control entirely. Taking the time to learn these knots will not only make you a more efficient angler, but also give you peace of mind knowing you have one less thing to worry about. Fishing is hard enough and with the knots above, next time you make that perfect cast and lean into that fish of a lifetime, you can have the confidence of knowing your knot will hold.