Who’s been ice fishing before? I have, but not for a very long time, and Katie hadn’t been fishing…ever. So we saw a local event listed on Facebook for “Let’s Go Fishing” with New Hampshire Fish and Game. We thought, why not? Katie caught a HUGE fish! Continue reading to see how well we did!

Ice fishing with the New Hampshire State Fish and Game department volunteers! We learned to ice fish with the Let's Go Fishing program through the New Hampshire Fish and Game department. Check out our experience and see if your local fish and game has a similar program so you can learn how to ice fish! #icefishing #fishing #fish #gonefishing #letsfish #winter #wintericefishing

Basically, the program was one evening spent with a couple of volunteers from the New Hampshire State Fish and Game Department and a half day on the ice.

We gathered at the local community building where they talked about rules, regulations, different types of fish we might catch, safety on the ice, proper clothing and all that good stuff.

They also handed out rule books and guides that we took home to study, and keep for future reference.

Fish and Game Learn To Fish Ice Fishing Class Brochures.

We even had the chance to set up a tip up, attach the depth finder, learn how to bait the line, and get a general how everything was going to work once we were out on the ice in the freezing cold. It was interesting, and fun!

Let's Go Fishing, ice fishing program with New Hampshire Fish and Game. Learning to ice fish with New Hampshire fish and game.

The following Sunday the group, or most of us anyway, joined the volunteers on the ice to put those newly acquired skills to the test. We drilled holes with the auger, found the depth of our fishing hole, baited the tip ups and got catching some monster fish!

Well, that’s how it was supposed to go… But nothing ever goes as planned, right…. What really happened?

Our “Let’s Go Ice Fishing” Expedition

We got to the boat ramp at Crystal lake and gathered before heading out onto the ice.

Learning to ice fish with New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Off we went to the fishing spot. Our guide had previously been told the fish are biting here and it’s a great spot to fish! Woop!

Ice fishing group with Fish and Game learn to ice fish program.

We get out to the fishing spot, he gets the auger up and running, drills the first hole and then asks if anyone else wants to drill a hole. Another guy grabbed the auger and started to drill a hole…. Clunk. The auger stops dead about 15 inches into the 24 inches of ice. Womp Womp Womp.

Broken ice auger, out of oil. Pull rope started to seize up/

So they fiddled with it for about 15 minutes before realizing somehow it had absolutely no oil in it. Like none. The pull-start started seize up.

One of the NH Fish and Game volunteers saved the day by having a quart of oil in his truck! Woohoo!

Ice auger out of oil - no ice fishing until it's fixed!

He ran back to his truck to grab the oil and then got the auger up and running! He definitely saved the day!

Off we went drilling holes with the auger, one after another…

Ice fishing holes, using auger to drill holes.

And we got to setting up the tip ups right away too! (find tip ups HERE)

Ice fishing tip up in the ice - first day learning to ice fish.

Aside from the initial snags of the day, it really was a nice day on the lake. Not too cold, not too windy. It did snow a little bit, and the sun wasn’t out, but it was fun nevertheless.

Catching Big Fish!

Though one of the volunteers was told this spot was hot for catching fish, with 25 holes in the ice, only 8 flags went up in the four hours we were out there. With only 1 having a fish on the line, the smallest pickerel anyone had ever seen.

There were two lines at that ended up having fish on them without the flags going up at all. The flags didn’t go up because the fish were so small. 😳 That didn’t stop everyone from running to hover around the ice hole when a flag went up though!

Ice fishing with NH Fish and Game on Crystal Lake in Enfield, NH

Aside from those three little fish, it was a bust.

However, Katie needed a trophy photo of her first time on the ice, right? Here she is with the only fish we reeled in all day, our bait minnow! At least we had that, some people pulled their lines to find the bait was stolen 😱 Maybe it was a shark.🦈

Katie with her minnow learning how to ice fish.

Have you ever been ice fishing?

Turn to your local Fish and Game department to see if they have ice fishing classes near you!

Let's go ice fishing! We learned how to fish with the NH Fish and Game Let's Go Fishing program. #icefishing #icefish #fish #fishing #gonefishing

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