SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – It seems that people are taking up new hobbies amid the pandemic to keep themselves busy yet socially distant. One of those activities that may see an increase in participation this year is that of ice fishing.
New to ice fishing? Below ABC4 has compiled a list of things you will need for your first time on the ice. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Utah State Parks are also sponsoring or hosting several ice fishing tournaments this year from January to March that are welcome to anyone who becomes familiar with the ice safety recommendations on the Utah State Park website.
Ice Fishing Quick Start Guide:
- Valid Utah fishing license (required for anyone over 12 years of age participating in the tournaments/events)
- Ice fishing auger. An auger drills holes into the ice. There are gas-powered models as well as hand-powered models.
- Ice fishing sled. A sled is useful to have to be able to transport all your supplies from your car out onto the ice and to your fishing hole.
- Ice fishing shelter. It goes without saying, but ice fishing gets cold! A tent for the ice makes things a little warmer on cold, windy ice fishing days.
- Ice fishing rod and reel. Any fishing rod will work but having a specialized ice fishing rod has many advantages.
- Ice scoop. Once you drill your hole it will be important to keep any additional ice out of your fishing hole in the water.
- Ice fishing tip-ups. A tip-up is a device to suspend your bait at a set depth through your ice hole.
Several of Utah’s ice fishing tournaments and events have had been altered due to the pandemic but there are still plenty of opportunities to get outdoors this winter for some friendly competition.
The Burbot Bash will be held Jan. 29-31 at Flaming Gorge Reservoir. The annual tournament helps control the burbot population. Prizes will be awarded to anglers who catch the most burbot, the largest and smallest burbot, and a tagged burbot. Online registration is required for this event. Due to COVID-19, the award ceremony will be held virtually this year.
This fishing challenge will be held on Jan. 9. This upcoming event will be the 8th consecutive year it has been held.
This event will offer cash prizes to the top four fish. Additionally, hourly prizes for the biggest fish will be awarded. There will also be a raffle this year.
Due to the pandemic, this tournament will be held over several months rather than being held on a specific day. The event will begin on Jan. 1 and will run until Sept. 6. Participants will be targeting perch and can receive prizes if they catch a tagged one.
The 5th annual event will be held Jan. 8-9 at Millsite State Park.
While this is not technically ‘ice fishing,’ this annual event is a fun one to attend. The Cisco Disco is part of the Bear Lake Monster Winterfest and will be held Jan. 23. Participants will have the chance to dip net for Bonneville cisco, a fish species only found at Bear Lake.
This popular event will be held at Starvation Reservoir on Feb. 6. Anglers will be targeting trout and walleye in this event. Prizes will be awarded based on fish length.