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Homemade Ice Chisel – Inexpensive, Easy, Effective

Homemade Ice Chisel – Inexpensive, Easy, Effective

If you ice fish, you need something to cut a hole in the ice.  I have reviewed ice augers in the past.  The quickest to use is the gas powered auger.  A hand auger is less expensive and easier to carry, but difficult to use.  When I hiked into a lake, I did not want to carry a power auger.  I found the best alternative for me was an ice chisel.  I decided to make a homemade ice chisel.

Ice Chisels

ice chisel
54″ heavy duty chisel $22

Ice Chisels come in different lengths and weights.   This one piece chisel is 54″ long and heavy-duty.  It is selling on Amazon right now for $22.  Just click on the image to buy this chisel.

Other models, including two and three piece pack-in chisels are sold at:

Click on the banner.

 

Homemade Ice Chisel

A good ice chisel cuts fast but the hole will not be completely round.  There is a tendency to make the hole wider at the top than at the bottom with an ice chisel.  This isn’t bad as long as the bottom is the size you want.  You will need a good ice scoop if you use a chisel.  It’s easy to make an ice chisel.

Materials:

two 24″ x 3/4″ pieces of galvanized pipe with both ends threaded

galvanized cap

galvanized coupling.

3/4″ steel chisel

Quick set cement (optional)

Tools:

Hammer

Block of Wood

Assembly:

Stand one section of pipe on end.  Place the handle of the steel chisel into the  pipe.  Place the block of wood on the chisel blade and tap the chisel into the pipe with the hammer.   The fit will be very tight, but the pipe is soft so the chisel handle should go in up to the blade.

Screw the coupling onto one piece of pipe and screw the other piece into it.  Place the cap on the open end of the pipe. Tie something around the pipe to act as a wristband.  I have lost more than one hand chisel with that last chop that breaks right through the ice unexpectedly.

For added weight, pour some very loose quickset cement into the section of pipe with the chisel.  Connect the pieces after the cement dries.

You will have a nicely weighted, very sturdy, two piece ice chisel.

Enjoy Your Homemade Ice Chisel

I love to ice fish, but I don’t like carrying a power auger.  They are too noisy and too frustrating when they won’t start.  Hand augers are cumbersome.  I also find them difficult to use.  I like my homemade ice chisel.  It packs easily and gets the job done quietly.  What’s your preference?

 

New Ice Fishing Gear 2021 Needed

New Ice Fishing Gear 2021 Needed

Halloween decoration have been in stores for two months.  Thanksgiving decorations are up.  This means that its time to start thinking about ice fishing and new ice fishing gear.

Ice Fishing Tip-up Rigs

Traditional Rigs

If you need one, you need 3.  Don’t exceed the rod limit.  These tips ups are basic but keep.  With a hit, they  new ice fishing gear includes tip-upsspool out line until you get to them.  You even get a minnow net.  Add a little bell to the arm so you don’t have to watch.  Tip-ups are as old as forever.  They’re simple and effective.  Just cut the hole in the ice and place the rig.

 

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COVID 19 Impact Changed Fishing

COVID 19 Impact Changed Fishing

I fish all year.  I usually have my boat serviced in February.   For me, at least, COVID 19 changed fishing this year.

The Impact of COVID 19 Changed my Summer

COVID 19 parked my boat and my motor home.

My boat is where I parked it after my last fishing trip in early February.  The motorhome is right in front of the boat and hasn’t moved since late November.  I should tell you that my wife won’t let me take the boat out by myself anymore because I am old.  With COVID 19 made it tough to find someone to fish with.  COVID 19 changed my summer.  We had planned to camp and fish in several different places.  Instead, we stayed home.  I did prepare for fishing next year.

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Downrigger Review Choose Fresh or Saltwater – They’re all fun.

Downrigger Review Choose Fresh or Saltwater – They’re all fun.

This guy needs a lot of things…. a bigger boat, a plan, a lifejacket and a downrigger just to name a few.  We all have our favorite fishing equipment brands.  Usually, they become our favorites by trial and error.  It’s helpful when someone tells us about a great product or when we read about something new.  Then all we have to do is give it a try.  This is no less true for something as common as downriggers.

