We drilled through 6 inches of ice and set our traps rigged with live shiners. Minutes later we started catching jumbo pickerel, perch and largemouth bass.
That was last Wednesday January 3rd, under bright blue clear skies, before today's slightly milder temperatures settled into the region.
For this trip I joined my good friend Jeff and three of his good buddies, Billy, Greg and Dan. Billy, Greg and Dan are brothers, and they have been fishing with my friend Jeff for years, so I knew it would be a fun trip. The moon was still hovering above the frozen surface of the pond when we arrived on the ice.
Ice Fishing On Cape Cod
It was a cold winter landscape, and a complete 180 degree polar opposite from the week before when I was catching roosterfish in Costa Rica. In this day and age it is just incredible how you can be fishing in the tropics one day, and then be fishing in what looked like the frozen tundra, just a few days later.
The guys had chosen to fish this pond primarily because it had a thick sheet of safe ice. In fact we had to drill through 5-7 inches of ice, whereas some other ponds in the Cape region only had 3 inches of ice. While it's possible to ice fish on just 3 inches, these guys don't recommend it, and they prefer at least 5-7.
When ice fishing on Cape Cod, a common strategy is to setup "traps". These devices have been around for many years. Essentially the trap does most of the work for you, and when the flag pops up, you hustle over and reel in the fish by hand - similar to the handlines we sometimes use in Costa Rica.
If you would like to learn more about our ice fishing strategy, including information about the pond we were fishing, water depth where we set our traps, bait and other ice fishing equipment and advice, then please watch our new ice fishing tutorial video for a complete overview.
Before we could even get situated and set all our traps, I heard Jeff yelling my name and saw him pointing to one of the first traps we had set. The flag was standing straight up, fish on!
Jeff and I hustled over to the trap. I knelt down onto the ice and hit record on my camera, as Jeff removed the trap from the hole and started to bring in the fish. Little did we know it would be the first of more than two dozen fish which we would pull through the ice over the next few hours.
In the full "member-only" report you will...
Learn the basics of ice fishing
See the type of gear we use
Get more ice fishing tips and advice
Join the ice fishing conversation in our forum
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I’m fortunate to have grown up on the beach, and I’ve been fishing since kindergarten. I have great family, friends and fishing experiences to be thankful for. Just being out there is enough-catching fish is just a bonus!