Ice fishing is a popular winter sport in New York State with interest raising according to New York State DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. One attractive feature is it’s inexpensive to get started.
It seems a bit odd to sit in the cold just to catch a few fish. “It’s about getting outside and doing something active, “said Jeff Weber of Hilton.
Each licensed fisherman may set up to five tip up or tip down lines and two hand or jigging lines. Each tip up must be marked with operator’s name and address. Each must be under immediate attendance by operator once in the water. Fish species caught in Monroe County lakes include rock bass, sunfish, yellow perch, northern pike, and blowfish.
Ice Fishing Equipment
It starts with a valid New York State fishing license, some basic ice fishing equipment, and warm clothing.
Ice fishing tip up device
Light fishing rod for jigging
Jigging spoon or lure
Ice Fishing Techniques
The tip up is a simple way of ice fishing using a spool with baited line placed over a hole in the ice. This line may be checked from a distance so it’s unnecessary to sit on the line. Once the bait is taken by the fish a tug on the line releases red flag or a signal. All that must be done is retrieve the catch.
Jigging uses a pole or hand line with a jigging spoon or lure often with a piece of bait. It is manipulated to dart around in different directions until hit by a fish. This must be done while above the hole to work properly.
Ice fishing in Monroe County:
Braddock Bay, Cranberry Pond, Long Pond, Buck Pond and Round Pond
Eastman and Durand Lakes in Durand-Eastman Park and Irondequoit Bay
Mendon Ponds Park
Hundred-Acre Pond, Deep Pond Round Pond and Quaker Pond
Dress in multiple layers with a heavy winter jacket, snow pants, warm gloves socks and boots. Once cold it is difficult to get warm again. Spiked boots provide greater stability on ice.
Hypothermia is the primary concern, which is the result of getting wet or falling through the ice. Use common sense and when in doubt play it safe. New York State DEC feels it takes three to four solid inches of ice on ponds, lakes and waterways for a safe base for anglers.
Ice thickness is measured using a mechanical method. After a hole is cut in the ice its thickness may be measured. Do not assume that ice thickness is uniform throughout a body of frozen water. Be extra cautious around dock as ‘bubblers’ may be used to protect them from freezing.
Here’s one final comment on ice fishing
Brian Nichols stated “It’s a lot of fun but you have to have it in your blood to do it”.