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Make Ice fishing your New Year’s resolution
Posted: Dec 31, 2012

Every year at this time we hear about people making a New Year’s resolution. More often than not the resolution is to begin some activity that is commendable but hard to follow through on. People say they will quit smoking, or lose weight, or save more money.  Many people try, but most fail in their efforts. I think the reason for failure is that the process of quitting smoking or losing weight is not fun. If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution that is fun and easy to achieve, make ice fishing your New Year’s resolution.

Ice fishing has never been so popular and easy to do. There are over 550 organized ice fishing events spread across 26 states in 2013.  Many of these events have activities for the whole family. Instructors give classroom training, offer tips, answer questions and oftentimes have equipment for beginners to use. The http://www.naifc.com/index.php North American Ice Fishing Circuit (NAIFC) run a “Kids” Ice Camp at each of their tournaments. NAIFC Pro Staff teach children and parents alike about what ice fishing has to offer and each youth will be given sponsor products and promotional items to use on their future ice fishing adventures.  http://www.recycledfish.org Recycled Fish is another organization that supports ice fishing events and introduces a “Lifestyle of Stewardship” program that can be used both on and off the water.

Several states have begun to offer “free” fishing weekends whereby anyone fishing on the designated dates do not need a fishing license. State parks and outdoor clubs use this as an opportunity to introduce ice fishing to people who are unfamiliar with it. Michigan, Wisconsin, Connecticut are just a few states that offer family ice fishing clinics during their “free” fishing weekends.

Ice fishing derbies, contests and tournaments are another great way to get introduced to ice fishing.  Although contestants are fishing to win cash and prizes, ice anglers are friendly and helpful. Go to an event and walk around to see what is going on. You can walk up to almost anyone and they can answer any questions you have about equipment and techniques.

Fishing shelters, ice augers, fish finders and heaters are all products commercially available that make ice fishing a comfortable easy activity to enjoy during the winter. It is an activity that a person can enjoy throughout their life.   Make ice fishing your New Year’s resolution, attend an ice fishing event and use AmericanFishingContests.com to “Find one to Attend”.


How much ice is safe ice?
Posted: Dec 6, 2012

Ice fishing season is fast approaching or already here in some parts of America. Many anglers are anxious to get out on the ice to try their luck.   While the old saying “first ice is best ice” may be true for catching fish, first ice can prove deadly if safety precautions are not followed.

Falling through thin ice can quickly lead to hypothermia. This is a condition in which a person’s body temperature falls below what is needed to maintain normal body functions. Ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which hypothermia is defined to begin and normal body temperature is usually maintained at 98-100 degrees Fahrenheit. It wouldn’t take long for an angler’s body to reach 95 degrees if first ice isn’t strong enough to support him.

Shivering and mental confusion are the first signs of hypothermia. It can then quickly progress to violent shaking and slow, labored movements. Muscle coordination becomes very poor and walking is almost impossible. Major organs begin to fail and clinical death then occurs. In water near the freezing point death can occur in as little as 15 minutes. Hypothermia

So what ice thickness is considered safe to support an angler? Because there are many factors that can affect the strength of ice there are no guaranteed numbers but, several organizations offer guidelines that should be followed. The Minnesota DNR recommends that ice be 4 inches thick before a person ventures out to go ice fishing, five inches for an ATV or snowmobile, 8-12 inches for a small car and 12-15 inches for a truck MN DNR ice thickness guidelines. The Ohio DNR recommends these same guidelines as does the Wisconsin DNR. The Michigan DNR does not recommend an “ice thickness” guide and cautions that no ice is safe due to a variety of factors. 
In addition to following the safe ice guidelines recommended above, what else can anglers do to help ensure their safety when venturing out on first ice? Always let someone know where you are going and for how long. Always go with a partner, check with local sources for ice conditions, use a spud bar to test ice thickness, wear a floatation device and carry a rope and ice picks. All these precautions can help prevent you from falling through thin ice or help you survive if you do.  

“First ice is best ice” has been proven to be true by many anglers and they have lived to talk about it. You can experience the same success if you follow safe ice guidelines and precautions.


Fishing Art
Posted: Nov 9, 2012

November marks the time of year when many fishing contests tournaments and trails come to an end. Many anglers probably start to focus on other pursuits like deer hunting. Northern state anglers can’t count on ice fishinguntil mid to late December.  The past warm weather fishing season is but a fading. memory.  Before thoughts of open water fishing completely recede to the back of one’s mind Ithought it would be interesting to take a look back at the variety of fishing contest opportunities available in 2012.

What better way to do so than to look at the many fishing logos and posters that are used to promote fishing events.   The artwork and designs used by fishing contest organizers can be very captivating.  I have gathered up over 80 examples of “fishing art” and posted them in a photo album on the AmericanFishingContests.com Facebook page. I invite you to go take a look and comment about them.

Some of the most artistic include Fishing for Miracles, Hamptons Off Shore, KDW 2012, and Poor Girls 2012. Some of my other favorites are FishStock 2012, Maryland Fishing Challenge, Onslow Bay Open and the Pete Pauels Striped Bass Tournament.

Others like the Charleston Trident Fishing Tournament, Austin Team Championship, and the Grand Strand Fishing Rodeo could be categorized as circular logos. Rectangular designs include Kids Fishing.org, Coastal Empire Kingfish Classic and the King of the Beach. 

View all these and many other examples of “fishing art” on the AmericanFishingContests.com Facebook page. Comment about your favorites or post others that are not shown.  AmericanFishingContests.com, find one to attend

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