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Thursday, May 28, 2020
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How To Get Started Ice Fishing

How To Get Started Ice Fishing

I’m here to tell you about what you need to get started ice fishing. This is what you have to have to start and you can do it for under $100. Actually probably under $75. The first thing you’re gonna need by far is good ice. Now, there’s no such thing as safe ice, but when I mean good ice I’m talking about two inches thick or more. I’m always a little leery when I first walk out on ice because there is no such thing as safe ice, but when there’s no snow on it at least I can look down and see you know how it looks thickness wise. I’m not gonna talk a lot about ice safety, since there are a lot of videos out there.


The first thing you need when you’re ice fishing is an auger so you can get your way under the ice. Now this auger is very nice and it’s a hand one you actually put it down and you spin. It works really well. Another thing I forgot to mention. Gotta have sharp blades. If you buy a used auger, it might have dull blades and that’ll be brutal Make sure your blades are sharp. After you’ve drilled your hole, you need another thing, and that is an ice skimmer. You see this right here. You gotta reach into the hole and pull out all of the ice shavings that you drilled into, and an ice skimmer will get this out.


This one was under $10 so this is a really nice one cuz it’s metal and it’s telescopic, so now you can get under the ice, you need a fishing rod. Ice fishing rods are small. I think this is only 26 inches. The reason why? You’re sitting by a hole, so you don’t want a big long rod, and you’re fishing way far away from the hole. You want to be close to the hole you’re fishing and you can actually look down into the hole that you drill. You can get a ice fishing rod for under $20 with the line on it and all, especially if you’re just fishing for panfish.


The third thing, can you see it? You need a jig. The smaller the better for jigs. You’re gonna buy jigs because when you are fishing straight down that’s called jigging because all you do is you bounce your bait or your lure up and down. When you are starting ice fishing, smaller, tiny jigs is better because then you can catch a lot of different species of fish. You might even surprise yourself you can still catch big fish on tiny jigs. Matter of fact, I just caught a really big largemouth on a tiny jig, so that’s all you need is a very little jig. On your jig though, they usually are bare. You need to put bait so the fourth thing you’re gonna need is bait. The most popular or most common thing to use, and this is where I found the most success is a waxwork.


This is a wax worm this is what you’re gonna use typically if you’re using a jig and you’re fishing for a panfish this is what I suggest when you’re just starting out. If you are unable to get wax worms, and you have to buy something from a store, where it’s like artificial stuff, I suggest like crappie nibbles, there’s a lot of different Berkley things that they sell at WalMart that you could put on a hook, so there are some alternatives. You can even, and I’ve used this and it has worked, you can use Slim Jims as bait on hooks.


Slim Jims have caught me several sunfish and bluegill through the ice. You just put a little bit of the Slim Jim on your hook. And finally the last thing, you won’t need this unless you catch a fish, but let’s hope that you do, you need a pliers. Always, always use a pliers when you’re trying to get a hook out of something toothy like a northern pike because they can bite and it hurts. There are specialized pliers if you don’t want to go grab one out of your toolbox. You can buy something like this which is a longer nose thing so you really can keep your hands away from a fish’s mouth and this grabs and clings on to look. Hey don’t forget this too. You need a bucket you definitely need a bucket for when you’re ice fishing because you want something to sit on. Also, it doubles as something to put all your stuff into when you’re ice fishing. All right.


I hope this helps you. Don’t be afraid of going out there and trying to bust some fish out on the ice it’s very fun and I’m glad I got into it. I thought fishing was just something that you can do in the summer but you know, when the weather changes, just change tactics. Get out there on the ice.

How To Fish For Catfish


This Video is a great way to show you how to catfish even without a lot of experience, and also the huge catfish that are waiting to be caught.

Video Transcript:

Bring it up, bring the tip up, bring the tip up! Bring the tip up. There you go man! Bring it all the way up! Ugh! Aaargh! Oh, shoot, man! How strong is it? Oh, I just saw it! Ho-oh my my god, it’s a big one! So, we rented a boat here, um… and they have these row boats, but if you’re not good at rowing, You could be washed all the way downriver, and that’s not a good–that’s not a good thing. So we’ve got our own gas powered motor here. It is a Honda four-stroke, I think is only like 2 horsepower or something, but it works perfect Don’t need anything too big. We’re just on a river here, and we’re lucky enough to have gotten the last boat, this place sells out of boats like, really quickly. This is a place that I’ve been coming to since I was probably like 7 or 8, every year a bunch of big striped bass, herring, uh, white perch, big catfish– every year a whole bunch of fish come here and uh, every year we come here to try and catch them.

