Fess-up Ice Nuts


As many of you have probably seen, ice talk is all the rage right now. Just about every local fishing forum from the northern half of the U.S. and up has some thread titled “First ice predictions”, or something along those lines. In those threads people talk about how excited they are for this. Phrases like, “I can’t wait!” are common place.


Seriously, though, fess up – are you really that excited for it? I went ice fishing for the first time last year (that story here) and don’t get me wrong…I had fun, but not enough fun for me to ever say something like, “COME ON ICE!!!”
To me, ice fishing isn’t something to look forward to. Instead it is something that keeps you from getting cabin fever during the frozen water periods. It’s a way to get out there and catch some fish, shoot the breeze with some friends, drill some holes in the ice, and freeze your butt off. With that, if I was given a choice between fishing through an 8” hole or casting in to water that isn’t hard – I would choose casting every single time.
Am I alone on this? Let’s hear it ice junkies….do you REALLY love ice fishing that much or is it just something you do because you can’t cast the open water?

Update: Here are some of the ridiculous thread titles that I have come across on some of the local fishing forums I visit - Feel free to add yours:

Winter...Please Save Me !
Won't be long at all now
It's go time!...almost.
Who's drooling over this?


  1. I've been having hard water dreams for the past 6 or 7 weeks. While it is just another way to spend time in Gods creation (and put some tasty food on the table) there is more to it. I love casting a fly, worm and bobber, crank baits, etc. But I also love sitting on a bucket in the middle of a frozen lake. Everyone around the country can cast a rod and catch fish; only the chosen (northerners) can walk on water to catch fish! Plus hard water means were one season closer to the real fun spring pan fish on flies!

  2. That's hilarious. I agree with you 100%. I would like to see a study on guys who ice fish who are single vs who are married. I only go on occasion to go hang out with the guys and have a few beers. ( I am married with kids) I don't see the fun in using a tip up unless I am keeping this fish to eat. Ice only belongs in my glass.

  3. OK, Nimrod - you have to choose one....hard water or open water?

    Sean - glad to hear I'm not alone on this!! This is no different than the guys who claim they don't care if they catch any fish. If that was the case, then I challenge them to go fishing without a hook or anything that could attract a fish. It's all justification

  4. I ice fish because three months of no fishing is unacceptable. I have a couple friends who look forward to it all year. I don't get it either. They don't fish open water gills and crappies why are they so excited to catch em through a hole.

  5. The closest I've come to ice fishing down here in Florida is searching for the last beer in the cooler.

    And to think I get upset when I have to scrape ice off my windshield. I'd go crazy if everything just froze over.

  6. How does claiming not to care they don't catch a fish figure in this equation? I love fishing...I DON'T HAVE A HEMORRHAGE IF I DON'T CATCH FISH! If I want to be entertained during the winter I'll hire a stripper or pick up a Playboy.

  7. I've never felt so cold as when I was stripping fly line on a local steelhead river in January. I'll never eat another trout...but a bucket of fresh perch, pike or crappies from ice water...that's the ticket!

  8. Damien - That's another element for sure! All year, they chase big fish and yet they can't wait to catch small fish through holes....

    Alex - It would take some time, but you might adjust! Enjoy your warm winters and send some non-ice fishing pics!

    Howard - they are both justifications. P→Q If a less than preferred option is available, then justify what you have. Everybody who goes out fishing, goes to catch a fish. That is the goal. If someone fails that day, they reflect and say, "at least I had a fun day out there" or "At least the views were great". The same can be said for ice fishing (in my opinion,that is) "If I can't fish open water, at least I can ice fish."

    John - MMMMMM cold water steelie fishing! That's on my to do list this weekend!

  9. Shut up you. Be a man and do the hunter gatherer thing in the cold too. Puss.


  10. Whoa! LOL Are you ready to race this year? Or ready to pull Mike from the ice if he falls in again?

  11. I am with you on this Nick. I am not a hard water guy for sure. Now it is not a cold thing either, because I will sit in a deer stand or duck blind in the coldest of weather seeking food for tablefare however, I just can't seem to get out on the hard water. I know that as far as fishing goes, hard water can and is very productive especially for big fish. I can't wait to do some winter fishing on The Fox or DPR though!!!!! Good luck to all you ice fishing guys as the season approaches. Sorry I have not been on in a while but my computer saga continues and fear I will have to just throw in the towel and build a new box!!! Oh well, I guess worse things could happen.

  12. Ice fishing is for barbarians.

  13. @Tom - Have you actually ever been out ice fishing? We should try it this year. I know some major ice fishing nuts that we can tag along with - one of them has commented on this post.

    @Ken - Are you saying that you want to go ice-fishing? Maybe some wallies during the day? HA!

  14. I just saw this. I guess I am nuts. The more and more I have done Ice fishing, the more I can't wait for it.

    But it is a whole different game them casting.

    I am not a bucket junkie. I look for fish. If I can't find them I pack up and move.. I own a shanty. It rarely goes up.

    With the right ear you won't get cold. Too many think they have the right gear. Get dressed, lay down in the snow for two hours and don't move. If you are still warm you have the right gear.

    Different game.

    Then again. I like the cold weather.


Let's hear it!


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