Students ignore the cold and go ice fishing

Ice fishing is a tradition that has been around for decades. Going out on a frozen lake with the goal of catching a fish has evolved from feeding a family to an entertaining sport. Many BSM students participate in this tradition and brave the cold in order to catch some fish.


Ginny Lyons

New technology in ice fishing makes the hobby easier.

Katie Sohm and Henry Quant

One of the reasons ice fishing is such a popular activity is because it is something all ages can participate in, and many who participate annually have been ice fishing since a young age.

Fishing in the winter is also favored because it can be a social activity or alone time. It is up to the fisher whether or not to go with friends because ice fishing can be fun either way. It can be a relaxing getaway or a fun activity with a friend. “My favorite part of ice fishing is being outside hanging with friends and catching fish,” senior Michael Doppler said.

Depending on the weather, ice fishing can go very well, or very poorly. Although tents are used to help shield from the wind, they don’t always completely stop the cold. The best way to always ensure a successful fishing day is to stay patient. “The only way to avoid a bad fishing day is to stay out there till you catch one,” senior Alex Houlihan said. 

Other ways to improve fishing skills are to keep moving around and find different spots on the lake. “The best way to avoid a bad fishing day is to stay mobile. Don’t set up house in one spot. Drill holes all around, and keep trying new spots,” sophomore Max Salden, who has been fishing for five years, said. 

The only way to avoid a bad fishing day is to stay out there till you catch one.

— Alex Houlihan

Technology has advanced over the years to help with catching the fish underneath the ice. At first, a hole and a stick with string or a spear was the only way to ice fish, but now there are easier methods. Now, people have developed new types of fishing rods, and there is equipment to help find the fish. “I use a device called a vexilar flasher that shows the fish under you, so you can tell if they are on the bottom, middle, or right beneath the ice. It shows where the bait is in relation to the fish, and ultimately helps you find the fish easier,” Salden said.

One of the best things about ice fishing is traveling around to try different spots. It can be fun to find a new place, but it’s also nice to stay in that favorite spot. Fishers have differing opinions about fishing spots—some people never do the same spot twice and others stick to one lake. Those who use the same spot multiple times hope to get the same kind of luck as before. “When I pick a place, I look for structure on the map like fast dropoffs and points for walleye. If I’m fishing for crappies I look for deep holes in the lake,” Doppler said.

When people go out to ice fish, they don’t just stay there for 30 minutes and leave, they stay for hours. Because it is an all day event, it’s important to dress warm and pack food. “When I go out there, I like to stay out there all day,” Houlihan said.

Not very many people travel out of the state to go ice fishing because of the great conditions around here—Minnesota is ranked number four as the best place in the US for ice fishing. Everyone has their own opinion about where the best fishing spot is, some are close by and others farther away. “My favorite spot is Lake Minnetonka,” Salden said.

Ice fishing is a sport that takes a lot of time and patience. Even though it involves sitting on a frozen lake for hours on end, everyone has their own favorite part that makes it all worth it. “My favorite part of ice fishing is reeling in some monster sunnies,” Houlihan said.