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Ice Fishing Gear Checklist for the Winter Fishermen



Ice fishing has always been a popular practice for humanity since time immemorial.

It has come a long way in recent years with all the advancements in tackle and tactics pertaining to the practice of ice fishing to help anglers catch more fish and make it more of an experience to remember. When it comes to putting more fish to sleep in the winter season, you need to be well equipped to make it a worthwhile fishing trip. While there may exist a lot of seasoned fishermen who have their own ice fishing gear lists based on their specific needs developed over the years and an approach all figured out, there are those who do not know quite where to start. This is why you would be better off checking out this ice fishing gear checklist for the winter fishermen before getting started.

1. Ice Tools

Before you can actually reel in a fish, you need to make a suitable hole in the ice in order to get to them. Here are a few tools that make up an important part of the ice fishing gear checklist for the winter fishermen.

Ice Auger

Augers are the most primal tools which can be used to drill the adequate fishing hole into the ice. They come primarily in three varieties. There are the hand driven ones, the propane powered ones and the electric augers. The kind of auger you will need depends on where you are fishing but for someone who is starting out, you should be good with just the hand powered auger. They are the cheapest version of all augers out there and they will definitely get your blood pumping when you are out there in the icy landscape. If you need to set up multiple fishing holes throughout the course of the day, it would be wise to have a gas or electric auger with you. Pay attention to all the instructions when you are using an auger to drill the ice.

Auger Extensions

If you happen to live in the more colder areas and the standard sized auger won’t cut it, a good ice fishing gear checklist for the winter fishermen would include auger extension as well. The standard sized auger can only drill so far. The extension will help you drill through the remainder of the ice while allowing you to operate the auger safely.

Ice Hole Cover

The last accessory pertaining to the ice hole you should take along with you is a cover which will help to keep the hole open for longer. It is most helpful in colder temperatures. These covers are typically made with plastic or rubber. They have single or several holes so you can still put down a line into the water while the cover is on.

2. Rods and Tackle

Once you have the fishing hole drilled out, the next items on the ice fishing gear checklist for the winter fishermen fall under the rods and tackle category.

Ice Fishing Rod

Lightweight rods with small reels which make it easy to cast a line down a hole even in restrictive spaces.

Tip Ups

Fishermen rely on these as an alternative. A tip up is a rig with a fishing line attached to it. It fits over the ice hole and whenever there is a fish taking the bait on a tip up, it triggers a flag indicating to the fisherman. The advantage of tip ups is that several can be set up at the same time, increasing the number of potential fishes that can be caught.

Ice Fishing Tackle

The selection of bait depends primarily on where you are fishing and what you are fishing for. There are various sinkers, bright colored baits and flashing lures. You can even use live bait to catch the fish.

Depth Finder

there is no levee for a guessing game if you are serious about your fishing. In this ice fishing gear checklist for the winter fishermen, you absolutely need a depth finder. There is no way to determine the depth under the ice without something to help you. You can use more technologically advanced sonar based depth finders or you can make use of simple clip-on depth finders. It depends on your preferences. Start off with the low tech method and upgrade as you gain more experience.

3. Extras

You’ll be facing extreme weather when you are out there on the ice trying to put the fish on ice. Here are a few things, which will complete the ice fishing gear checklist for the winter fishermen and ensure you enjoy your adventure out on the ice.

  • Boots
  • Gloves
  • Base Layer
  • Ice suit
  • Ice cleats
  • Ice shelter
  • Ice anchors

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