Free Fishing License Week, February 13-21, is right around the corner and is a perfect time to introduce someone to the sport of ice fishing, according to a blog post from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
For beginners, it is all about making sure they stay comfortable and keeping the day fun.
After all, ice fishing is about so much more than the "catch." For many, it is about the views, time spent outside with friends and family, and memories made.
Here are a few tips:
Target warmwater species such as bass, pickerel, and perch for a fast-action day! Once the angler is hooked, you can move onto the harder to catch coldwater game fish if you desire.
Cook a warm meal. It is hard to beat a hamburger or homemade breakfast sandwich on the ice! Pair it with hot chocolate for a perfect winter picnic.
Pick a sunny, low-wind day. Otherwise, set up in a wind-protected cove or shore.
Pack extra, dry pairs of socks, mittens, and a hat and make sure your new fishing partner dresses warm. Here are a few tips to share on how to dress in the winter.
Bring other activities to keep the group engaged between flags. Consider bringing ice skates, a hockey stick and puck, a football to toss, binoculars, or cards. Or, build a snowman!
Choose an easily accessible location. For beginners, comfort is a priority. Pick locations close to access points when snow depths are minimum for easy walking.
Keep the day short. Save your more adventurous trips for another day.
Enjoy! For many outdoor enthusiasts, the thrill of sharing knowledge with a novice is as exciting as the hobby itself.
Click here for additional tips and recommended places to go fishing.