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Breaking the ice: A beginner’s guide to ice fishing | Features

We know it’s cold … But you can do this

When Jake Geib started ice fishing, he had a lot to learn. Although he’d gone fishing with his dad and relatives as a kid, the Mankato resident really got into ice angling about 10 years ago, around the time he started high school.

Geib learned how harshly the wind whips across an open lake after a negative 15-degree windchill blew him and his cousin off the ice. He learned to use different gear and learned that it’s harder to move it all in the cold.

“In the summer on a boat, … if you want to fish the other side of the lake, you just drive over there,” he said. “With ice fishing, there’s more work involved. You drill the hole, clean the hole and check it with your depth finder.”

Sam Bode, of New Ulm, jigs as he watches a fish on a fish finder during the Big Bobber Ice Fishing Tournament Saturday on Lake Washington.

He learned a lot about ice fishing, but most of all, he learned to love it.

As the land of 10,000 frozen lakes, Minnesota offers many opportunities for ice fishing, but aspiring ice anglers should first learn the differences between fishing in winter versus summer. Having the correct gear is important, but staying safe is the biggest concern, according to Travis Roberts, owner of Roberts Guide Service based in Madison Lake.

What you need: hook, line and auger

Although devotees spend thousands of dollars on ice fishing gear, it requires — at minimum — a pole, bait and something to drill…

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