Tagged with: ice fishing

Chris's new-in-2017 Utah ice fishing gear picks at Smith & Edwards

Chris's Ice Fishing Picks for 2017: What's New, & What's Back!

- posted by Chris Jacobson

Hey guys, so I don’t know if you have notice but it’s getting really cold outside lately! That means a lot of our favorite fishing holes are covered in ice. [Click here for my top 5 tips to get ready for Ice Fishing!]

I have even heard of some of my favorite spots back where I grew up in northern Utah having 12in of ice, and that was before the most recent cold snap. I am not one that likes very thin ice so having about 5-6 inches of ice gets me excited to get out a try some fishing!

To help combat the ice and the cold, I have put together some of my favorite new ice fishing items that I am excited to get out and try. By new, I mean either newly-released this year or a brand that we just started carrying in the store. Check it out:

Chris's Auger of Choice

Let’s start in augers. It seems like to me that the new rage in augers is either electric or propane instead of gas. There is a lot of reasons they have become more popular. They are quieter, lighter, and don’t have the stinky exhaust that the gas augers do.

Chris recommends this powerful ION Electric Ice Fishing Auger...My pick for an electric auger is the ION 8 inch electric auger. Two of the coolest things about this auger is that it has a reverse option and that it only weighs 22 pounds!

This is one of the lightest augers that I have seen! No more packing or dragging that heavy auger across the ice!

Probably one of the biggest questions I had, and others have had, was: Won’t the battery die in the cold really fast?

The answer to that is, NO! The lithium ion battery will cut through 1,000 inches of ice! I don’t know about you but I don’t cut that much ice in a trip. This auger will do everything that you need it to.

Ice Fishing Shelters

As far as shelters go, we carry Clam and Eskimo brands and they both have great things about each one! It really is hard to pick one or the other. This much I can tell you, they both are selling really well right now and a shelter is almost always something you need to take when you go ice fishing! Our best seller is probably the Clam Six Pack 1660 right now!

Clam Ice Fishing Tents at Smith & Edwards

Back by Popular Demand: Swedish Pimples

We used to carry Swedish Pimple lures, and interest died down. Now people want them back, and so I've added them to our ice department!

Swedish Pimple LuresThere are 2 ways I see people using the Swedish Pimples.

One way is just as a lure on its own, putting the bait on the Swedish Pimple hook.

A different way, which seems more effective, is to use the Swedish pimple to attract the fish in. Then, run a line down from the Swedish pimple to a Ratfinkee or a Ratso, and the fish will smell the bait on that.

Try it out for yourself and let me know what works!

Ice Fishing Rod Brands to Watch

I have two fishing rod companies that I think are doing great things! The first one is a local company that many of you have heard of. Christenson Lake Shore Tackle of Manila, Utah has come out with some new ice fishing rods that are tailored to the local Utah fishing market. One of which is a 40" Lake trout rod. They also come in some cool colors, too!

The next company is 13 Fishing. They were one of the biggest new booths at ICAST last July and they have rods for almost everything. They have ice rods, casting rods, and spinning rods. All of which we will be carrying but their ice rods have done really well and look really good! Check them out and see for yourself!

New Ice Fishing Rods at Smith & Edwards: 13 Fishing & Christensen Lakeshore Tackle!

These are just a few of the new things that I am excited about. There is so many new things out there that it is almost impossible to list them all!

I would love to hear the brands or equipment that you just can’t go fishing without!

Ice Fishing Stories at Smith & Edwards

Ice Fishing Stories: Self-Rescue and Hypothermia

- posted by Chris Jacobson

Well we've had a whole lot of warm weather this winter, let me tell you some ice fishing stories in lieu of new Braggin' Board pictures. And I DO have a new Braggin' Board pic for you to check out, so scroll down to see what's swimming in local ponds.

Self-Rescue while Ice Fishing

Some of you guys are braver than I am.

When it comes to thin ice, I am a chicken. I struggle even on 5 inches of ice!

I don’t know if it is because I am a bigger guy, if it’s cause I swim like a rock, or just what... but I AM pretty chicken.

