Originally Published by the Peterborough Examiner, January 18, 2017

By Rick Daniels

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is hosting a free family ice fishing weekend of Feb. 18 to 20 for those lakes where ice fishing is allowed.

The purpose of this free weekend is to introduce families to ice fishing. No fishing licence is required, but conservation limits apply. There are limits on what species and the number and size of fish that may be kept. It is best to check out the MNRF website for the area you intend to fish.

The beauty of this type of fishing is the economical way it can be achieved. You can simply use a stick with two nails knocked in about 12″ apart to wrap enough line to reach the bottom, a small jig tied on the end and a pail of minnows or worms.

Or you could purchase a “tip up.” This is like a spring loaded fishing rod that will tip up a flag to let you know there is a fish attached – hopefully. Some tip ups even come with a sail apparatus that will jig the line up and down with a slight breeze.

You are allowed two lines per person when ice fishing, so jigging with one line and an active tip up as back up is a good combo.

The rule of thumb is to drop you line to the bottom, raise it a foot, then slowly jig with a minnow.

You will need an ice auger with sharp blades. This is critical as once the blades dull, you could be spinning it until the cows come home and get nowhere. With some ice augers you can sharpen the blades, while others you can’t.

To read more visit the Peterborough Examiner

Photo courtesy of J. Michel Carriere