Ice Fishing at Night: 15 Tips to Help You

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Rumor has it that ice fishing at night makes it extremely difficult to catch a fish.

But what people don’t know, ice fishing during the night is one of the most excellent times to go fishing during the cold season!

It might sound odd and uncertain to go night ice fishing but believe me: you will feel rewarded once you get ahold of how to do it, especially when you follow these tips that can help you to gain knowledge about fishing during the night!

People may commonly catch fish during the day, but you have to try a new time to go fishing too!

Let’s do it at nighttime, shall we?

Ice Fishing at Night: 15 Tips to Help You

  1. Know Where to Go

Before you dive right into the thought of fishing during the night, the very first thing you must do is to know where you want the action to take place!

You cannot just go into an icy area then throw your rod into the water because you can be at great risk of danger. Who knows if the ice you are dealing with is thick or thin?

Knowing about the area where you are going to fish is the most crucial part before catching a fish in the lake. If you don’t know about the condition of the area, you must choose another location to go fishing to avoid danger while doing the work.

Keep in mind that you will do this at night: the more you know, the safer you will be, the better the outcome!

  1. Arrive Early at the Location

Setting up somehow takes some time before fishing at night, most especially that you will do it on ice. 

You have to set up early on the site because you don’t want to spend your energy at night setting up your place, plus the cold breeze may affect your focus if the setup is done during the darkest time of the night.

  1. Reflective and Bright Clothing is Your Best friend!

It’s not only catching fish you should be concerned about while night fishing, but you have to think about yourself, too!

Bright, reflective clothing will become your best friend during night ice fishing because some anglers may not see you in the dark, and you may accidentally be hit with their vehicles!

You don’t want to hurt yourself, nor you want to be involved in any mishaps. Make the night easier by wearing reflective clothing to prevent any accidents from happening.

  1. Keep Yourself Warm

When you go ice fishing, the cold breeze will penetrate your body unless you wear proper clothing to keep your body temperature regulated. Not only will you focus on catching fish during the night, but you also have to protect yourself from breezy and cold winds to keep your body temperature regulating properly and to help you focus on doing the job.

Clothing with a thick cover will help you and don’t forget to include hand gloves to protect your cold hands.

  1. Know Weather Conditions

Adventures can be fun, but sometimes, it is risky, especially when you are doing something you have not done before.

Ice fishing needs a lot of dedication to take place, especially at night. But what about all your commitment if you don’t know what is about to happen on your adventure?

You should be aware of the weather conditions before putting yourself on a night escapade. The weather plays a big role in trying to catch a crappie or a walleye, and you don’t want to get yourself sick after trying to catch fish successfully. 

Avoid stormy and warm days and look for the weather forecast online to know about ice conditions.

  1. Never Forget Your Shelter

Other than your clothes that can protect you during ice fishing at night, it will help if you never forget to bring a tent or an ice shelter.

These shelters work not only during the day but are most helpful at night. Keep in mind that the temperature drops during nighttime, and you are working on an ice surface to do your thing. You are keeping yourself away from hypothermia and keeping yourself warmer in a cold area.

You can also fish inside the shelter to keep away the cold breeze from hitting your body but be aware of the surroundings to ensure your safety on an adventure.

  1. Bring the Proper Equipment

It may seem basic and mainstream, but some people really tend to forget to bring the proper equipment for night fishing.

Don’t bring items that will only add a load to your backpack and serve no purpose but get those that are beneficial and of great help into ice fishing during the night.

Don’t forget to bring an ice fishing flasher with GPS equipped to help you find the best fishing spot.

  1. Sturdy Materials

It might be too cliche to hear, but going fishing without sturdy materials around you will either make or break your goal. What if your jigs can just get loose and go under the water? What if the tip-ups will loosen then won’t work to identify movements? What if your tent is made with substandard materials and might fly with the air once the cold breeze hits you?

It sounds risky and scary, right?