Erin isn’t here with us today because– because she’s back at home doing some editing work– for those of you guys who don’t know Erin does like most of the editing work, uh, she spends like hours and hours doing that stuff, so I’m just–I’m not sure if you guys knew that or not. Catch. Ready? Oh, did you see that fish just jump? Yeah, I heard it. So… We are throwing what is called a “Shad dart.” and it’s basically… this thing. Kind of like a jig head, with a little skirt on the bottom of it. Cast it back out. To the left, upstream. *swish–thunk!* What the–?? What’d you do, man? You almost hooked yourself! Oh, you got one? Nice, you got one! Is it a big one, Daniel? Huh? Ooh, nice one.

Coming up on me! Got’em. Okay, stop it. Look at what you’ve done to the tip up here. Giant one? I don’t know what that is. Is it a catfish? I have no idea. Woowoowoo! Woah woah woah woah woah. Don’t lose it. What you got on there? It’s kind of big! It might be a rockfish.

It might be a rockfish? Ha! Maybe two fish at once! But I don’t know… Maybe you doubled up, I’m thinking you doubled up. Let’s see, let’s see. You hooked it in the back. It’s a big one but you hooked it in the back. That doesn’t count! Whew, That’s a pretty big one. Oh, man, it took–! It took all my–!! It took your whole rig? It took my whole rig. Oh no. Daniel, slow it down. There we go, Daniel! Nice one! Nice, okay, you can keep it in the water. You don’t need to bring it out here. Put the rod between your legs Give it some line.

We’ll go out there and free it. There you go. Put your hand in there like you mean it, grab it by the lower lip, not the upper lip, the lower lip. The lower lip? But it’s– the hook’s there. Put your finger in it, put your thumb in it, grab it! Hold on tight! Grab it tight. Now– Unhook it, there you go, man! That’s how you do it! Hey, high five. Danny. Okay, so we gut-hooked this fish, and um… You know, instead of, uh, letting it die out there, we just killed it and we’re going to use it for bait. Um, yeah, this is great bait.

Catfish, stripers, and uh, yeah, go ahead. Let’s just hook on the whole head, Dad. Alright. Alright. Oh $#!@ it got off! Yeah… Is the bait still there? It was screaming… Did it take all the bait? It bit the whole thing off… Something–something just ate our entire, uh, our entire rig off and snapped us off in a second, How many– how many pound test do we have on there? Pretty big? Yeah, and it still– it still managed to snap it somehow. Must have been a pretty big fish. He’s got something in his hand, he grabbed something and there’s something in his…

Oh, it’s got something. That hawk’s got something! Oh, yeah, he’s definitely got a fish. That’s what we want! Oh, there we go! Yeah. There we go. Here, Daniel. Here, here, here. You want me to do this? Yeah. Of course I want you to do it, this is– I’m taking you fishing, man! There you go, don’t let go, okay? Bring the tip up! Bring it to the sky, there you go. Daaang, Daniel. Daaamn, Daniel! And you got a GoPro on your head now. Alright, slow it down, slow it down, you need to– you don’t– let it fight a little bit, let it fight a little bit. Bring the tip up. Keep it up. Stand on top of that seat, Daniel.

You got it. I got you. Bring it up, bring the tip up, bring the tip up! Bring the tip up! There you go, man! Bring it all the way up! Oh, shoot man, how strong is it? Ho-oh, my god, it’s a big one! All right Bring the tip up, don’t reel any more, just bring it up, bring it up. There we go, swing it over to the side so I can pull it off. This way, to the right, swing it to the right. Come on, come on, come on, almost there! There we go. ??? Whoa. Mama said, “Man, what’d you do to my son!?” Oh man, looks like it was swallowed. Alright, Daniel. Nice catfish. Do not throw it, okay? Cause it’s going to spike you.

Oh ho ho, is this the biggest fish ever? Yes! Definitely? It’s slipping, it’s slipping! Ha ha ha! Alright, alright, let’s throw this back, let’s throw him back. Hold it’s tail, hold it’s tail! Nice job, Daniel. It’s slippery. Wash it up well two hands. My hands are covered in this nasty slime. Bleh!! Ugh. What does it smell like, Daniel? It smells like fish. Yeah, but they’re a– they’re a great fight, and um, you know it’s a fun fish to catch sometimes. All right, it’s that time again Noon o’clock when the fish stop biting completely. We’ve basically been sitting here for like, about an hour now Nothing’s touched our bait.

We had about a 20 minute period Where we couldn’t stop the catfish from biting our bait But now it’s dead and this happens every time When the sun gets too high up in the sky for some reason the fish stopped biting If you guys like what you saw, please like and subscribe. We go through a tremendous effort to bring you guys this awesome show um, and we release an episode every week. Thank you guys for watching. I’m gonna get back home to Erin now. .