Downrigger Review

This guy could have used a down rigger.

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Bilge Plugs Can Cause a Disaster So Install Them Properly

Bilge Plugs Can Cause a Disaster So Install Them Properly

Its true.  Bilge plugs can cause disaster.  More accurately, forgetting to install bilge plugs can cause disaster.  Friends of mine have sunk boats large and small by forgetting the bilge plug.  I have been running boats for 60 years.  Last week, I forgot the bilge plug.

Bilge Plugs Can Cause a Disaster

The Idea

My brother-in-law and I decided to spend a day on the water looking for bass.  We chose Lake calm bay ready for a boat with a bilge plugNacimiento in San Luis Obispo County in California for the excursion.  Boots towed the boat behind his truck.  I navigated.  We picked a weekday because weekenders and folks with kids weren’t likely to be on the lake.  As it turned out, we had the lake to ourselves.  That didn’t mean that the day on the lake would be easy.

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Fishermen, Frustration, Shrinking Lakes

Fishermen, Frustration, Shrinking Lakes

Where’s the water?

Frustrated fishermen keep asking, ” Where’s the water?”  It’s a legitimate question.  Despite a lot of  rain last winter, central California is still suffering through low water levels.

This is my dock on a large lake in Central California.  The closest water is almost 3/4 mile from where this picture was taken.  The “full” level is the light brown line just below the trees.

 

fishermen frustrated on lake nacimiento

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The Best Fishing Lure

The Best Fishing Lure

The Best Lure Ever – In My Opinion

I have been fishing since I could walk.  At some point, I talked my Dad into buying me a fishing package advertised on a comic book…. 6 ft. rod, open-face spinning reel, plastic tackle box, stringer, bobber, a package of hooks and a plastic weight for casting.  I practiced casting in the yard for hours.  I decided I needed a lure to cast so I went to the local bait shop.  A wooden floating Rapala caught my eye.  Its still the best lure I have ever used.

Best lurerapala is the best lure

 

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State Parks, County Parks – Family Fishing Fun

State Parks, County Parks – Family Fishing Fun

State parks can provide great fishing.  We think of county and state parks as great places to hike, camp, picnic and play.  When there is a lake, there is so much more to do.  Type “state parks” or “county parks” into your browser.  You will probably find a list of parks, in your state, that offer fishing and boating.  These parks are accessible and inexpensive.  They can be a vacation destination out of state or a great day trip.  Fishing lodges and guided trips are great, but not a possibility for everyone.  Not everybody can get to an isolated lake or stream to fish.  Accessible fishing in parks can be fun for the family or someone who wants to get away for a few hours of fishing.

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Fishing Spots – Hard Walking, Better Fishing

Fishing Spots – Hard Walking, Better Fishing

Every fisherman wants to find hidden fishing spots with untouched water.  Anglers ask, “Is there a good fishing spot near me?”  It might be a rock sheltering fish in a creek.  A drop off near the shore of a lake may attract feeding fish.   A spring fed pond off the beaten trail attracts few people.   A boat makes it easy to find an isolated spot on a lake or river. On board electronics make it even easier.   On land, with so many people fishing, hidden fishing spots can be hard to find, but offer more fish.

 

 

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Stream Fishing – Challenging, Exciting, Peaceful

Stream Fishing – Challenging, Exciting, Peaceful

I love stream fishing in the spring.  Its too late fish spoons as water levels drops.  Its too early to have a lot of success with dry flies because of debris on the water.  But, choosing the right bait is pretty easy this time of year.  Almost anything will work.  There’s water in every stream.  The fun and challenge of stream fishing is reading the water and knowing where to find the fish.
animated-fishing-image-0025

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Boat Cover – Long Term Protection, Beware

Boat Cover – Long Term Protection, Beware

How do you store your boat?  Years ago, our porch became a boat house.  You may store your boat in a garage or undercover at a storage facility.  Over the last few years, I have stored my boat, in my yard, under a good boat cover.

Why a Boat Cover?

There are good reasons to store a boat, long term, under a boat cover.