In any event, you should check out this video that I found through our good friend Wynn aka Bear's Butt. He's totally immersed in fletching and bows but go tell him hi from me. This video he shared, teaches you what you should do in the event that you fall through the ice.

Thanks Butt! That's some good knowledge to have.

I don’t fish very often (if ever) on ice that could potentially be less than 5 inches. That means that I haven’t had much fun this ice season. It’s been a big bust actually here for northern Utah - one of the mildest winters on record.

When Cold Water is Hot, You've Probably Got Hypothermia

I remember when I was younger and growing up in a very small town in northern Utah. My hometown is small enough that if you blink when driving through it to go to Bear Lake, you would miss it.

I was young enough that I did not have a driver’s license yet, and it was Christmas Break. A friend of mine and I decided we wanted to go fishing.

Being in the small town where everyone knows everyone, you can get most places on a four wheeler. My buddy just happened to have one, and we got permission to go.

Woodruff Reservoir was about 10-15 miles away, and we thought that would be no problem to get to.  We forgot about where we lived and that we wouldn’t be inside a cab getting up there. A four wheeler in the winter up there is SO cold!

We only made it partway and decided that we would just fish a pond that was only part of the way up the highway.

When we finally got on the ice, we found another obstacle. We realized that the hand auger that we had was dull.

I mean, so dull that it wouldn’t have cut warm butter let alone 10" or more of ice. This thing was almost useless!

We finally got two holes drilled and fished for about 10-15 minutes. We caught two fish and decided that was enough... and froze all the way home.

Our hands were SO numb that when we got home, we put them under COLD water because warm water felt like it was burning us! I still have all 10 fingers though so we made it ok.

We never went on a trip like that again... although there were plenty of other adventures we went on!

Want to hear more of my fishing stories? Or share one adventure you had? Leave a comment below and tell me about it.

And before I go, let me show you this perfect rainbow trout caught at Brigham City's Pioneer Park in January.

Allen Larsen and his Rainbow Trout outta Brigham City's Pioneer Park pond

Allen Larsen pulled this beauty: 8 pounds and 26". Thanks for sharing Allen, and great catch!

Marty McCafferty at Causey Reservoir

Everything to make Ice Fishing FUN!

- posted by Chris Jacobson

OK, so last month we talked about 5 Things to do while waiting for the ice to freeze.

Well, it's January and Mantua is FROZEN! Utah's ice fishing season has arrived. Strawberry Reservoir and Birch Creek are frozen too, and Causey and Pineview. All right!

So I've made a checklist of everything you need to go ice fishing in comfort. And if you're getting ready to go ice fishing for the very first time, scroll down to the bottom of this post for a printable ice fishing gear checklist just for you!

Checklist for Ice Fishing in Comfort

If you're ready to invest in a Clam tent to really enjoy fishing, here are the items you want to make sure to have on your trip this weekend.

Staying Warm in Comfort

It's all fun and games til you get wet and freeze! Have fun by staying warm & dry:

Carhartt Face Mask

Carhartt has lots of great beanies and ways to keep your head warm, including this Pull-Down Face Mask (click the picture)

Clam Ice Fishing Shelter at Smith and Edwards

This Clam Vista shelter will fit up to 3 people.