Best Fishing Lakes in Iowa

Best fising lakes in Iowa

Have you ever wondered what are the best fishing lakes in Iowa? In this article, we will take a look at some of the more popular fishing lakes in Iowa. Here is our countdown to 5 great places to fish In Iowa

Clear Lake Iowa

Maximum Depth – 18.1 – 27.0 ft.
Mean Depth – 10.1ft
Area – 3,976.2 acres

Located in the northern portion of Iowa just off of highway 35 in Cerro Gordo County is Clear Lake Iowa. Unfortunately, Clear Lake is known worldwide not for fishing but rather what happened on February 3rd, 1959. It was the day the music died when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. “The Big Bopper” were tragically killed in a plane crash.

In the ’80s and early ’90s, Clear Lake was a popular spot to catch bullheads and even more bullheads. That being said Clear Lake has changed a lot in the last 25 years or so. In an effort to clean up the lake, the yellow bass has now replaced the bullheads. However, in addition to Yellow bass, the lake is also stocked annually with Walleye making it one of the better Walleye lakes in Iowa. And if you like to fish for Muskie Clear Lake is one of the top lakes in the Midwest for Muskie fishing.

Clear Lake is a wonderful place to visit and vacation over the summer. There is plenty to do and one of the best places to be on the 4th of July.

Saylorville Reservoir

Maximum Depth:44 Ft
Acres: 4970.00

Saylorville Reservoir is right by jester park so if you were at jester park you could just go there and fish. Some of the fish you can find there are Channel Catfish, White Bass, White Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Walleye, and more. You can find all of them here Iowa DNR. Saylorville is such a nice lake you can take your boat out on the lake and bass fish, or just fish on the beach for some catfish or anything else you wanted to. I also think there might be some creeks right by it so you can find little hidden spots and fish there as well.

Swan Lake

Maximum Depth: Unknown

Swan Lake is a nice small lake, unfortunately, there are no bass there so if you like bass fishing you are out of luck however if you wanna catch some crappie this might be your spot. Some fish you can find here are Black Crappie, Channel Catfish, Common Carp, Walleye, Bigmouth Buffalo, and more. You can find all of them here Iowa DNR. Swan Lake may be small and if you are not having the best luck there you might just be able to fish to the west of it and there is Little Swan Lake, there are only 3 fish there and that is, Northern Pike, Black Bullhead, and yellow perch. so if you like fishing for pike there’s your spot.

Rice Lake

Maximum Depth:10 ft

Rice Lake has a beach for you to fish off of if you want to and a boat ramp, this is one of my most favorite places since it has some fish that I commonly fish for, Like bass and walleye. There are only 4 types of fish in this lake Largemouth Bass, Yellow Perch, Walleye, and Bluegill. For more information visit Iowa DNR. this is a great spot because There are not crazy amounts of fish varieties in this lake so you can really fish for you want to and not have too many problems this is why I love this lake.

Lake Wapello

Maximum Depth: 33.7 ft

Last but not least is Lake Wapello, this is great if you have a family and you wanna take them to a spot to have fun, there is a playground, a beach, pier, and there are bike trails. Some fish at this lake are Largemouth bass, Channel Catfish, Wiper, Redear Sunfish and more. Find out more at Iowa DNR. If you are done catching your fish and you want to take them home to eat them there is a cleaning station here as well, along with a boat rental area.

Thank you for reading this article on North Iowa Fishing
By: Kolson O’Donnell

Fishing Whitefish Lake MN


Here is some more video of our 2018 fishing trip to Northeren MN. In this video we are fishing Whitefish Lake and Clear Lake MN. It was an absolute perfect evening both nights. We caught Northern, Walleye, Perch, Rock bass and Large Mouth bass.  Make sure to watch the video tell the end as you will see my daughter Kennedi hooking into a monster. It snaps her 10-pound test line instantly.

Thanks for stoping by NorthIowafishing.com and happy fishing!

2018 Minnesota Fishing Trip


Carp Fishing

Clear Lake Carp

Every so often I like to do a little carp fishing. Carp fishing can be a nice change of pace and you can hook into some real hogs! The above picture is a 30 pound carp that I caught in Clear Lake, IA.

Ice Fishing Minnesota


I would like to thank Matt for submitting these 2018 ice fishing photos to North Iowa Fishing. The above video shows a few pictures from his Minnesota Ice fishing adventures.

Ice Fishing Minnesota

These Crappie were caught just north of the border in Southern Minnesota. The nice thing about living in North Iowa is that the land of 10,000 lakes is just hop skip and a jump away. Matt said this has been one of his best ice fishing years on record. Thanks again Matt for submitting your photos and I look forward to seeing the fish you catch this spring.

