Gearing up for winter ice fishing can be overwhelming. Whether it is your first time out, or you have drilled a hole before, you need to be equipped with a few essentials to ice fish productively. Here are the 10 most important items of ice fishing gear I recommend to all ice anglers.
1. Tailored Tackle Ice Fishing Kit
A comprehensive ice fishing tackle package to fish for walleye, perch, panfish, pike and trout. This kit maintains a large assortment of ice fishing jigs, lures, soft plastics and terminal tackle. It includes a 26-page book on how to ice fish.
2. Tailored Tackle Ice Fishing Combo
A multispecies ice fishing rod and reel designed to fish for walleye, perch, panfish and trout. A 28-inch medium-light power rod with a fast action tip lets you fish for anything under the ice. It includes a 14-page book on ice fishing.
3. Ice Auger
An ice auger is a tool used to drill holes in the ice between 6 and 10 inches in diameter. If you are ice fishing for the first time, I recommend a 6-inch hand auger. For the advanced angler, I recommend an 8 to 10-inch power auger for their mobility and comfort.
4. Ice Scoop
A metal or plastic ladle used to scoop out the ice slush left over from drilling your hole. You must remove the slush from your hole in order to drop your lure down and land fish up through your hole.
An ice fishing shelter lets you fish longer by shielding you from the elements. Shelters are very important for night fishing as the temps often drop below zero. Portable shelters in the pop-up or flip-over styles are convenient options.
6. Portable Heater
A propane fueled heater generates warmth and allows you to fish more comfortably in your shelter. However, portable heaters will not function outside of a shelter so only purchase one if you own a shelter.
All seasoned ice anglers use a bucket. Store all your ice fishing tackle and bait in a lid covered bucket. It also doubles as a stool!
A sled is used to transport your bucket, ice fishing pole, shelter, and auger over long distances. I recommend a sled for traveling further than 100 yards.
9. Ice Fishing Bibs
Snow pants with shoulder straps and padded knees allow you to fish plenty of holes without getting wet or cold. Look for waterproof bibs that feature floating technology.
10. Water-Proof Winter Boots
Drilling holes in the ice can splash slush and water onto your feet. Water-proof boots help keep you warm and dry by guarding against the inevitable splash.