Utah’s ski resorts are already gearing up for this year’s trail-blazers. At the Central Utah Water Conservancy District, we’re holding our breath, watching for another year of record snowfall… and an abundance of water come next spring!
Stores are stocking up on holiday fare, our snow patrols are preparing for the next big storm and, before you know it, we’re going to see our anglers heading for the ice with their shanties, augers, and icy resolve.
It’s all coming faster than you might expect, and just as the early bird gets the worm, preparing now could give you an edge once our ice-fishing tournaments begin.
Where do we begin?
• First of all, check out your equipment. Make sure you have comfortable seating in place. Replace the spark plug in your power auger and fill it with new gas so you’re ready to carve out a clean hole. Carefully look over your rods and reels, watching for any signs of damage that you’ll need to fix before heading out. Spool fresh line made for ice-fishing and make sure everything is firmly attached. Then start making a list … you don’t want to settle into your shanty only to find out you left the bait skimmer home!
• Scout out your fishing grounds. If you have a little experience, you probably know where the tastiest fish are and what time they come out to play. But open your mind to new possibilities. Click here for a directory of popular Central Utah fishing holes and what each offers.
• Now let’s talk about what you’re wearing. Begin with the feet, pulling on a pair of wicking socks and a second pair of warm, wool socks. Now, and this is key, slip your foot into an insulated, waterproof winter boot. Nothing will send you home faster than cold, wet feet so do your best now to keep them warm and toasty. Then start layering your way up, from long underwear to wool sweaters to one-piece layers that keep the wind out. The goal, of course, is to stay warm but layering allows you to shed some clothes if you need to cool down. Finish your ensemble with a warm hat and a couple pairs of gloves. And sunglasses… they’re not just for summer anymore! (It won’t hurt to throw on a little sunscreen before heading out, either.)
• Gather up some water – you still have to stay hydrated – and a little food to get you through the day. Bring along a friend, too; it’s always safer than going solo. Finally, know when it’s time to call it quits. If you start feeling chilled, if you get wet, or even if you’re just not having fun anymore, head home.