This how-to-ice-fish book is both informative and entertaining

An Introduction to Ice Fishing by Frank R. RichardsFrank Richards of Vassalboro moved to Maine in the mid-1980s and quickly fell in love with ice fishing, something he’d never done before. Maybe that was because his first ice fishing experience was on Moosehead Lake, where his friends had rented an ice shack with a woodstove, at a local sporting camp.

Yes, that’s the best introduction to ice fishing I can imagine!

And Frank really understands why ice fishing is so much fun. “An uninitiated observer may not see the entertainment in running around in the middle of a frozen lake, heavily dressed. In reality, those who participate in this sport are usually feeling quite comfortable, having a good time, and catching fish.”

Frank also recognizes that “There is something about the simplified, quasi-Arctic landscape that is peaceful and relaxing. At the same time, the experience can be highly social.” That it can be, Frank, that it can be.

I appreciated his recognition that “ice fishing is well-suited for small children.” I must have been only 5 or 6 when my Dad first took me out on the ice to catch some fish.

Frank has written a how-to-ice-fish book that is perfect for the beginner, but also has lots of tips for experienced ice anglers. And he covers it all, from safety to clothing to gear (including ice shacks) to how and where to find the fish. He tells you how to jig – my favorite way to ice fish- and even has suggestions for nutrition while fishing – and no, that advice does not include drinking lots of beer!

Frank’s An Introduction to Ice Fishing is available on Kindle and Amazon, and includes some wonderful photos.

As Frank notes in the closing, “Ice fishing bears many similarities to that observation about Texas Hold’em poker – someone can learn the basics very quickly, but a lifetime isn’t long enough to master all the nuances. I have learned something new on nearly every trip. It’s a pleasurable learning curve that doesn’t end.”

I can only thank Frank for sharing all that he has learned about ice fishing so far, and assure you that you will both enjoy the book and learn some things from it.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.