Preparing for winter ice fishing can be overwhelming. Whether it’s your first time outing or you’ve already drilled a hole, there are a few essentials you need to be equipped with to be productive ice fishing. Here are the top 10 ice fishing pieces of equipment that I recommend to all ice anglers.
1. Custom Tackle Ice Fishing Kit
A comprehensive ice fish angling package for pikeperch, perch, panfish, pike and trout. This kit contains a wide variety of ice fishing tackle, bait, soft plastic, and terminals. It contains a 26-page book on ice fishing.
2. Custom Tackle Ice Fishing Combo
A multi-species ice fishing rod and reel for fishing for pikeperch, perch, panfish and trout. Fish for anything under the ice with a 28-inch mid-weight power rod with a quick action tip. It includes a 14-page book on ice fishing.
3. Ice snail
An ice screw is a tool used to drill holes in the ice that are between 6 and 10 inches in diameter. If it’s your first time ice fishing, I recommend a 6 inch hand snail. For the advanced angler, I recommend an 8 to 10 inch auger for their mobility and comfort.
4. Ice scoop
A metal or plastic trowel that was used to scoop out any ice slurry that was left over from drilling your hole. You need to clear the slush from your hole in order to drop your bait and land fish through your hole.
In an ice fishing shelter, you can fish longer by protecting yourself from the elements. Shelters are very important for night fishing as temperatures often drop below zero. Pop-up or flip-over style portable shelters are practical options.
6. Portable heater
Propane-powered heating generates heat and allows you to fish more comfortably in your shelter. Portable heaters won’t work outside of a shelter, however. So only buy one if you own a shelter.
All experienced ice anglers use a bucket. Keep all of your ice fishing gear and bait in a lidded bucket. It also doubles as a stool!
With a sledge you can transport your bucket, your ice fishing rod, your shelter and your snail over great distances. I recommend a sled for trips over 100 meters.
9. Ice fishing bibs
With a pair of snow pants with shoulder straps and padded knees, you can fish many holes without getting wet or cold. Look for waterproof bibs with floating technology.
10. Waterproof winter boots
Drilling holes in the ice can cause mud and water to splash on your feet. Waterproof boots keep you warm and dry by protecting yourself from the inevitable splashes.