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If you have always wanted to try your hand at ice fishing, there’s no better place to do it than Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. Not only are there fishing derbies and festivals to make it even more exciting, but there are lots of opportunities to participate in this time-honored sport. Preparing for ice fishing is a labor of love. You need to think about all of the things that you might need while out on the ice, a means of transporting all of your ice fishing equipment and gear to the ice, and consider using Bob House rentals to stay warm so you won’t freeze your butt off in the process.
There are two ways to go when it comes to winter fishing supplies. You can go old school and use a hand auger and stand over a hole in the middle of the lake until you catch a fish. But you can also go “high tech” and take advantage of power augers, heated Bob House rentals, fish finders, and other electronics to give you an edge over Old Man Winter. You should still dress warm, stock up on ice fishing tackle, gear, and supplies, but if regardless of the method you choose, the important thing to focus on is having a good time.
Ice Fishing Equipment
The standard gear that you will require bare minimum to enjoy ice fishing on Lake Winnipesaukee can vary, but should always include a New Hampshire fishing license, which can be obtained at the NH Hole in the Wall, and basic information on the laws and regulations regarding ice fishing in the local region. You will also want an ice fishing pole, which is shorter than a normal fishing pole. You won’t be casting or doing anything fancy, so a short pole with a line is all that you need. Fish hooks, sinkers, pliers for removing hooks, and a bait bucket full of local, live bait are all pretty standard. Our bait and tackle shop on North Main Street can help you get all of these items, should you forget anything.
You will also need an auger and a scoop to help make the hole and keep it free of ice. A bucket is needed to carry extra gear and can also be flipped upside down for seating to consolidate the amount of stuff that you bring out on the ice. A sled can also be used for transporting heavy gear, coolers, and necessities across the ice. If you do want to use Bob House rentals to keep warm, make sure to reserve them with the NH Hole in the Wall ahead of your visit. They go fast and can help you and your fishing crew to have a much happier time out on the ice, especially if you aren’t used to New England winter weather.
When Does Ice Fishing Start?
This question does not have a specific answer, as it depends on the ice itself. As soon as the ice thickness is safe enough for people to go out on the ice to fish, the ice fishing season officially opens. However, you should still check for thin ice. A lake as large as Lake Winnipesaukee has natural currents and areas where the ice will get thin before others. While many people do drive out on the ice with snowmobiles, make sure you learn the safe areas from talking to locals before you try it. Ask about safe thickness levels for ice fishing when you visit the NH Hole in the Wall or study about it online before you arrive in New Hampshire for your trip.
Take Care in the Cold
In addition to ice fishing tackle and local live bait, your winter fishing supplies should also include items to protect you from the cold. Quality boots are required to keep your feet warm, and many anglers use foot warmers, extremely warm socks rated for cold weather, weather-proof winter boots, and ice cleats that can help you keep your balance when out on the ice. Wear warm clothes and have extra options for things like gloves, mittens, hats, and sweaters, which can become wet and useless in the middle of your trip. A whole extra change of clothes is also recommended, just in case you fall in and find yourself in the water. Warm blankets and anything else that you can think of to help keep you warm are also good. Bring food, hot beverages, and anything else you might need while out on the ice. Healthy snacks, such as granola, jerky, and nuts can help pass the time and keep your strength up throughout the day.
Ready for Ice Fishing Yet?
If you are planning a trip up to Lake Winnipesaukee, make sure you have all of the ice fishing tackle, local live bait, and winter fishing supplies you need to have a safe and exciting adventure out on the ice. Contact our team ahead of your visit to reserve Bob House rentals or to ask about ice fishing equipment. We can answer your questions and assist you in making reservations. Give us a call at 603-569-HOLE (4653) or visit our shop on North Main Street in Wolfeboro when you get into town.