If you want to take up ice fishing, there are a few basic things that you will need to know. These things will help you to be safe and enjoy your day on the ice.
Before beginning, you will want to be sure that you have sufficiently warm clothing for a day in very frigid conditions. Many fishermen like either floater suits or floater jackets. They are just as warm as snow jackets but also provide the protection of a flotation device. Be sure that you wear a warm hat and gloves as well.
To begin with, you will want to know that there is sufficient ice formed on the lake where you want to fish. If there are only one or two fishermen, then you will want at least four inches of ice to support your weight. If there are more than two fishermen, then you will want at least six inches of ice. The more ice the better.
On extremely cold days, you may want to rent a shelter. They offer heat and the opportunity for coffee and hot meals in the shelter.
If you do not have an ice auger, you will need to rent, borrow or buy one before your trip. After you drill the hole, you will need to scoop out the slush to keep it from freezing back. After cutting through the ice, drill the auger into the ice so that it stands vertically. This will keep it from freezing stuck in the snow.
Fishing can be done with minimal equipment. A line can be tied to a branch that is set over the hole and left for the fish to bite or a reel on a very short rod can be used with artificial lures or jigs. Most ice fishermen use ten to twelve test lines for fishing. You can find line that is especially made for the cold conditions of ice fishing.
Just because the weather has turned sour does not mean that fishing is not an option. When mid-January comes and the lakes are frozen over, it is a great time to go out with friends and spend some time ice fishing. If you have never gone ice fishing then find some friends or neighbors that can show you the ropes. If you have questions, just ask at the local tackle shop. It's likely they have plenty of ice fishing experience and recommendations for you to draw on.