How to Use Lights in Ice Fishing

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Hints and tips from the Hound

With the lakes frozen over locating and identifying underwater structures can be harder often resulting in numerous holes drilled in the ice before the fish are located. This can be both a time and energy waster so why not take a break and allow the fish to come to you?

Using submersible lights to attract fish isn’t anything new, but the lights are typically used in the summer months but what attracts a fish in the summer, also attracts a fish in the winter so why not use fish lights for ice fishing too?

How does Fishing with a Light Work?

Fish are attracted to food as part of a food chain involving smaller fish such as shads or minnows which are in turn, attracted to plankton. Those shads and minnows are drawn to the light in search of plankton and what loves baitfish, larger game fish that you want to hook? It’s all part of the natural cycle of life, fish must eat to survive no matter the season, and they’ll go where the food is. Using a fishing light draws in the smaller fish which in turn, draws in those bigger ones.

How do You Fish with Fishing Lights?

Set-up, as always, near to a natural structure such as a drop-off, rock formation or submerged brush, it’s around these places that fish will naturally converge. Fishing in these areas will greatly increase your chance of a catch regardless of the season or time of year.

You want to position your light just under the bottom edge of the ice, it doesn’t have to be submerged too deep to be effective. The wonderful thing about ice is that it’s a natural reflector so keeping your lights just below it will allow the light to transmit further and increase your chances of attracting the fish.

What Should I Look for in a Fishing Light?

·    Size: don’t forget that you’ll have to carry this, along with other kit, across the ice so you don’t want anything too heavy or bulky. Luckily there is a good selection of lightweight lights within a compact package. Small enough to put in a pocket or store in your tackle box.

·    Durability: as with any of your kit, it’s essential that any light you pick is made of tough stuff and can put up with being hiked over the ice and packed into the back of your truck etc.

·    Lumens: light output is measured in lumens with the higher the lumen the brighter the light output.

·    Runtime: depending on the type and size of the light and the style of battery you choose, some lights will last upwards of 5+ hours.

·    Batteries: you need to ensure you use the correct batteries to power your fishing lights. Don’t be tempted to use either a marine or car battery as these haven’t been designed for this type of usage. They will probably run down faster because they’re not meant to be continually discharged and recharged. For this purpose use a deep cycle or leisure battery that will keep your light running brighter for longer.

·    Light color: Green and white lights are ideal for ice fishing but blue is also a good choice.

So there you have it, a quick look at fishing under the lights, and with inexpensive light units available why not give it a go next time you head to the lake?

Fishing with lights can improve the speed at which you can catch fish too so, if you haven’t tried it, give it a go.

As always, check the ice and weather conditions before you begin fishing and ensure you’ve got the correct kit and safety gear. Have fun on the ice, let’s hope the fish are biting.

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