  • Good-quality coat, snow pants, boots: There's a good bit of advice for a lot of winter activities: dress in layers. If you've got a tent, which I'll talk about in a bit, all you need is a good-quality coat and pair of boots to get you out on the ice and get the tent set up - then you can hang out in a hoodie. If you don't have a tent, a good pair of snow pants can really keep out the cold.
    If you already have a good Carhartt coat or Carhartt bibs, put a little waterproofing on them and they'll work nicely. Our Western guy Marty recommends Duck's Back waterproofing for dusters and canvas clothing. Or, look for nice waterproof snow bibs & a jacket.
  • ICE Trekkers: One of the best brands of treads out there, choose from Chains or Diamond Grip. These treads slide right on to your boots and will let you walk on ice just like pavement.
  • Ice Shelter & Sled: Yeah, you can go Ice Fishing without a tent - definitely! But if you want to enjoy ice fishing (or your kids & wife!) - get a Clam ice tent. They start right around $200.00 and you can even upgrade to one that would hold all your buddies from work or your whole family.
    And to haul all your gear, get a nice Ice Sled. I like Otter sleds, and you can even hook up your ATV or snowmobile. Some ranches use these to haul newborn calves. Upgrade from just your bucket: fit all your gear and a folding chair, and make life easy for yourself!
  • Gloves, Hand warmers, Beanie or Hat: Heat rises - keep that heat in with a good hat, beanie, or face mask. A ball cap works for some guys, and others need all the fleece and lining they can get.
    Plus, a good pair of gloves goes a long way. If you get waterproof gloves you won't have to rotate pairs. One trick I learned from a skiing buddy is to wear a pair of knit glove liners, put in a handwarmer pad, and then wear good gloves on top of that.
  • Snacks: Make sure and pack in jerky, Twizzlers, candy, and drinks!
Marty McCafferty at Causey Reservoir

Man could we all be as lucky as Marty with this 20" Tiger Trout at Causey Reservoir! Nice!

Ice Fishing Tackle for the Experienced Angler

OK, now that you're set up on the ice, let's start catching some fish!

Strikemaster Power Auger

Ice Auger with a Motor on top... nice.

Tip Up Tip Down Ice Fishing Rod Holder

This ice rod holder, "Tip Up Tip Down", lets your rod jig up and down with just a push.

    • Power auger: Lots of guys start out with a hand auger because 1, they work well enough, and 2, they start at $59.99. Your Power Auger is for us guys who want to get out there and fish without the workout first - taking 15 minutes of drilling through 6" of ice! I've got Strikemaster power augers starting at 499.99 and you'll love yours to pieces. And remember to have a set of replacement blades with you. Check out ice fishing augers online here.
    • Jigs: If you've been out before, you've got a feel for what you like. A lot of my customers love the Ratsos and Ratfinkees. I've had good luck with them too.
      Metro Tungsten Jigs are a new lure out there for ice fishing and they're a lower price than other options. And they're just as good. Give them a try and let me know how they work for you!
    • Rod: Shorter than your summer fishing rod, get a good ice fishing rod and reel. I've got combos as well. If you're serious about ice fishing, you might have 2 or more poles going at a time! If you've got good rods, make sure and protect them in a Rod Case.
    • Ice Skimmer to clear the ice.
    • Ice Fishing Line to take the colder temperatures. I carry clear, clear blue, smoke and green ice fishing line: Fireline, Trilene, Stren - and you can even get it shipped to you. Monofilament as well as braid line for you to choose from.
    • Terminal Tackle: Can't catch a fish without a hook. Plus I've got sinkers, swivels, and everything you need for the end of the line.
    • Rod holder: Yeah, here's how you fish without needing 5 hands. Set it up and let it go! With cool inventions like the Hook Setter and the Tip Up, you can keep jigging with just a poke - some models set the hook for you!
    • Use a Spring Bobber to keep the ice off the top of the rod and detect bites.
    • Bait: Most people like to use wax worms or night crawlers as live bait. Those wax worms are sure tricky for us to keep in stock - too warm and they'll turn into moths, too cold and they won't make it! I'm trying my hardest to keep new wax worms coming in from our supplier so you've got the live bait you need. I've also got spikes and mealworms for you.
      If you don't need your bait to wiggle on its own, I've got Powerbait, Trout Dough, Waxies, and Lunker Lotion for you. It's also on the website if you want it shipped.

Bait and attractants

  • Fish finder: Just like summer fishing, see those puppies under the ice. Ice fishing fish finders are more temperature-resistant.

Budget or First-Time Ice Fishing Gear Checklist

Chris's Ice Fishing Essentials Kit

Enter your email address and I will send you a free PDF checklist you can print out so you remember all the gear to take with you to the reservoir! Nothing worse than pulling up to the shore and remembering your jigs and lures are back on the kitchen table.... been there, done that!

Get your Ice Fishing Gear Checklist!


Ice Fishing Checklist Download

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Did I miss anything? Do you have questions on ice fishing? Leave a comment and let me know, and have fun fishing!