Ice Fishing Tips for Beginners

Ice Fishing Tips for Beginners

Rocky Mountain National Park is the perfect travel destination for nature lovers year-round. It’s an especially magical sight in the snow, not to mention full of opportunities for an exciting new winter adventure—like ice fishing!

While some bodies of water in the park are off-limits for conservation purposes, there are plenty of rivers, lakes, and ponds that are open for fishing in all seasons. If you’re planning a visit to Estes Park to try your hand at ice fishing, these are the essentials you need to keep in mind when you make your way out onto the ice!

Know the requirements of your state before heading out.

To avoid a sticky (or illegal) situation, make sure you’re aware of all the fishing regulations and information specific to the area. You’ll need a valid Colorado fishing license, along with the knowledge of where you’re allowed to fish and which species you can expect to find.

Come prepared with proper gear and equipment.

As you’re packing for your first ice fishing trip, run through this checklist to ensure you have everything you need:

  • Rod & Reel
  • Ice Auger
  • Ice Scoop
  • Bait
  • Jigs
  • Tip-ups
  • Warm clothes & winter accessories
  • Stool
  • Portable shelter (optional)

Drill your hole carefully.

Choose a spot for your ice fishing hole that looks like it’s up to the job—it should be at least 3-4 inches thick. Position your auger blades on the ice where you want to set up shop, then drill. Clear out your hole using the ice scoop. If you’ll be using tip-ups, you can drill multiple holes to fish at the same time.

Live bait and wax worms are ideal for beginners.

These types of bait are easy to rig and effective for a wide range of species, making them a safe bet for your first trip on the ice. Rig your lines (including your tip-ups) and then let them fall to the bottom of the water. Once they hit the floor, reel them up about 1-2 feet to keep them in ideal striking range. Don’t forget to keep an eye on your tip-ups for a bite!

Did you know that Misty Mountain Lodge is just a few miles from Rocky Mountain National Park? Our accommodations are the perfect cozy spot to retreat to after your ice fishing trip and other exciting Rocky Mountain winter exploits.

Contact our team to learn more about the local attractions in Estes Park, and book your stay in one of our rooms, cabins, or suites today!

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