Ice Fishing Minnesota

As we say goodbye to another summer fishing season many of us welcome winter and the ice fishing season. Many angular s look forward to ice fishing as a change of pace and the comradery it brings while fishing together in a portable man cave.

North Iowa Ice Fishing Northern Pike

Ice Fishing Gear

If you are new to ice fishing here is a quick look at some of the gear you might need. Click on the pictures to learn more.

Saylorville Dam Monster Catfish

saylorville dam Catfish

We want to thank Dave for submitting this 50 pound monster catfish caught at the Saylorville Dam in Polk City, IA. There is nothing like catching big Iowa catfish! Dave caught this bad boy on 6 pound test Spiderwire. My friend has some skills!

As the weather starts to get cooler the catfish start biting. Some anglers say the best time to fish in Iowa and Minnesota is in the fall. I tend to agree, so make sure to get out this fall before it gets to cold and catch a big one like my friend Dave. By the way if you see my friend Dave make sure to ask him about his new catfish technique. I can not wait to try it, I will share my results in another post. Stay tuned!

Saylorville Lake is located just north of Des Moines, IA. The Salorville area is a great place to fish, camp, hike etc.

Northern Pike Fishing – The One That Got Away

Northern Pike Fishing

One of my favorite things to do is go Northern Pike fishing up north in Minnesota. While everyone else is fishing for Walleye, Crappie or Perch I always have the biggest ugliest lure tied on in the hopes of catching a big ol Northern Pike.

The obsession started way back In 1986. It was our very first fishing trip to the great up north. As a kid loving to fish I thought that I had died and went to heaven. I remember getting settled in and walking outside of our lakefront cabin for the first time. It was like something out of a scene in the movie “On Golden Pond“. The sun was setting and the lake was like glass. I was hooked for life after that moment. Even at a young age, I was memorized by the beauty of it all. The next morning we were all up bright and early at 5 am just itching to get on the lake. We got loaded up and headed out. The fishing was fantastic and we were all having the time of our lives.

Well I can’t remember what day of the week it was but it was toward the end of the trip. My cousin and I were on a little boat with a 6hp motor not to far off of the shore by our cabin. It was about 4 o’clock in the afternoon and we were just messing around throwing daredevil spoons trying to catch as many northern pike as we could. At the time I was fishing with an old saltwater fishing pole my father had given me. The drag on the reel was broke but it had 30 pound test line on it so I thought I would be OK. So I heaved my lure out as far as I could and started to reel it in as soon as it hit the water. At the time I was new to catching northern pike and I remember my uncle telling me the faster you can reel the better when using spoons. So I took that advice and was reeling as fast as I could while staying under control. Well, about 10 yards from the boat a northern pike hit my lure like Mike Tyson hitting a heavy bag.  I had caught a 7 pound northern earlier in the week and it felt nothing like this. I quickly yelled out get the net! This is a big one! My cousin laughed and yelled out, whatever!  I replied, no seriously this time it really is a big one. This fish was heavier than any other fish that I had experienced then and now. I remember it taking off and almost pulling the rod out of my hands. I griped down leaned back and finally got enough strength to reel it close enough to get a glimpse of this monster. I remember seeing a flash of something that looked like a 600 pound alligator. I heard my cousin behind me yell that thing is huge!” After that, it headed under the boat and pulled the boat about 5 yards and then I heard the worst sound ever, SNAAAAAAP!!!! My line broke and it was gone!

Our family has been going to the same area for 30+ years now. Even though I look forward to the trip every year nothing has compared to that first year of fishing. I will always remember the one that got away and I have never recovered from it. So every year I try to catch the one, yes the one that got away back in 1986.  The picture above is what I caught this year. It is about 8 pounds not too shabby but it is nothing like the one that got away.

Spoonbill Fishing in Missouri

spoonbill fishing in missouri

We want to thank Toby English and Brett O’Donnell our Friends in Missouri, for submitting this pic of this river monster! This is spoonbill fishing in Missouri at its finest. Awesome catch guys!

The Spoonbill Fish

The spoonbill or paddlefish is closely related to the sturgeon. Spoonbill fish can be found in the Mississippi and Missouri River tributaries. The spoonbill can be found in 22 states. The paddlefish is an endangered fish and is protected by state and federal laws.

Spoonbill Fishing

To catch a spoonbill you generally need to snag it. Spoonbill fishing is prohibited unless in season. The season for fishing these river monsters in the Mississippi river is Mar 15th to May 15th and then again Sep 15th to Dec 15th. The spoonbill in the above picture was caught in the lake of the Ozarks snagmasters  spoonbill tournament.

Local Fishing Weather

Mason City
39.2 ° F
44.6 °
37.4 °
100 %
90 %
31 °
26 °
41 °
25 °
44 °