Thursday, February 10, 2022

Ice fishing lingo and tips

ice fishing
Ice Fishing Lingo

If you’ve ever been ice fishing, you may have noticed that ice anglers practically speak their own language. To clear up any confusion, we thought we’d cover some commonly used terms you may hear being thrown around the next time you’re out on the ice. Enjoy!

Spikes – bottle fly larvae (maggots)

Mousies – drone fly larvae (maggots)

Flasher – Electronic sonar fish finder

Markin’ – Fish showing up on a flasher
“Hey, you markin’?’”

Juice – Great spot, holds lots of fish, marking lots of fish. “I’m on the juice.”

Rip – Hooked up, have a fish on the line. “Rippppppppppp!”

Paper Party – catching lots of crappie. “We’re having a paper party!”

pickerelChain Pickerel – Where’s the Love?

If there’s one species of fish that can evoke a groan out of any angler once they realize they have one on their line, it’s probably a chain pickerel. They’re slimy, have a mouth full of sharp teeth, and sometimes get the bad rap of being a “trash fish.” All too often we hear of these fish being left on the ice to die.

Chain pickerel are a valuable sportfish that play a vital role in an aquatic ecosystem. Not to mention, they’re relatively easy to catch and can provide a lot of action on the ice. And believe it or not, they’re actually very tasty if prepared properly.

As members of the pike family, they tend to be bony, but you can grind the “y bones” along with the meat and make them into patties. We encourage anglers to release the pickerel they catch or harvest them legally to take home for a tasty meal. Chain pickerel may just become your new favorite species to pursue.

Keep in mind, if you do plan on targeting pickerel, you’ll want to make sure you attach a steel leader to the end of your line. Otherwise, you’ll quickly see what all the groaning is about.

lineIce Fishing with Inlines

Small spinning reels work well for ice fishing, but another alternative to consider are inline reels. We weighed out the pros and cons to help you decide if an inline reel is something you’d like to add to your arsenal.

Less line twist
Less line memory (curls in your line)
Fast drop time
Larger spool diameter = more line pickup

Can be expensive
Drags can have issues with certain models

Matt Burnett, left, and Tim Rowland jig inside the ice fishing shanty on Osgood Pond. Photo by Mike Lynch

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Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

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