12 Amazing Tips To Prevent Your Ice Hole From Freezing Up

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How to Prevent ice hole from freezing up

You do not want your ice fishing hole to freeze when you want to catch fish. Unfortunately, frozen ice holes have plagued ice fishermen for the longest time.

The good news is that there is a solution to this problem, as there are many techniques to keep these holes from freezing up.

Losing a fish in the fishing process can be painful and infuriating.

Furthermore – Ice fishing is not fun if you have to keep kneeling to dig off ice holes every time you try to catch a fish.

But worry not- this article provides you with twelve effective techniques to keep your ice hole from freezing.

Methods To Keep Your Fishing Ice Hole from Freezing

1. Boiling Water

If there is a cheap and easy method to keep an ice hole open and unfrozen, this is it.

It is also pretty effective. It involves pouring boiling water into the ice hole to keep the hole warm and prevent ice sheets from forming.

Ice fishing prevent hole freezing tips

With this method, you can fish for as long as you have hot water to pour into the hole, which is convenient as you can always scoop water from the hole to boil.

You would have to pour water every now and then, preferably after every 15 to 30 minutes, to keep the temperature fairly warm.

Bring a propane heater to boil the water with, and if you have a flask as well, even better.

An added bonus to this method is that it will keep you warm, and you can also make yourself some hot chocolate while fishing.

2. Ice Defense Pro Mechanism

The ice defense pro mechanism is a technique that requires some unique technological tactics while fishing.

Cold Nation Ice Defense Pro Series

It works by bringing warm water to the surface of the fishing hole so that ice does not form due to the prevailing cold.

Essentially, this method relies on an ice pro series water calculator to be effective. It comes with power connection supplies that are, fortunately, easy to set up.   

In Addition: It couples really well with your electronics. While it is slightly more expensive than other methods, it has total value for your money.

3. Thermal Ice-Hole Covers

If you find it challenging to use ice cups while fishing in ice holes, thermal ice-hole covers are exactly what you need.

THERM-A-SEAT Ice Fishing Hole Insulator/Cover, Red, Single

You ought to slip it under the ice cup, and it will go deep to cover the ice hole. These covers also have slots that facilitate easy removal when you need to put them aside.

Not only do they keep the ice hole from freezing, but they also keep ice away when it is windy.

What’s more, you would not have to break bank to get thermal ice-hole covers as they are relatively cheap.

With a thickness of ¾ inches, they can comfortably cover a 10-inch wall and let you fish away without worrying about your hole freezing.

4. Ice Skimmer Technique

In a situation where the freezing situation is not adverse, the ice skimmer technique is perfect.

It is very easy to implement as it mainly involves doing a quick scoop in the ice hole, and you are clear to fish.

Ice fishing hole tips

It is an affordable method for anglers who do not wish to splash the cash.

An ice skimmer usually has a long handle that has calibrations to measure the thickness of the ice.

As an angler, you should not miss this tool as part of your fishing equipment.

5. Tip-Up Hot Box Technique

Are you a hardcore angler?

Then this is one of the techniques you should be familiar with.

The tip-up hot box uses charcoal briquettes to warm up your fishing hole and keep the water unfrozen.

It enables you to fish for as long as you want without having to deal with the formation of ice sheets.

While insulated tip-ups are good at preventing ice holes from freezing, tip-up hot boxes are the ultimate weapons.

6. Ripple Puck Device

Moving water takes longer than stagnant water to freeze.

A ripple puck device applies this fact to keep water in your ice hole unfrozen for longer.

Lakco RP1 Ripple Puck Hole Opener

It is a small vibrating device that creates ripples to keep water in the hole moving as you fish.

Using it is as simple as inserting the device into the ice hole.

You can move with this device throughout your fishing expedition as it is super portable: it is small enough to fit the palm of your hand.

Moreover: It operates on 2 AAA batteries that will keep it going for close to 20 hours.

7. Coal-Can Method

Also called the coffee-can method, this method is practical and accessible.

Simply drill a hole adjacent to the fishing hole, ensuring that the drilled hole is shallower than the other hole. Then chisel a channel to connect the two holes.

Next, use the coffee can to put coal in the shallow hole. The heat from the coal will melt ice in the shallow hole and channel warm water into the fishing hole, preventing it from freezing.

The catch to this method is that you have to keep refilling the briquettes regularly, lest the method fails. The upside is that it will keep you warm while out fishing in the cold.

8. Scooper

A scooper can be plastic or steel.

As per its name, it scoops ice out of your fishing hole once the water starts freezing.

Winter Fishing Ice Fishing Ice Stainless Steel Spoon Fishing Tool Scoop Skimmer Fishing Tackle Silver Practical and Professional

It is a very simple method and works best when the ice is still forming as frozen water becomes hard to scoop away.

So, you have to stay vigilant and do regular check-ins to prevent the hole from freezing up completely.

This may be a lot of work and requires enough determination from an angler.

9. Use Of Ice-Shelters

This method is perfect in rough fishing conditions where other methods are not exactly cutting it.

Ice-shelters are heaters that keep the fishing hole warm enough to stay unfrozen even in sub-zero temperatures.

Child enjoys Ice fishing

To enhance effectiveness, the heater should be as close to the hole as possible. However, it should not be so close that it burns your line.

The portability of ice shelters makes them suitable for anglers who tend to move from one location to another.

10. Oil

One of the easiest methods to keep fishing holes from freezing during cold weather is the use of oil.

Fish oil is a good option for this, but you can also opt for scented oils if the smell of fish oil is too unpleasant for you. They work just as fine.

Naturally: Oil in water keeps the water from freezing. Furthermore, oil is environmentally friendly as it does not contain chemicals.

11. Insulated Boards

An insulated fishing cover will protect your fishing hole from the cold temperature.

It maintains the temperature inside the hole such that the water does not freeze over.

Ice fishing freezing hole prevention

You want to place a rock or an equally heavy object over the board so that it is not flown away, as the board is as light as a Styrofoam board.

Whenever you want to catch fish, uncover the board, and put it back on immediately you are done.

12. Keep The Holes Active

Do not complain about a hole that keeps freezing if you are not yanking fish out of it.

Ice holes can freeze up due to extended inactivity. Therefore, keep the holes active by fishing as much as you can.

Ice fishing tips for hole freezing

Ensure, though, that the effort is worth it. If there is no fish to catch in those holes, move to a new location. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for an ice hole to freeze up?

The rate at which your ice hole will freeze depends on how cold it is, that is, the prevailing temperatures.

So, if the temperatures reach only a few degrees below the freezing point, your ice hole will take longer to form ice sheets.

However, if the temperature is as cold as less than -30 degrees Celsius, then your ice hole may freeze within minutes even.

Ice fishing hole freezing advice

Normally though, during winter, it takes up to one day for a fishing ice hole to freeze up if nothing is done about it.

How do you decide on the method or technique of keeping an ice hole from freezing up?

There are many methods of preventing your ice hole from freezing up, as evidently shown in this article.

The best method to use will depend on a bunch of factors, such as your budget, level of activity, available tools, the intensity of the cold, and whether or not you are an environment-savvy person.

For instance, if you don’t wish to spend a lot or anything at all, methods like boiling water, using a scooper, and insulated boards would be suitable.

However, if your pockets are deeper, you could go for the ice defense pro mechanism. In other words, evaluating the situation will guide you into choosing the most appropriate method.

Final Words

Fishing is a fun activity but can get frustrating if you miss a chance to catch fish because of a frozen ice hole.

Luckily, there is a myriad of things you can do to keep the holes from freezing, as highlighted in this article.

Choose the best method per your situation and enjoy your fishing expedition.

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