Always make sure that the materials and equipment around you are sturdy enough to help you catch fish and make you safe and secure while fishing at night.

Being an angler should come with safety, and it won’t happen if the things around you are not strong enough to help you.

  1. Lights On and Off, Please!

Bring a good light set to help you ice fishing at night because the visibility will be your enemy before you catch a crappie or a walleye!

But, you should not turn on the lights for the whole duration – it will freak out the fish!

Make sure it is not just a flashlight because a flashlight will only last you for a while, and you may not have access to light after some time.

It would be best to have a good lantern around and huge rechargeable lights to provide you your needed visibility to set up and go fishing, but keep in mind that you will only need them in case of emergency.

You should also bring a headlamp to keep your view clear every time you look at the darkness, and you can free your hand to be used for other equipment.

Since you are fishing at night, darkness is a better option for the surroundings so the fish will not feel weird about what’s happening on the surface.

  1. The More Gleaming the Lure, The Better

A jig is a fishing bait that we use to lure the fishes into finding it when dropped in the water. 

Fishing at night will be challenging, especially when you don’t have lights surrounding you, so the best approach is to bring the bright jig with you, may it come with light or not, so longs as it is bright enough for the fishes to find them when put in the water.

Some jigs are glowing in the dark, so you might as well use them to make your job easier.

  1. Always Bring a Safety/Survival Kit

In case of emergency, you must always bring with you a safety kit to keep yourself occupied with safety items in case you need them! A safety kit must include the first aid materials, plus survival items just in case you will be left wandering in an unusual situation. 

It must include waterproof matches, whistle, compass, and any other survival items in the kit you have to bring.

  1. Holes and Holes!

Your ice fishing will be a thousand times better if you drill multiple holes, but keep in mind that they should be far away from each other!

Drill multiple holes first thing before you begin your journey to catching fish to save you a lot of time after numerous attempts in looking for them. Ensure the holes have enough distance from each other and make a drill pattern to ensure you are making holes in the right places.

  1. Sounds May Help You

It may sound creepy to use bells during the night, but you can depend on the sound by trying to figure out whether crappie or a walleye has gotten your bait. 

Visibility is an issue at night, even when you got all the light set and a glow-in-the-dark jig. You can only assure to become alert with your catch if you have anything around you that can make a sound once your tip-up has moved. You have to attach the sound maker to the tip-up, so you don’t need to constantly pay attention to the flag whether it moved or not.

  1. Let People Know Where You Are

We don’t accept any great risks around here, so you might as well let your family know where you have gone fishing at night.

It may sound lame, but it is an integral part of going on an adventure because who knows what might happen around? 

Even when you go fishing during the day, never forget to tell your family or relatives or friends where you are about to go because it is always good to have people around us know where you are headed. If you need immediate help, they will know their ways and get to you quickly and easier.

  1. Face Your Fears

Fishing at night might sound scary, but you have to face your fears if this is the adventure you want. Most especially that darkness will surround you, plus the sounds that the water makes because of the fish, it may add to your fear, but you don’t have to feel scared about it.

If you are scared of the ice breaking, just make sure that the ice you’re stepping on and drilling at is thick enough to catch fish. It is risky to do fishing at night on the ice, but the sun won’t be up there to contribute to melting the ice, so you’re good to go!

Final Words

Not everyone wants to go ice fishing at night because of the situation they are not used to doing during an adventure. Even when you have already gotten used to night fishing, you still need to become aware before, during, and after the fishing about the things you need to remember to keep you guided during the activity.

These tips will be helpful for your next ice adventure, and surely you will make the most out of the moment with these crucial tips we gave you! 

They might be a lot, but they are easy to remember if you want to make your fishing job easier.

Have fun ice fishing at night and keep safe, anglers!

Dinesh Kajla
I love the winter season. Every year, I wait for this season so that I can enjoy the snow, and the comfort of winter clothing.

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