Ice Fishing Explained Simply: How To Fish On Ice Most Successfully


Ice fishing is very popular especially in the months when it gets colder. In Germany, ice fishing is therefore very popular between November and January (as long as the necessary temperatures are below 0 degrees).

But before we go into ice fishing, here are a few tips that you should be aware of in order not to expose yourself and others to unnecessary danger.

What do you need to know about ice fishing?

The ice must be thick enough. A minimum thickness of 15 to 20 cm is recommended. Otherwise the ice can break very quickly.

In addition, it is essential to avoid fairways and open areas with a minimum distance of 50 to 60 m. In addition, you should not walk on any ice surface that contains air bubbles under the ice or even cracks.

In order to be able to fish on the ice at all, you will need an ice drill with adjustable display height. The holes drilled for ice fishing should not be larger than 15 to 20 cm.

If the holes are larger, there is a risk that the surrounding ice surface will be damaged and that the ice will collapse faster. If you have finished fishing on the ice, the spot should be marked. Branches or twigs should be sufficient.

Ice fishing with a hand rod

The equipment for ice fishing is actually relatively manageable. Normally you only need an ice drill and an appropriate ice rod for ice fishing. The ice rod for ice fishing is very small compared to a normal rod.

Usually it is up to 1m long and therefore much smaller than a normal trout rod with a size of 2 to 3m. Usually good ice rods cost between 30 and 40 euros as for example the AnzeigeAngel Berger ice and boat fishing set with reel with a length of 60 cm. However, these ice rods are relatively long at 60 cm. There are also the so-called AnzeigeFertigangeln which are also very good for fishing on ice.

When ice-fishing it is important to be as close to the ice hole as possible. As the ice holes are usually not very large, especially when fishing with larger rods, the view of what is happening is quickly blocked.

The angler should therefore always stand close to the ice hole when fishing on the ice, but if he gets too close to the ice hole there is a risk that the line will be roughened at the edge of the ice and in the worst case even break.  See the following graphic illustration.

In order to avoid a possible line break, the ice angler should always stand close to the ice hole.

In the event of a bite, this also ensures that the angler can intervene directly. Therefore short ice rods are essential for ice fishing. Hand fishing rods are ideal because they are very short (usually under 15 cm) and can be used directly above the water.

The chance of the line coming into contact with the ice is relatively small. The following diagram illustrates this.

The right ice-fishing rod

Such a hand fishing rod for ice-fishing consists of important components. On the one hand there is the insulated and warm handle. This means that even on really cold days you won’t get cold fingers so quickly.

In addition, the fishing line with the appropriate assembly is important. Hook, line and an appropriate weight to lower the lure are indispensable. The following picture shows such a hand fishing rod that can be used for ice fishing.

Where can you go ice fishing?

There are several places where you can go ice fishing with a hand rod. Usually, however, ice fishing is practiced on frozen lakes, from jetties or directly on the shore.

If you want to go ice fishing on a frozen stream or river, you should be careful where you step. Especially with streams, the thickness of the ice varies due to the different currents.

You should be really sure that the chosen stream is really thick enough. Here is a picture for illustration.

Instructions for hand fishing on the ice

To make it as easy as possible for you when fishing on the ice, you should first drill a hole about 20 cm wide with a display height adjustable ice drill.  A very good tip is to prevent the use of cooking oil in the ice hole from freezing.

If possible you should drill more than 1 hole – 4 are usually optimal with sufficient distance. If the ice hole should freeze over, you still have some holes to avoid.

Make sure that the ice hole doesn’t get too big, otherwise cracks can appear very quickly which can lead to a break-in. After the ice hole is finished, you can actually start ice fishing.

Use a common lure such as a bunch of roundworms with your hand rod and pull them onto the hook. They are usually eaten with great pleasure. Now you can simply let the bait in the cold water in peace and quiet.

Make sure that the line does not touch the edges. Otherwise the line can break very quickly.

If no fish has bitten for a long time, you can pull the line in again and slowly let it go again. Many fish that are currently hibernating will then become aware of the fish.  Often we have experienced that after a few times of casting and casting in and out a big carp has bitten.

And here is another tip: If no fish bites at all, you can simply switch to one of the additional holes you had drilled before.

This increases your chances of getting a bite.

Where can I get a hand rod for ice fishing?

You can get a hand fishing rod for ice fishing in our shop. We offer two models. Firstly, the Starter Handangel, which is a little cheaper and secondly, the Premium Handangel, which is much higher quality.

In addition, the handle is made of genuine cowhide. Especially in winter this keeps fingers warmer. You can see the Premium fishing rod for ice fishing on the following picture:

The advantage of the Starter hand fishing rod is that it is much cheaper and consists of a tear-proof parachute line. It also lies very comfortable in the hand. This is very comfortable especially during longer fishing sessions.

If you want to get an overview of the two hand fishing rods with all the advantages and disadvantages, you should take a look at the Handangel Shop. Alternatively, the Display Angling Shop also offers a large selection

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