Can You Have A Fire While Ice Fishing?

Geoff Stadnyk in Ice Fishing on

Everyone loves to fish, but ice fishing is something different, and it’s a popular winter activity. It’s more than just sitting on the ice waiting for fish—it’s an experience! But can you have a fire while ice fishing so you can stay warm if you’re out on the ice all day. Luckily there’s a way to have a fire while ice fishing!

Here we will tell you how to have a fire during ice fishing so that your time out on the frozen lake is both productive and entertaining.

You’re ice fishing, and it’s cold. You have a lot of time to kill before you catch anything. What do you do? Well, now that I’ve given you the perfect setting for an ice fishing story, let me tell you how I got my fire on the ice! The first thing is to make sure your hole is deep enough to have plenty of water at the bottom. Next, you want to ensure that if any embers fall through the hole, they will be extinguished by the water below. Next up is making some kindling and tinder bundles. Make them small enough so they’ll fit inside your stove without being too bulky or taking up too much space in your shelter or shack (whatever you call it).

To know the legalities about having a fire while ice fishing, read this article here.

Table of Contents

What Is Ice Fishing?

Small-sized European perch on snow around an ice fishing hole at a frozen lake in Finland.

If you’re unfamiliar with ice fishing, well, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Fishermen go out onto a frozen lake and use special equipment like an underwater camera for ice fishing to find and catch fish through a hole in the ice. It’s a popular winter sport, especially in colder climates where many lakes freeze over.

States such as Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Maine are considered prime locations for ice fishing. It is estimated that over 1 million people participate in ice fishing every year in Wisconsin alone. In addition, the state has one of the largest concentrations of freshwater lakes in the world, with 26 states drawing their boundaries through them. For ice fishing tips, you can read this article.

What Are The Best Months For Ice Fishing?

There is no definitive answer to this question as different anglers prefer fishing in different months – depending on the species of fish they are targeting like Crappie or Walleye. However, many people believe that January and February offer the best opportunities for ice fishing, as the colder weather tends to make fish more active.

Can You Have A Fire While Ice Fishing and How To Set A Fire While Ice Fishing?

So back to our main topic, can you have a fire while ice fishing? The answer is yes—it is possible to catch fish while ice fishing when there’s a fire near you!

The first step to start a fire for ice fishing is finding the right spot.

The best place to start a fire is on the ice, but not directly in the middle. The center of any lake or pond will have a heating core that can melt through the ice and cause it to break apart. Make sure you avoid this area by building your fire at least ten feet away from any holes within 50 yards.

We recommend that you light the fire on a foundation of wood or logs since this will guarantee that the bottom logs/sticks are never completely burnt. The heat from the fire, on the other hand, will melt the snow around and below it.

On a frozen lake, snow and ice will melt away, leaving a deeper puddle beneath the campfire. So if you want the fire to last for longer, increase the height of the base of the logs.

If the ice layer is several feet thick, drilling a hole through it may allow meltwater to drain back into the lake. However, if the ice is thin, drilling a hole might cause water to rise from the lake because of the weight of the wood and people.

It is also essential to have a bit of traction before you try making your ice fishing fire. You can use metal points on the bottom of boots or skates, but this method won’t work if there isn’t enough snow outside to dig into. In some cases, you need to carry shovels and other equipment around with you as well.

However, even without taking those precautions, there are still some simple ways that anyone can build an effective fire for their time on the ice, no matter what conditions they may be in.

Just follow these steps:

First, make sure that all branches and sticks used for fuel are dry and will burn easily by itself (don’t mix too many types). Next, place one of the sticks on top of another, but angle it so that one end is under your feet. Finally, lean over and use your body weight to push down on both ends until you create a teepee shape with them. Then light up the center area between two layers of branches and wait for it to heat up!

How To Stay Safe When Starting A Fire For Ice Fishing

Ice fishing may be both a thrilling and an exciting experience for you, but there are potential risks involved. If you follow these instructions, you’ll be prepared for any unexpected incidents.

  1. Make sure your fire doesn’t spread into an uncontrollable blaze that could cause damage or injury.
  2. Place dirt on it before leaving if possible so nothing can ignite nearby.
  3. Ensure any coals are completely extinguished by dousing them thoroughly with water (or snow). Your best bet is probably just letting nature take its course for now unless there’s still plenty of snow cover outside where you’re fishing.
  4. Keep clear of any smoldering areas and ensure all fires are completely out, preferably by submerging in water or covering with sand/dirt.
  5. Never leave a campfire unattended; be ready to put it out when leaving the spot.

Now that you know how to start a fire for ice fishing make sure you stay safe out on the ice. Remember to always dress in layers and use ice fishing bibs, bring extra-warm clothes and equipment, and be aware of the conditions around you. Most importantly, have fun out there! The winter season is a great time to get out and enjoy some quality time with friends and family. Who knows, maybe you’ll even catch the big one this year!

Geoff Stadnyk

Geoff started fishing as a child in the gorgeous lakes of Mammoth, while on family vacations. His fishing experience includes the use of fly rod and reel. Guided trips along the Madison and Gallatin rivers in Montana, the Frying Pan and Animus in Colorado, and the Deschutes river in Oregon have all paid off and helped make Geoff the angler and writer that he is today.

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