Ice Fishing for Panfish: A Nice Winter Household Exercise
For anglers in the north of the state, ice fishing on Panfish is a great family activity. The entire crew can be involved, and the chances of success for all are pretty good, especially if your chosen fishing spot is one with a good population of Panfish species; H. yellow perch, bluegill and crappie. These fish are usually abundant and common in most northern lakes and ponds.
Choose the right place
The first thing to do when considering ice fishing with the family is to find out which body of water you can visit that has a good population of pan fish. For example, some places have lots of small to medium-sized perch while others have larger specimens. Some lakes and ponds have all three types, although one is more common than the other. A lake with a small population of large crappies may not be as good to visit as one with a large population of smaller crappies. If you know one lake better than another, this may be a better choice, at least for a first family visit.
Not everyone has the opportunity to choose from a number of different bodies of water. Hence, you may have to decide what is closest to you or where to have access. But if you can adapt your goals, like the quantity of catch to the quality or one species to the other (cold-water yellowfish are hard to beat for the winter table), to the experience and skills of your family, you will be ahead of the game .
Plan the conditions
Of course, it gets cold when you ice fishing for Panfish, and maybe you can only go on a specific day or days of the week. But if the kids are young and not used to spending hours in a frozen lake, at least choose a windless, mild, sunny day. It goes without saying that you must wear appropriate shoes and clothing. However, you can provide toe and hand warmers that you can tuck into boots and gloves if necessary. Of course, you can spend time teaching the kids how to fish for panfish, but when they are cold or miserable they learn what they don't like. Comfort comes first.
And that also means taking care of food and drinks. Invest in a good container that will keep hot chocolate or hot apple cider warm for hours. You know what makes your kids happy when it comes to sandwiches and nibbles, but nothing beats PB & Js in my book. Bring what they like.
Ice fishing for crappie, bluegills or perch may require you to be mobile and dig lots of holes. And if you have enough gear for every member of the family, multi-hole drilling with an ice auger is much better.
If you can drill holes quickly and your gear is in good condition, you can get lines in the water quickly and get people fishing right away. Having to repair, untangle, and otherwise service equipment while out on the ice in the cold is no good. Ergo, do your act together.
Finally, let them do other things
Cross-country skiing or ice skating on frozen lakes, when conditions permit, are great ways to keep the kids busy while parents are prone to tipping. Let them have fun. If you've ever done ice fishing and enjoy it, or if you're already an avid angler, get them involved in rigging, bait maintenance, and other chores associated with ice fishing for panfish (as well as other species). .