  • Boat Covers are cheap compared to Storage.
  • Covered boats are easily stored in a yard and kept safe.
  • The cover can be removed quickly and applied all season long.
  • A cover can be opened to get something out of the boat.
  • One person can put on the cover.
  • The cover can stay on when the boat is moved.

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Fast Water Fishing- Spring Runoff Action

Fast Water Fishing- Spring Runoff Action

We’ve waited all winter for the chance to get into that stream or stand along the bank of that river.  Its time, but fast water from spring runoff can make things challenging and dangerous.


fast water fishing

Fast Water Means Safety First

We should think about safety when we think of the fun of fishing in spring runoff.  Ultimately, we want to be around to fish the rest of the year.

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Power Ice Augers – Effective, Heavy, Expensive

Power Ice Augers – Effective, Heavy, Expensive

If you are ice fishing, you need  a hole in the ice.  Most people use power ice augers.  What are the advantages to a power auger?  Are there any disadvantages?  Need more time to ice fish – start an online business for free.

Power Ice Augers – Effective?

Of course, power augers are effective.  They cut through the ice in seconds.  But there are things to keep in mind.

  • Because they are heavy,  snow machine, sled or several trips is needed to carry them.

    power ice augers
    Eskimo Stingray S33 8 inch $349.99 You Save: $45.74 (13% ) $304.25

  • They are noisy.  But, only while running.
  • Test start your auger before you leave home because they are finicky.
  • They can pollute.  Make sure the gas cap is tight.  Use the right oil mixture.
  • Because they are powerful, they are dangerous.  Wrists can snap.  Clothing can get caught. Feet can get augered.
  • They are expensive.

The speed and ease of a power ice auger more than makes up for these issues.

There are a number of models of power augers ranging in price from $250  to over $1200.

Price is determined by cubic inch of the engine.  This determines the ease of drilling.  The size of the auger is also a factor in price.  Blades run from 6″ in diameter to 10″.  The larger the blade the bigger the hole.  Larger blades are more difficult to control.  An extension can be purchased for power ice augers.

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Ice Fishing Tip Ups – Ice Fishing Rods

Ice Fishing Tip Ups – Ice Fishing Rods

If you haven’t tried ice fishing, you don’t know what you are missing.  You can sit in a shack.  You can run between fishing holes.  Watching ice fishing tip ups or jigging with a rod, its just fun.

Inside or Outside

In a Shack

Ice fishing tip ups and rods are used in a fishing shack.  If a tip up is used, its generally set as a second line while a rod is used a few few feet away.

Rods makes more sense in a shack.  You don’t have to go very far to tend a line.

Know you ice fishing regulations.  Ontario, Canada allows two ice fishing lines per person. But, they must be 60 feet apart. This makes multiple lines in a fishing shack impossible.

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Catch, Release Policy- Maintaining Fish Stocks

Catch, Release Policy- Maintaining Fish Stocks

Fisheries have a catch and release policy to maintain fish stocks.

Keep Fish Jumping!!

 

Catch and Release

Policy Rationale

Catch and release helps the natural fish population continue to breed.  Healthy fish populations are important for lots of reasons.  They provide fun for  fisherman.  They are part of the local eco system.  They are a food for other animals.   Fisherman release fish to maintain the local population.

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Best Beginner Child’s Rod – Styles Available

Best Beginner Child’s Rod – Styles Available

 Kids can fish as soon as they can hold a rod.  Size is most important when choosing the best beginner rod for a child.

Best Beginner Rod Size

Holding the rod is the first step to fishing.  Watching me, my kids wanted to hold a rod although they didn’t really know why.   They were holding a rod long before they could cast.  I would cast and give them the rod.

A rod between 2 and 3 feet long seems the best size.  Its the right length to  handle easily.  Its long enough to play a fish.

child-fishing with beginner rod

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Lure Assortments- Fishing Fun

Lure Assortments- Fishing Fun

Fishermen love fishing tackle for a Christmas.  Single lures are great, but lure assortments are exciting.

Lure Assortment Value

The larger lure assortment the lower quality the lures.

Quality affects:

  • Action – the way the lure moves in the water.
  • Delivery – ease of casting
  • Durability – how long the lure lasts with normal use
  • Strike Success – how easily fish can take the lure

lure assortment

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