Anyone who has never experienced ice fishing has a long list of excuses why they haven't tried it. Here are five reasons to go ice fishing that will entice you to pull on a pair of shanty panties and try this interesting, outdoor winter sport in Maine.
1. ICE FISHING GETS YOU OUTDOORS...with no bugs!
When the winter doldrums set in, being outdoors in the fresh air is a good thing; it nips that raging case of cabin fever in the bud. Just be sure you dress in layers to stay warm. Move around to avoid getting cold: drill holes, toss a football, or take a quick skate around the ice to keep the blood flowing. BONUS: you don't need bug spray and you can walk on water.
2. ICE FISHING IS A SOCIAL GATHERING AS MUCH AS IT IS A SPORT
You can enjoy the company of friends and family members of all ages on a frozen lake compared to the somewhat solitary sport of fishing from a boat. The camaraderie runs deep, and you'll find Mainers quick to offer fishing advice as well as fishing stories. Think of it like a tailgate party with lawn chairs on ice. Someone is bound to bring a pot of chili or set up a grill. Snacks are a must. Eating foods high in healthy fats, protein and carbohydrates takes longer to digest and can raise your body temperature to make you feel warmer.
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3. ICE FISHING OFFERS AN OPPORTUNITY TO OBSERVE NATURE
What you see while you are ice fishing isn't limited to the beauty of a Maine winter sunrise or sunset. Keep your eyes peeled for the Northern Lights. Listen for owls and look for wildlife in their natural habitat. There is a lot to see besides staring down into the holes you've drilled in the ice.
4. REGISTERED MAINE GUIDES TAKE THE GUESSWORK OUT OF ICE FISHING
Ice fishing with a Maine Registered Guide puts you ahead of the game. Let's face it, they know where the fish are. Guests at Libby's Lodge & Canty's in Mt. Chase, Maine have access to three generations of Registered Maine Guides to personally guide you on an ice fishing excursion. LL&C provides lodging and transportation to select bodies of water in Northern Maine and will set you up for a full or half-day of ice fishing complete with ice shack, auger, traps and meals. You'll fish for trout, salmon, bass, perch, pickerel and lake trout.
5. ICE FISHING GIVES BEGINNERS AN ADVANTAGE
Having access to an entire lake or pond is a distinct advantage over fishing from a pier or the shoreline. It doesn't matter that you don't have a boat as the entire lake or pond can be accessible when it's frozen. The thickness of the ice is a restriction--always test the ice for the appropriate thickness. In general:
Stay off any ice which is under four inches deep
4” – may allow for ice fishing or other recreational activities on foot
5” – 7” – often allows for a snowmobile or an ATV
8” – 12” of good ice supports most cars or small pickup trucks
12” – 15” will likely hold a medium-sized truck
Here are some ice safety tips from the Maine Warden Service:
HOW TO GET STARTED
Maine's first Free Fishing Weekend of 2023 is February 18 -19. On these dates, anyone can fish without having to purchase a fishing license, except those whose license has been suspended or revoked. All the other fishing laws and regulations still apply.
Now you've got five reasons to try your luck at ice fishing this winter in Northern Maine. To book your winter escape at Libby's Lodge & Canty's, call 207-528-2485. With multiple lodging options for groups, families or couples, you'll have direct trail access to hit the snowmobile trails and plenty of room for your sleds and trailer.