7 Best Tips for Ice Fishing at Night

Are you worried about shortened day time for your ice fishing? If you fish in winter you will know the struggle of having little time for fishing in daylight. So how about extending the time to the entire day?

Yes, as you guessed, you can go ice fishing at night. However, you need to know certain things about fishing at night.

Ice Fishing at Night
Ice Fishing at Night

Essential tips for ice fishing at night

Ice fishing at night can be enjoyable if you know the right things to do at the right time. The steps-

1) Deciding the spot

Choosing the right place in ice to dig a hole, matters the most when it comes to the number of bites. 

  • Use GPS and Vexilar to know the path you need to take and to measure the thickness of the ice.
  • Go before the sunset to dig the hole to avoid danger.
  • Also, while choosing a spot, make sure your tools can adjust the ice-thickness of the place you have chosen. That can ease your work to a certain level.
  • While deciding on the spot, keep in mind what kind of fish you are planning to catch.

 For instance, Walleyes stay in 17-20 feet deep water. Green weeds in shallows can be a good place for them to seek food. Crappies stay in 15-18 feet deep water. Weed beds, underwater plants near shallows can be a good spot for these kinds of fishes.

Try choosing a place for digging a hole where water is this deep and has shallow weed-lines.

2) Lights and props

You need to lure fishes in to take bites from your hooks. Certain props that you should use-

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Glow lights

Nocturnal fishes have a very good eye vision. Using glow-lights will make them focus on where you are and attract them.

For crappies you can try to use green lights, Led lights, hydro lights can come in handy. You can recharge led lights over and over by keeping it in front of your other lights, so they are more convenient.

3) Use Live Baits

Use worms and minnows in your hooks to attract the fishes. Minnows that are bigger tend to lure the biggest walleyes out there. Living baits are more likely to draw in these nocturnal fishes because of their hunting nature. 

4) Use Tip-ups

Do use tip-ups as they will allow you to set more than one bait. Anglers chase the fish for you and notify you when the fish is caught. Set a big hook, use a large minnow as bait, and set the trigger light. You will surely find yourself a large walleye with it.

5) Use Rattle reel

They are very convenient considering you don’t need to hold them and you can take rest even while fishing. The sound caused by the spiral of the reel will notify about the caught fish even if you doze off.

6) Safety measures

Moving around in ice and fishing there is hard enough in daylight. It’s even more challenging in the dark if you are not well prepared. You need to take the following measures for your safety:

  • Bring flashlights because it will make it easier for you to see where you are stepping your foot on.
  • Bring heaters because you never know when the temperatures drops or cold becomes unbearable.
  • Try to not dig around after dark because that increases the risk of getting hurt by tools and losing footings.
  • Bring food, water, and other necessities. It’s better to keep a first aid box for emergencies.
  • Don’t forget to bring GPS to know which path you are taking. Also, inform someone about where you are planning to fish and how long you are planning to take.
  • Always bring extra batteries for your electronics.

7) Place the bait

  • While placing the bait observe the size of the fish. If you are constantly catching small fishes, then try to place your bait a little higher or lower than before to keep testing the number of bites at a certain height. 
  • Try to throw the hook in the upper level of water because the food that nocturnal live off is often found at that level.
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Crappies tend to chase their prey in an upward direction. So if you keep your bait in the upper level, they are sure to be more lured.

Pros and cons of Ice Fishing at night

Pros of Ice Fishing at night

Fishing is always beneficial, but fishing at night, that also in ice, might have added benefits too. Such as-

  • You will have more time for fishing. You can take your time in searching for a suitable place to dig a hole without worrying about losing time and wrapping up as soon as the sunsets.
  • As people are less likely to fish at night, you will have the whole place to yourself. You can choose as you wish and also increase your fishing range. Also, the silence and less crowd will pull fishes out of their hiding places.
  • You can catch nocturnal fishes like walleyes because night time is their hunting time. Also, crappies are mostly nocturnal in winters.
  • Enjoying nature in its dark glory is another added pro. The serene environment will surely refresh your mind while fishing gives the adrenaline rush you need.

Cons of Ice Fishing at night

Well, when did anything come without unmixed blessings? Ice-fishing at night didn’t either. The cons are-

  • Ice-fishing at night can add more danger because of the drop in temperature, darkness, etc.
  • You can’t find many varieties of fish at night, as very few fishes are nocturnal, to begin with.
  • Bugs can be a bother, as you will use light, and light tends to invite mosquitos and other bugs.
  • Wind can be a bother because in winter icy wind on top of cold weather won’t help your case.

Crappie ice fishing at night

Night Crappie Fishing Tips

Avoid Full Moon

If you are fishing at night for crappie, avoid full moon always. In fact it is better to avoid even the 3 days prior and after the full moon too.

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Rather, target the new moon. That is the right time for crappie ice fishing at night.

Use bigger bait

If you want to catch bigger Crappie, you have to use bigger bait. If you keep using small baits, you will keep catching smaller crappies. It is that simple.

Carry an electronic depth finder

This is very crucial for fishing at night. No matter what fish you are targeting, if you are fishing at night, you should carry an electronic depth finder.

Good lighting

To ice fish at night, you must need enough light. So keep that in mind.

Ice fishing at night for walleye

If you love walleye, if you love to catch walleye, especially at night you should prepare for that at first. For Ice fishing at night for walleye, you must have enough light with you, a good depth finder to measure the perfect depth for you.

Ice fishing at night for trout

For ice fishing, the night is the perfect time for some people. The fewer crowd around and a calm environment is exactly what they need to ice fish. Ice fishing trout is no different. You keep your safety gears with you, enjoy the perfect environment, and look for trout.

Ice fishing at night for perch

Ice fishing for perch is tougher at night. It is because perches have limited vision.

Do yellow perch bite at night?

Yellow perch do not have any feeding time or schedule. They will feed all day, all night. But what makes it harder to catch them at night is their limit of vision at night.

Ice fishing at night surely takes time and patience. You might get lucky and find a good catch at first bait. Sometimes, you might need to test different tactics and height before you find a good catch. However, ice fishing at night can be an out-of-body experience if you are patient and taking all the steps! Go on and give it a try!

thanks to fishmasters

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