Night fishing from ice. Part 1

Night fishing from ice. Part 1Night fishing from ice is becoming increasingly popular. In many bodies of water, colorful clusters of branded and makeshift tents glow in the nights of winter. Now in the store you can find almost all the necessary equipment from tents and sleds to gas burners and battery lights. About 15 years ago, when I started to catch from the ice at night, one could only dream of such a choice. I had to do a lot myself. Not everything worked right the first time, and refinement to the mind went along the course of fishing. I am not at all against the novelties of industrial production and I use them successfully, but some home-made products still serve me, and so far I am not going to part with them. Having decided to do night fishing, first of all, you need to provide yourself shelter and lighting. In the simplest version, it can be a large plastic bag and a candle, but of course, there is no talk about any convenience of speech. Fishermen who manage with such a small set are sometimes found on ice, however, if you engage in night fishing seriously, without forgetting about comfort, the amount of necessary equipment increases many times.


This is the main element of equipment. Now sold dozens of models of various designs, sizes and shapes. The most important thing in the design of the tent is a simple and reliable fixation mechanism: it is very unpleasant when in the middle of the night a strong gust of wind puts the tent like a house of cards. Most models of tents have sloping slopes, and with a small floor area, the angler, sitting on a box, should bend along the wall. If you spend the night in this position, aching back pain is provided. I came across this on my first night fishing, after which the store product was replaced with a home-made structure (photo 1), in which a tarpaulin awning is put on a rigid cubic-shaped frame. Cube ribs – aluminum tubes 150 cm long and 12 mm in diameter. Initially, the length of the tubes was matched to the size of the trunk of my car. Tubes are joined using welded steel bar tees. The shoulders of the tee should go into the tubes with a small gap, otherwise there will be difficulties with the assembly-disassembly. In a tent with a floor size of one and a half and a half meters and the same height, a medium-sized angler is quite comfortable.

In a tent of a cubic shape, you don’t have to sit with your back bent, but another problem appears: snow accumulates on the horizontal roof, and in the thaw and water. To protect the roof from getting wet, you can use water-repellent impregnation. Inside, pockets are sewn onto the walls of the tent. The entrance is best done with a zipper with a double-sided lock and a windproof valve. The tent is protected from blowing out by a skirt sewn along the lower edge of the tent, which is additionally sprinkled with snow. This is especially important if the tent is lit by an open flame, candle or gas burner: a gust of wind can easily extinguish them. The same thing happens when you open the door. In this regard, it is better to use a flashlight or a kerosene lamp “bat”.

The tent is mounted on ice with stretch marks. Better to put on four stretch marks, one from each corner, so that the tent does not tear off if the wind changes direction. And this happens: in January 1996, a strong wind tore off and took away my tarpaulin house for 200 meters away. There are many ways to attach stretch marks to ice, the main thing is reliability and the ability to easily remove fasteners. I consider optimal a gimlet from a titanium tube.

Light and warm

There are many ways to light a tent. Candles are a convenient thing, but they require dry matches and stands. It’s good to use “tea” candles in the sleeve: they burn for 2-2.5 hours, so at least 20 pieces will go for the night. A kerosene lamp is stable, gives an even flame, but requires careful handling; weaknesses – a fragile glass bulb and, of course, the indestructible smell of kerosene. Electric light is probably the best option, provided that the power source is enough until the morning. The LED headlamp for general lighting of the tent is rather weak, but very convenient as an additional light source. It is economical, able to work continuously for dozens of hours, frees up hands and is very useful when planting bloodworms and performing any other small work. Primus warms more than shines. It gives enough heat, so if it does not freeze hard, you can take off your outer clothing in three to four hours. For the sake of such comfort, the primus will have to be pumped several times and add gasoline – one refueling at night is not enough. And soot will give the face a slight “tan”.

I myself use a homemade gas burner, the design of which I spied on the old fisherman. This burner successfully combines the functions of lighting and heating. From a gas cylinder, gas enters the receiver and then goes through a hose to two copper tubes 40-50 cm long; their opposite ends are rolled. Each tube made 4-5 holes with a diameter of 0.6-0.8 mm. Coming through these openings, the gas burns with a steady yellow flame; the pressure is regulated by a valve, ball or cork. The tubes are inserted into metal holders with a height of 15-20 cm. To prevent the inlet hose from overturning the holders, they are fixed in massive supports. In my case, they are wooden, and lead plates are attached to them below. A full five-liter cylinder is enough for the whole fishing trip in excess. Speaking of fueling. Recently in Moscow and the region they stopped refueling balloons for a frog-type gearbox, but at some gas stations for a fee they can replace the valve. In this case, you need a wrench on 24; left-hand thread on the valve. It is advisable to have a spare cylinder.


When there are no bites for a long time at night, the fisherman begins to peck – with his nose. At this time, it’s good to lie down to rest – of course, if there is anything. For this case, I have a "fishing" bed, converted from an old folding bed. To fit into the dimensions of the tent, I reduced the length and width of the folding bed, altered the canvas canvas and reinforced it with ribbons. When you sit in the middle, on the right and on the left there is enough free space for fishing rods and fishing line when fishing fish. If I decide to sleep, I put fishing rods in my pockets so that the nozzle rises above the bottom. You can lie with your legs slightly bent. But how do you know if a fish came up? To do this, in my arsenal there is a “scout” fishing rod with a cunning gatehouse. The elastic element is a twisted rubber band. With a confident bite on the rise, the gatekeepers rotate 180 degrees and remain in this position. True, there is no hooking as such: this fishing rod itself will not catch fish.

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Amanda K. Benson

Author: Amanda K. Benson

Hi, my name is Amanda K. Benson. Since you, dear reader, have appeared on the page of my blog, it means that you are interested in something. Then you need to know who is writing these articles for you. We will meet and I will tell you a little about myself.

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