What to use for ice fishing?

Obviously, ice fishing is done on ice. What does this mean for the equipment to use? Is it the same that we use during the summer? Well, ice fishing enthusiasts mainly use two types of equipment that are quite different: the tip-up and the jig stick. It is up to you to decide which one is right for you.

The tip-up: for thinkers

Plusieurs brimbales sont regroupées sur le lac gelé pour la pêche hivernale.

The use of a tip-up is a passive fishing technique. A fishing line is attached to a wood beam that is installed on another supporting beam and that acts like a pendulum. When a fish bites and pulls on the line, the wood beam goes up. This indicates to the angler that there is a catch to retrieve. To see how it works, have a look at the video Introduction to the tip-up (in French only).

Please note that even if this equipment is self-supporting, the law requires anglers to watch their lines closely and constantly.

The jig stick: for doers

Gros plan sur une dandinette, leurre accroché au bout de l'hameçon utilisée pour pêcher l'hiver.The use of a jig stick is an active fishing technique. It is a very short rod used for ice fishing with which the angler can easily produce a back-and-forth movement that will make the lure at the end of the line attractive to fish. This jigging movement is how the tool got its name.

Of course, success while fishing depends on many factors. To improve your chances of going home with a bucketful of delicious fish, do not be afraid to vary your techniques. Combine the tip-up and the jig stick and use different types of bait.

To attract fish, regularly move your lines. Keep those three words in mind: vibration, reflection and smell. And last but not least, do not hesitate to try things out.

Here are a few winning combinations when it comes to ice fishing.

Learn more

Find out where to ice fish in Québec

Already past the beginner phase? Here are a few videos for you:

Download this beautiful, illustrated PDF document Pêche hivernale : techniques, leurres et astuces pour la pêche aux dorés, à la perchaude et au brochet (in French only). It contains pro tips and tricks to attract and catch those beloved fish species while ice fishing.