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Tips to Keep Warm on Your Next Wisconsin Ice Fishing Trip

While some people hibernate indoors all winter, us Northwoods folks know that some of the best times happen outdoors after the snow falls! From snowmobiling to cross-country skiing to ice fishing, the Minocqua area has a plethora of winter activities to enjoy.

Guests at Birch Trail Resort have raved over the ice fishing on our semi-private, Amber Lake. They've declared it as some of the best ice fishing in the area. Quiet, still and productive, all the features you need for a rewarding day on the ice.

man ice fishing on lake minocqua

Imagine fresh fish in the heart of winter, the excitement when the flag pops up on a tip-up, and the social engagement on the ice with friends and neighbors. What better way to spend your time on a sunny, frigid, January afternoon in Minocqua.

If you don't properly plan for a day on the ice, however, it can quickly go from fun to freezing! But don't worry, we've got some tips for you on how to stay warm while ice fishing so you can get the most out of your day on the ice. The warmer you are, the more enjoyable the experience.

fish from ice fishing

Think "COLD" When Getting Dressed

Borrowed from a retired army friend, this acronym is a great reminder on how to properly dress for cold ice fishing.

C - Clean. Interestingly, clean clothes provide more warmth and comfort than soiled or dirty clothes. Oil, grime and dirt can weigh down the fabric, preventing much needed insulation. They can also hold moisture and reduce breath-ability. To avoid, make sure your clothes have been freshly laundered so the fluffy air pockets can assist in insulating your heat effectively.

O - Overheat. Our bodies sweat when we overheat by doing physical activities on the ice like auguring and shanty set-up. They cool down when we stop to sit and watch the rod tip jump. Problem is, that moisture can get really cold up against our skin. We may even start shivering (not ideal when you need a steady hand). Prevent overheating by waiting to bundle up until you get on the ice and dig your fishing hole. Make sure all your skin is covered in a light layer, then pile it on as you cool down.

kid ice fishing in northwoods

L - Loose Layers. Control your body heat while on the ice with multiple, effective layering. As you heat up, you remove a layer or two, as you cool down, you add a layer or two. The first layer of clothing, most closest to your skin, should be made of synthetic fabric to encourage the moisture to wick away from the body. Cotton, on the other hand, will absorb the sweat keeping our skin wet and cold. The middle layers are to create insulation so the thicker and warmer, the better. The outside layer should be made of waterproof material to keep your body dry.

D - Dry. In the cold, moisture is the enemy! Make sure your boots, gloves and outer layers are all waterproof to prevent moisture from absorbing through your clothing to your skin. A tall boot is ideal considering you could be trekking through several feet of snow to get to your favorite fishing spot. An additional pair of gloves is handy as well. Just remember, a dry body is a comfortable one.

Now that you are prepared to stay warm on the ice, it's time to get fishing! Birch Trail Resort, Bed & Breakfast is perfectly situated on one of the best ice fishing lakes in the Minocqua area, Amber Lake. With all kinds of fish to catch like pike, walleye, bass, panfish and musky, you are sure to have a great time on the ice. When you're done, a warm, cabin awaits just a few steps away from the lake. Call today to reserve a cabin 715-588-1962.


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