Ice fishing is carried out in two ways, either using rods or spears. Ice fishing using Rods uses more heavy duty specialised equipment than you would normally use for freshwater fishing. Spear fishing is carried out in a shaded, dark, quiet place on the frozen lake and after drilling a hole about 8-20cm in the ice, the fisherman will spend time waiting until they see the fish.
The best times to ice fish are first thing in a morning and last thing at night and the beginning and end of the season. Ice fishing is far more sophisticated than it was years ago and fishermen will drill several holes using equipment to detect signs of the fish. Heaters are also used to make sure the hole in the ice doesn't re-freeze which happens quite a lot in the sub zero temperatures.
Ice fishing trips are popular and many combine snowmobile trips to and from the lake. Ice fishing will be carried out for a period of about an hour and any fish caught will sometimes be cooked later on and the group will all have a tasty meal. Ice fishing trips will only show you the basics and give you a taste of what ice fishing is all about but there are avid fishermen out there that take ice fishing very seriously and will go out at the start of the season right until the end of the season.
There are also many ice fishing contests going on throughout the year and there are prizes for the biggest fish caught and the most fish caught in the shortest time period.
Of course you will be perfectly safe when on any trip but there are dangers when ice fishing and these include parts of the lake where the currents are fast and the water has not fully frozen. Fishermen can also wonder into areas where the snow is of poor quality and may have to move on to safer areas. Other risks include the cold and frostbite which most fishermen are more than aware of and any trips you take, you will be fully supplied with all of the correct clothing but for the avid fishermen long exposure to the cold can be fatal.
Ice fishing these days is sophisticated and fishermen will be well equipped with sledges and snowmobiles to pull all of their fishing gear and they have special equipment to test the depths of the water. Years ago ice fishermen used to drill one hole and hope for the best, how things have moved on.