Table of contents:
Video: Waiting For Freeze-up, Fishing In The First Ice
The end of autumn and the beginning of winter in recent years are characterized by dank and slushy weather. There are often prolonged rains, often with sleet and night frosts. Therefore, the ice that forms during the day either completely disappears, or turns into a thin, barely noticeable film, slightly powdered by the fallen snow.
Because of such unstable weather, shallow water, which is so lively in summer, has become noticeably orphaned. River and lake backwaters are too gloomy and inhospitable. Heat-loving fish: carp, rudd, crucian carp, catfish, eel fall into slumber. Although other fish feed, they are mostly not very active. Fishing at this time is very unsafe.
Therefore, it is best to get ready for ice fishing in the winter. Check and repair tackle and equipment, replenish the supply of lures, jigs and hooks. You should especially take care of the nozzles …
A catchy, but very capricious bloodworm can be preserved for a month if you keep it in a basin or bucket of water, on a balcony, attic or in a barn. Outside the windows, you can store burdock cones and stalks of Chernobyl, Tartar, wormwood and other long-stemmed weeds almost all winter. Larvae of burdock moth and related species of butterflies winter in them. These larvae are very small, but they often attract roaches, bream, large perches, completely ignoring bloodworms and other equally tempting baits.
But then a steady freeze-up begins. First, ice rims are formed near the shores in shallow water, in places protected from the wind, which, gradually expanding, fetter the entire reservoir in an ice shell.
At this time, the ice is not strong enough, and therefore you can easily find yourself in cold water with all the ensuing sad consequences.
Getting out on the first ice, you should follow at least the simplest safety rules in such dangerous conditions. First of all, remember that the most durable and reliable is transparent ice with a greenish or bluish tint. Inexperienced anglers consider it dangerous and try to avoid it. Milky-cloudy, gray ice is usually spongy and porous, less durable, and often collapses without warning crackles. Places with such ice, especially at the beginning of freeze-up, should be avoided.
Often, snow that has fallen on the newly formed ice, in addition to masking openings (gullies), also slows down the growth of the ice cover. Therefore, in the first days of freeze-up, it is very dangerous to approach such areas of thin immature ice. Usually the ice under the snow is thinner, the thicker the layer of snow above it. This is due to the fact that it is always warmer under a snow blanket than in an open or snowless space. Above great depths, ice forms later, and therefore it is less durable, and, therefore, dangerous, while at medium depths it is quite reliable.
With a decrease in air temperature, the ice surface cools, but from below it has a constant temperature of zero degrees. Bursting stresses arising at a significant temperature difference lead to the formation of cracks, which, with a sharp and strong cold snap, can become through and easily collapse. Areas with mutually intersecting cracks are especially unreliable and dangerous. Having found such a place, you must immediately leave it.
But in any case, you cannot go out on ice, the thickness of which is less than 5-6 centimeters, or when it breaks through with an ice pick with one blow. Measuring the thickness of the ice is quite simple. Dip a stick with a knot into the drilled hole. Hook with a knot on the bottom edge of the ice, and on a stick make a mark at the level of the ice surface. Measure the distance between the tip of the knot and the note on a stick, say, a matchbox (its standard length is 5 centimeters, width is 3.5 centimeters). The result will be the thickness of the ice.
Fishing on the first ice is sometimes very effective, especially in the first days of freeze-up, when the fish is caught almost all day. Most anglers consider cloudy, quiet, relatively warm days to be most favorable for fishing.
Perch are especially active in the first ice. They often gather in shallow places, at the border of grass and water. In many cases, this is the most suitable place to catch them. Practice shows that in the reservoirs of our region, the average perch is caught with small spoons and jigs. Especially around tight spots and flooded grasses. More than once I have seen a very successful fishing for a "sandwich", when a worm, bloodworm or a fish eye is put on the hook of a spoon or jig. In the same places, on the same nozzles, roach, roach, rudd, ruff, minnow are often caught.
However, we must remember that no attachment can be absolutely universal. Each fishing trip takes place in a specific place, in certain weather conditions, and therefore requires a purely individual approach. But, of course, every fisherman dreams of catching a large predator: pike, perch humpback, zander. And the main problem of the fisherman: "How to find them?" Experienced fishermen have noticed that in the first ice flocks of pike perch are in constant motion, and therefore often change their places of stay. They can also be on the slopes of deep pits, and sometimes on the shallows, where small fish "lodge". In places where fish fines accumulate, one should look for pikes and humpback perch.
On a dark night, you can place bottom fishing rods from the ice with bait in the form of a roach, ruff, gudgeon, pieces of fish or even bacon. It is very likely that the burbot scouring the reservoir will stumble upon them and become a fisherman's trophy. It should be noted that in the first ice the fish sees a fisherman on thin clean ice from a depth of 3-4 meters. And having noticed an angler, he immediately leaves the suspicious place. Large fish are especially shy. This will not happen if the ice around the hole is darkened with grass or pre-prepared spruce or pine branches. You can splash water around the hole in frost. Freezing, it forms a low-transparent layer.