Ice fishing is a great activity to do during the winter. If you’ve decided on a lake where you want to ice fish, the next step is to find the best spot. You will do much better once you find out the hot spots if the lake is new.
Finding the hotspots can be much easier if you have an ice fishing flasher. However, that is a luxury that most people do not own. But that doesn’t mean you won’t find the hot spots without an ice fishing flasher.
How do you pick a good ice fishing spot?
Throughout the years, I’ve been to several new locations for ice fishing. At first, I wasn’t sure about how to find the perfect spots. And as such, my catch was not as good as the other people fishing in the same location.
As time passed, I’ve learned a few ways to find the fishing hotspots which I’ll share in this article.
First, it is important that you do some research before you go out to the location. Try to find out more about the fish you’re targeting. Each fish have their own swimming pattern and tendencies which can also vary depending on the season of the year and other factors.
By doing this homework, you can easily zero in on the exact spot of the lake where you’ll find the fishes. Once you know where to find fish, you can start drilling holes and get on with the best part, which is fishing.
How do you pick a good ice fishing spot?
Most ice fishing enthusiasts start scouting for spots during the regular season. They make notes on the hot spots using a GPS, maps about the places where they’ll come back once the water is frozen.
There are huge numbers of fish in areas where there are underwater structures, for example, ledges, rock piles, and other formation. Fishes tend to gather around in those areas. It is so much easier to catch a fish under a rock than chase it down in the open.
Fishes also tend to go from the deeper side to the shallow side. So make sure to go around with your rods in all areas of the lake.
If you find a spring, then they are also a great place to find fishes. The water constantly changing from the bottom makes a great condition for fishing. I’ve caught some of the best fishes in springs myself.
If you’re not one of those people who would go out scouting for fishes before winter simply because you don’t have the time or the lake’s too far away, then you can use the help of the Navionics web app. It’s one of the best tools out there to help you find the best spot for fishing. This app has personally helped me a lot in my fishing expeditions, and if you’ve not tried it before, then you should do so.
Through this app, you can see a high definition bathymetry map of the lake you want to fish in. It takes some time and practice to understand the contour, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find the best fishing spots.
How it helps
As I’ve already mentioned above, fishes like to hang out in underwater structures. Structures could be a tree, log, and rocks, anything. But besides that, you will also find fishes in the contours at the bottom of the lake. The Navionics app is able to show us these contours. It lets you visualize the bed of the river, which can help a lot in finding the best spots.
How to use the app
Before you use the app, it is important to know what each line represents. The lines represent depths of the water body. When two lines are close to each other, it means the depth is very steep. In other words, if the lines on the map are very close to each other, it shows that there is a significant change in depths.
Now, let’s learn how to use Navionics.
Go to the Navionics web page at https://webapp.navionics.com/
Find out the location of your ice fishing trip by using the zoom button, which is located at the top right corner of the screen.
From the button of the screen, click on the menu option and then on the Map option. Now select the overlay that you want to see. I like to use the terrain option as its more realistic and show everything I want to see. However, the satellite option can be very useful as well.
From the Map option, you can set the depth you want to fish at through the safety depth slider.
For the next step, click on the blue icon, which is located on the bottom left of the map. Select the SonarChart option. This feature allows you to see the contours of the lake by up to 1-foot.
Survey the map to find the best spots to find the fishes. If you need any help choosing the spots, you can go to the internet for more resources.
Finally, there is one great feature of the app which you should use – community edits. These are small marks left by other users that contain useful information. You might just find some fishing hotspots left by other ice fishing enthusiasts if you look around the fishing location.
Choose your auger drill
Once when you’ve found the perfect spot for your ice fishing, the next step for you is to drill a hole. And for that, you will need a good auger drill. Auger drills are used for making holes on the surface of the ice. Here’s a list of my all-time favorite auger, which can help you drill those holes for ice fishing.
There you have it! By following the few points I’ve laid out, and with the use of Navionics, you’ll be ready to go out and have amazing fishing experience. If you like the web app, then you can also download their mobile app. I hope you have a great ice fishing experience!
Niels Thomas is a wildlife expert and fishing fanatic that works with major fishing brands like Deeper Sonar, Abu Garcia, Berkley, PENN, BassPro and Pure Fishing. Through sharing the best fishing tips, tricks, gear reviews, locations and much more he hopes to inspire fishing fanatics to start their own journey towards becoming the King of the Catch!