Ice fishing can be fun if you are not constantly kneeling down to dig your ice fishing hole repeatedly! Ice holes tend to freeze up every once in a while.
So, how to keep an ice fishing hole from freezing up?
The easiest way to keep ice fishing holes from freezing up is warm water. Use warm water to melt down the frozen areas. You can also use charcoal, candle, or even a cooking spray. The thing is you need warmth or heat to keep the hole from freezing up. Any kind of warmth if it is enough will keep the ice fishing hole from freezing.
Don’t worry, here are 7 easiest and cheapest tricks to keep your ice fishing hole from freezing, for as long as you want!
1. Ice Fishing Hole Covers
One reason for your ice holes freezing up, again and again, is that they are exposed to air. If you can avoid air exposure, your problem is solved. Insulated ice-hole covers can play a great role in that.
All you need to do is buy an ice-hole cover from any online shop or fishing equipment store. Dig the hole that covers it up with a cover, it doesn’t get much easier than that.
2. Boiled Water (Ice Fishing Heater)
The easiest and cheapest method out there is to use boiled water. You won’t need to spend any money or spend time making any equipment if you use this method. You don’t even need to bring the water with you. What you need to do is-
Use lake water or shaved ices and boil it in a kettle on top of the heater.
Just pour the heated water in the holes whenever you think they are freezing. That will melt the freezing ice and even up the temperature in the holes for a while.
Remember to pick up some extra propane to keep the heater going.
The added bonus is you get extra heat to keep you wanm and hot drinks.
You need to buy a plastic or steel scooper to scoop the ice out of the hole when the water starts freezing. As easy and cheap as it sounds there are cons of this method. Such as-
- It only works when the ice is still forming and kind of mushy.
- You need to constantly check the hole and be close to it to avoid the hole from freezing completely.
- You will soak your gloves if you are not careful or not wearing waterproof gloves. Wet gloves are not a suitable match for ice fishing.
4. Cooking spray
Cooking spray is both cheap and harmless for the lake and fishes. Some things to make sure while using cooking spray-
- Keep the cooking spray in a slightly warmer place to keep the aerosol function-able.
- Keep spraying the spray in every 40-60 minutes interval.
Avoid using WD-40 for ice fishing
Some go for chemicals like WD-40, which can be really harmful to the environment of the lake. It’s also illegal in many lakes to use this kind of harmful chemicals.
If you can manage a tip-up box, you can use it by putting candles inside it. Some even use lanterns. What happens, in this case, is that the minor source of the fire warms up the box and the surrounding water doesn’t drop to the temperature of freezing. You can find this kind of boxes online at a cheap price.
6. Coffee-can method (Coal can method)
This method is also known as the coal can method too. The steps of this method are:
- This method requires 2 holes. These two holes need to be closer to each other.
- Be sure to drill the hole in a size that accommodates the can you have with yourself.
- Now comes the part to fill the can. Some use normal rocks to fill it up. You can heat the rocks beforehand if you want. After that, you need to put a layer of charcoal over the rocks.
- To make the water flow from the hated hole to the fishing hole make a channel in between the holes. The flow of heated water will prevent the fishing hole from freezing.
- Make sure to keep the lid of the can slightly ajar for proper ventilation.
- You can use a copper tube at the bottom of your charcoal can. The copper tubes on another end will be pointing towards the channel which will help to redirect the water towards the fishing holes.
The only downside of this method is you need to replace the burnt-out coals after a few hours. But if you are nearby your fishing hole, heating another batch of coal shouldn’t be a big deal for you.
7. Ripple Puck
True to its name, these types of equipment create small ripples in the water to keep the water moving. It floats on the water of the hole. The small ripples keep the water moving and prevents freezing. The best thing about these small devices is that their batteries last up to ten hours. They are convenient for both anglers and tip-up holes.
So there you have the ways you need to keep the ice-hole from freezing in fewer efforts and less expenditure. Try out these hacks and pieces of equipment to brush off the worry of a freezing fishing hole!
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1 thought on “7 Tricks to Keep Ice Fishing Holes from Freezing in 2022”
The easiest way to keep an ice hole from freezing, is put an aerator in it. Go to Walmart or Amazon and buy a battery operated bubble box aerator. It runs on 2 D batteries and comes in a plastic case which protects it from the elements. We’ve fished an entire season on 1 set of batteries and it keeps the hole cleared the entire day. We score the case into the ice so we don’t accidentally knock it into the hole. To keep the aerator from making too much noise on the ice we put some foam pieces under the aerator in the case. You can buy these for $8-10 each. Trust me, they are well worth the investment!