Not bringing along the proper ice fishing supplies is like forgetting your underwear when you are on vacation or getting caught with your pants down while shopping at Cabelas for Christmas gifts lol!
It can be a big pain in the, you know what. I have done it. You have done it. We all have done it.
Not having all the right ice fishing gear can mean the difference between enjoying your day out on the ice or having an ice fishing nightmare where your holes filled with slush and you have to scoop it out with your hands or running out of live bait when the fish are biting like mad.
Ice Fishing Supplies
Forgetting the smallest item could ruin your day! Sure you could go pack up head to the local bait shop and purchase what you forgot. But why not just purchase it beforehand and have it with you?
I have put together a list to save you some valuable ice fishing time. Here are some of the most important ice fishing supplies you will want to bring along when you head out to the lake. Don’t get caught without these. You will regret it!
Auger – Drilling Through The Ice
Before you can do anything you need to get through the ice to get to the fish. You will need an auger or something that will drill or punch a hole in the ice. There are more augers on the market than there are people lol. Not really put it seems like it.
If you have enough money you can go out and pick up a good gas powered auger for $200 to $300 dollars and up. It makes life easy because you will more than likely be drilling through the ice multiple times in a day if you want to go home with your limit.
Another option you have if you don’t have quite as much money to invest is the manual ice auger. The manual ones go for about $50. With a manual auger, you have to turn the blade by hand.
This is very time consuming and personal energy consuming as well but it can be done. Make sure with a manual auger that your blades are extra sharp which will help you from exhausting yourself before you even put your first line in the hole.
Last option is getting yourself a heavy iron pick and chop away at the ice.:( This technique is not recommended especially if the ice is thick. But even if it isn’t that thick it will still take you a lot of time away from ice fishing which is what you came out there to do in the first place. But if an ice pick is all you can afford I guess you would have to go with that. I just hope you have strong arms and patience
Make sure you bring along your handy dandy ice scoop so you can scoop out the slush that will accumulate over time in your ice hole. If you forget this essential ice fishing supplies your hands will get cold, chapped and raw. Not Fun!
There is also what they call a skimmer which you plunge into the hole like a toilet plunger and that breaks through any thin ice that might have formed and pulls the slush out on the way up like a scoop does.
Ice Fishing Rod and Reel
Don’t forget the rod and reel. You won’t catch any fish without these two items. Although some rods you can use without a reel. Those are great for jigging and rigging. So depending on what your preference is you need at least the rod. If you are talented you could just get a stick and tie a line to the end of it. Now that’s old school lol. 🙂
You don’t want to leave home without some tackle and live bait. Some anglers just use artificial lures and some just use live bait but I think the majority of anglers use both and sometimes together. Depending on a myriad of various circumstances.
Obviously, with the artificial bait, you want to have a tackle box of some sort. If your fishing with minnows you want to bring your live bait station. This will keep your minnows alive and keep them from freezing solid before you put them on the hook.
One of the most important ice fishing supplies that I see ice anglers bringing with them out on the ice is the plain everyday 5 Gallon Bucket. You can put most of your supplies in this thing. Carry it to where your fishing at. You can also use it as something to sit on! Great concept that 5-gallon bucket is I wish I would have thought of it!
You will want to dress appropriately when out ice fishing. Make sure you dress in layers because the temperature can vary out on the ice. The sun beating down and glaring off the snow you might get a little warm and if you are dressed in layers you can take articles of clothes off or put them back on when you get chilled.
Insulated boots, stocking hat, warm gloves, jacket, and snow pants are all essential ice fishing supplies. Don’t get caught with your pants down lol especially out on the frozen lake!
The ice fishing supplies that I have listed in this article are the barebones items you will need to have a successful and enjoyable time out on the ice. There are many other supplies that you can bring but they are not as essential as these. Here is a short list of some other items you might want to bring along.
- Ice Shelter
- Fish Finder
- Pole Holder
- Portable Propane Heater
The list can go on and on! Just don’t forget the essentials. If you have more money to invest in the sport you can purchase the few things I just mentioned.
The goal when ice fishing is to have fun, catch some fish and enjoy the outdoors during the winter season. It can be whole fun for the family as long as you have the right ice fishing supplies.
If you have any questions, comments or fish stories leave them below.