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Ice fishing doesn't have to be cold

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Ice fishing doesn't have to be cold
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

There's a popular perception about ice-fishing. That perception is that you have to like cold weather to like ice-fishing. While it's true that we need some cold weather to make ice so we can go ice-fishing, you don't need to be cold while you're ice-fishing. Here are some reasons why you can go ice-fishing without getting cold.

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First of all, clothing is a big part of staying warm on the ice. Developments and improvements in the materials used in clothing, and how that clothing is constructed, are major helps in staying warm in winter weather. From the soles of your feet to the top of your head, there are clothing items made specifically for comfort on the ice.

It's really important that the layer of clothing next to your skin stays dry. When you're popping holes or walking to your fishing spot, it's possible to work up a little sweat. If that sweat is trapped next to your skin, you're eventually going to get cold. Cabela's produces a couple of products to wear next to your skin to wick away the sweat. My favorite is called PolarTec. It's great stuff.

Another favorite clothing item of mine for really cold weather is the Outfitter fleece parkas from Cabela's. They're warm, and they're so comfortable to wear. Once you've tried one of these parkas, I don't think you'll be satisfied with anything else. Some folks like to fish from permanent-style ice houses. These are the ones with stoves, bunks, heaters, seemingly all the comforts of home. The downside of these shelters is that they're kind of a hassle to move. If the fish aren't under you, you don't get bit. You're warm, you're just not catching anything. That has all changed with the development with the R2-Tec.

The R2-Tec was created by Frabill. It has an insulated shell that integrates Thinsulate with a three-ply fabric. These units are amazingly warm, and that warmth will enable you to stay out longer, and also do the things you need to do to catch more fish. For instance, have you ever thought you should change baits, but your hands were cold and you didn't want to mess with re-tying a different bait. Now you have no reason not to change baits whenever you think a change might be in order.

Additionally, the extra warmth provided by the R2-Tec will keep the guides on your rod from freezing, and you won't get those little ice-balls on your line and reel.

Last of all, at many times of the year, ice-fishing really isn't that cold, especially late in the year. I've been on the ice in late February and March when the sun was shining, the winds were calm, and the temperature was in the thirties. It was absolutely beautiful. Best of all, the fish bite really good then also.

Don't think you need to get cold to go ice-fishing. With a little preparation, you can stay very comfortable on the ice even if the weather is a little chilly.

(For more fish-catching information, visit fishingthemidwest.com.)

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