Drill holes with an 8" hand ice auger
. This quickly cuts holes through very thick ice. A foot of ice takes less than 30 seconds.
When it's cold fish eat less because their metabolism slows down, so use live bait like large shiners, extra large if the bait shop has them, on the ice rig
. The ice rig is a deadsticking technique. Hook the shiner through the bottom of the mouth and out through a nostril. I use circle hooks to avoid gut hooking fish.
Use a small 28 inch, or so,
rod, with a light spinning reel spooled with 20 lb Sufix 832 braided line
and 3ft of Seaguar 20lb fluorocarbon leader
, and a size 2 Gamakatsu circle hook
for shiners, or jig a 1/2oz Kastmaster
Use tip ups
to have multiple hooks in the water. In Massachusetts you can have five lines through the ice. Tip ups just sit there, and when a fish is on the flag pops up, and you pull the line in by hand. I spool these with 30 pound Mason braided green tip up line
with a 3 foot Seagar 15 pound flourocarbon leader
joined with a quadruple surgeon's knot
. Use a size 2 Gamakatsu circle hook