Ice fishing is as enjoyable as inshore saltwater fishing and freshwater fishing. However, fishing on a frozen lake or river might present a few hazards. When fishing in water 30-50 degrees below zero, a simple slip can get you hypothermia. With all these risks at hand, you can protect yourself from the elements by investing in high quality ice fishing gear.
Ice Fishing Gear Checklist For The Winter Fishermen
Fishing may be a real waiting game for some, but great gear can make fishing a lot less punishing. I don't mind waiting for hours for the fish to snag the bait but in sub-zero temperatures, it's downright physically strenuous. This is where ice fishing gear comes into play so I can avoid freezing in the cold, cold ice. Here are some of the ice fishing equipment you should always have on the truck.
Base Layer Clothes
The most basic apparel for anglers are comfortable but warm clothes. You'll be spending the rest of the day on the ice meaning a few layers of clothing, and some extra pieces, will protect you from the extremes.
Ice Fishing Gloves
Another essential item on the list is a pair of ice fishing gloves. These are specialized gloves because they are meant to protect your hands from cold water. Thus, there is lesser risk of getting frostbites.
To protect your toes from the cold ice below it, a pair of insulated boots is necessary. The waterproof ones are very helpful in keeping your feet dry.
Common sense dictates that there's a lot less traction between your shoes and ice. However, spikes or cleats can easily solve this issue. But if your boots work well on ice, cleats can be optional.
Another optional ice fishing apparel is the ice suit. There's very little water that may come splashing out of the tiny hole you drill on the ice. If you're careful enough, you'll barely get wet by the cold water splashing from the game's movement.
We now come to my favorite item on the list. While some fish for a couple hours on the lake, I'd like to stay out for long hours on the ice. The shelter helps me do just that. There's something about the shelter that makes me feel at home, so I always bring it with me whenever I head to Alaska.
If you're one to use a shelter like me, you better bring along anchors as well. I prefer screw-on anchors instead of the nail types. Hammering a nail on the ice can easily break the brittle surface forcing you to move to another spot.
Sonars and underwater cameras are all over the ice fishing shops but I still use the old depth finder. I guess some of us find it really hard to adapt to new technology even when they're a lot more convenient.
Augers are necessary for cutting through thick ice easily. In addition, the drilling motion makes it safer to dig a hole without cracking the ice.
Ice slushers are also necessary for cleaning the hole you dug with an auger. Because of the ice scrapings around the hole, your line may not fit. This is where the slushers do their job.
If I haven't mentioned it before, fishing is a very preferential sport. While other anglers prefer using a rod, tip-ups are my game plan. It's just convenient having to cast multiple lines at the same time bumping up the chances of reeling in fish.
No one goes out fishing without a tackle, unless you're survival fishing. Baits and lures are necessary for fishing, whether you're using live or plastic ones from Cabela's.
I like bringing my bucket because it serves as a dual purpose container and bench, in case I forget to bring a folding chair.
Food And Water
Lastly, snacks and beverages are a MUST HAVE for any outing endeavor. These might as well be my most favorite item on the list. Grabbing a bite to eat in case you get hungry won't be a problem.
There might be some other items that you'd like to bring to help you pass the time, like a book. Again, fishing is a preferential sport. I just didn't include them in the list because they aren't essential to the success of the fishing trip and your survival. If you have ice fishing gear ideas you'd like to share with us, feel free to drop your two cents on the comments section!
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Featured Image via Colorado Outdoors Mag