You don’t have to wait for the weather to be warm to go out fishing. Ice fishing can be incredibly rewarding, and it’s a lot of fun as well. Of course, if you’re going to venture out into the freezing cold, you’ll want to make sure you have the gear that you need. Below, you’ll find some of the most essential ice fishing gear.
An Ice Auger
You need a way to break through the ice so that you can reach the fish that you want to catch. With an ice auger, you’ll be able to do exactly that. Ideally, you should look for an adjustable auger that has a diameter between 6″ and 8″. A hand auger is a great choice.
This is one of the most crucial tools for ice fishing, and thankfully, there are plenty of affordable options on the market. Try to read reviews before you buy so that you can find the best options in your price range.
An Ice Scoop
After you drill a hole into the ice with an auger, pieces of ice and slush will drop into the water below. This can make it more difficult for you to drop a line and catch fish.
With an ice scoop, you’ll easily be able to scoop chunks of ice out of the hole you’ve made. You’ll have a clear path to fish in, which means you can expect to catch a lot more fish. If possible, you should use a metal scoop. Plastic scoops can have issues in below-zero temperatures.
A Five-Gallon Bucket
You’ll need a place to store your bait, tackle, and gear, and a five-gallon bucket is a tool that can do exactly that. In fact, when your bucket isn’t being used to hold other items, it can even double as a seat! There are so many uses for a basic bucket, which is why you’ll want to make sure you bring one on your ice fishing trip.
If possible, you’ll want to look for a bucket that has extra features. For example, you may want to look for a bucket that has built-in insulation. That way, your bait won’t freeze while it’s being stored.
Walking across the ice can be dangerous, which is why you’ll want to make sure you wear the right footwear on your ice fishing excursions. Metal cleats will reduce your risk of slipping and falling on the ice. You’ll also find that cleats give you a lot more mobility.
A nasty fall could put an early end to your fishing trip. Wearing the right footwear can keep your feet firmly on the ground, even when you’re walking across glare ice patches.
While falling through the ice on a fishing trip is a worst-case scenario, it’s still something that you’ll want to be fully prepared for. With safety picks, you’ll be able to climb out of the water even if the ice beneath you breaks.
Safety picks are easy to carry around with you while you’re fishing. You can simply wear them over your shoulders, which means they won’t be in the way. Ideally, you won’t have to use these picks, but you’ll still want to have them on-hand.
Other Essential Gear
Naturally, you’ll want to make sure you have basic fishing gear with you on your ice fishing trip. You’ll want to find the right rod and reel combo, as well as the right bait. Ideally, you should be pairing ice jigs with live bait. If you’d prefer not to use live bait, you should combine your jigs with plastic bait instead.
In addition to fishing gear, you’ll want to bring gear that will help you to stay warm in the chilly weather. You should layer your clothing so that you can get the warmth you need without using a heater. Try wearing a compression long-sleeve tee underneath your clothing, and make sure you wear a pair of snow pants as well.
As long as you bring the right gear, you can make sure you have an amazing time when you’re out ice fishing. Plan ahead and think carefully about what you need for your trip ahead of time. Invest in high-quality gear that you’ll be able to use on future fishing trips!