Ice Fishing From A Wheelchair:

Winter is a tough time for anyone confined to a wheelchair. I'm always looking for something new I can do that will get me outdoors this time of year. The last couple years I when for a Dog Sled Ride, but was hoping to do something different this year. Two neighbors invited me to go ice fishing. I was excited not only to do something different, but it also gave me an opportunity to work on adapting the equipment I needed to be successful. I've gotten to the point where I really enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to adapt equipment so that I can use it.


I thought I would be able to use some equipment that had already adapted for regular fishing. The old Fishing Pole Holder, which attaches to plate that slides between the cushion and the Seat Pan of my chair, was made with one and a half inch PVC pipe so I decided to change it to one and a quarter inch to get a tighter fit for the pole handle. In order to reduce pole movement in the PVC a Stop was added to the handle above the reel so it would be snug in the holder.


One new adaption I had to make was on the handle of the spinning reel on the ice pole. The easiest way to adapt the handle of the reel was to slide a piece of PVC pipe over the original handle and down to the crank arm. Then the PVC was taped lengthwise to prevent it from sliding off and then friction tape was wrapped around it to improve grip.

Set Up ready

We were out on Lake of the Isles off Wellesley Island in the St. Lawrence River. The temperature was around 45 degrees causing the snow on the ice to melt and there was a stiff breeze. For more information on being out in the winter environment see Winter in a Wheelchair and Off Road in a Wheelchair. Fortunately, the fellows taking me had all the other equipment we needed. This included an ice shanty with heater, an auger to drill holes through the ice, and tip ups which will do some of the fishing for us. Fish caught on the tip ups are usually pulled in by hand, which I was unable to do, so my pole was set up to catch perch. I was able to hook and crank them in using the adapted reel. Everything worked really well and I caught a number of fish.

Fishing Inside the Tent

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Crank handle adjustment

Wellesley Island and Lake of the Isles

Angle adjustment

Ice Tent

Fishing outside>

Nice Perch

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