Catch More Fish, Keep Bait Alive
Ice Fishing Tips From Pro Angler Matt Peters
With the rising costs of good live bait like shiners and rainbows, I had to come up with a solution for keeping my ice fishing bait alive. A good idea is utilizing a hard-sided cooler. I’m able to put dozens of minnows in my Grizzly Cooler and keep them from freezing. Not only does the cooler insulate and keep things cold, but my cooler also keeps the extreme cold out and keeps my minnow water at 34-36 degrees even when it’s 5 degrees outside.
Grizzly Coolers work to insulate the temp inside and not allow it to get any colder, a lot like how your house is insulated and able to keep out the extreme cold. The bait doesn’t freeze and yet stays cold, which allows the bait to burn less oxygen and therefore stay alive and healthy longer. Which means fewer trips to the tackle shop during the ice fishing season.
If you add a portable aerator to your cooler the live bait will live for weeks on end with an occasional water change. I think an optimal cooler size is a 20 quart and 40 quart. I have found them to be my main go-to sizes for carrying bait and keeping them alive. I have taken a Grizzly 40 that lives in my wheel fish house and mounted a portable 12v aerator inside the cooler to allow me to never have to worry about bait dying. The aerator helps break up surface tension and the ammonia as well as adds oxygen to the water.
I also no longer have to worry about the minnows spilling out of a bucket or a bucket getting stepped on and crushed.
Store The Fish You Catch
Fish care is a concern no matter the season. When fishing in hot weather, keeping caught fish cool so their flesh doesn’t deteriorate is critical. On ice-fishing trips when the mercury dips below freezing, our focus shifts to keeping the fish from turning into ice blocks.
Hard-sided coolers, are great for storing what you catch and keeping your fish fresh while ice fishing or out in harsh conditions. The advanced insulation of the cooler, along with the residual body temperature of the fish, keeps them from freezing. I am able to easily clean the fish when I get in after a day on the ice. It’s important to keep fish pliable and ready to fillet when you get back off the ice.
Keep food & beverages from freezing. Having a quality cooler while ice fishing is also great for keeping food and drinks from freezing in the cold, hard water environment. Things stay cold, without freezing, for the entire weekend tucked in the back corner of the shack or under a bench.
Grizzly Coolers also make an excellent seat while sitting around your ice hole. With a lifetime warranty and made in the USA, Grizzly Coolers are strong and durable. With so many more uses than just your standard cooler.
About Matt Peters
Matt Peters is a renowned bass tournament professional angler. Awarded 2020 Champions Tour Angler of the Year, Peters also hits the hard water in his home state of Minnesota and throughout the ice belt. You’ll often find Matt on Lake of the Woods on the Canadian border pulling big fish from the ice.
With 25 years of guiding, over 90 tournaments, and a wealth of hunting experience, Peters has been Grizzly Coolers sponsored pro and a valued member of the Grizzly team. Learn more about Matt at FishwithMatt.com.