Must Have Ice Fishing Equipment
One of the best aspects of ice fishing is that you really need very little ice fishing equipment and ice fishing equipment is relatively inexpensive. Some of the must have ice fishing equipment is discussed below. However, it is important to remember that ice fishing equipment should be of a reasonable quality. Definitely avoid the cheaper, flimsier ice fishing equipment as cheap ice fishing equipment will usually only last one season and will need constant replacement. It is usually much more economical to buy the slightly higher priced ice fishing equipment that will see you through a couple of years of ice fishing.
Ice Fishing Rods
Ice fishing equipment lists should start with a good quality ice fishing rod or ice fishing tip-up. Ice fishing rods are very short and typically very sturdy to accommodate for the tension and weight of the fish. The ice fishing tip-up is an ice fishing rod or reel attached to a cap or board that sits across or above the ice hole, with a flag or marker attached to the rod or spring where the line goes through. When a fish strikes, the flag moves, allowing the angler to work the line and hook the fish. Typically anglers with more than one ice fishing line in the water will use ice fishing tip-ups to locate where fish are biting, then move to a single ice fishing line.
Ice Fishing Lines
The monofilament lines used in spinners and fly fishing will not work well with the ice fishing equipment. A braided line that has a test weight of 10 to 20 pounds will be much better suited to the cold and icy conditions found when ice fishing.
Ice Fishing Lures and Bait
Ice fishing lures can be of almost any variety, but shiny and colorful plastic minnows, live bait, plastic worms and ice fishing jigs are some of the best to have in your ice fishing tackle box.
Ice Fishing Ice Auger
A gas powered ice fishing ice auger can save a lot of time chipping a hole through the ice. Since a safe depth of ice for fishing is at least four inches, an ice fishing ice auger can be a time and energy saving piece of ice fishing equipment.
Ice Fishing Shelter
There are many different types of canvas, plastic or even insulated “igloo” type ice fishing shelters that can be pulled onto the lake or can be set up when you get there. Even a simple three-sided frame with a piece of tarp to break the wind can be effective ice fishing shelters.
A slotted ice fishing spoon or flat slotted paddle type device to keep removing the ice crystals from the ice fishing hole. Many people use “caps” which provide a thermal layer to prevent the hole from freezing over.
First Aid Kit
Cold fingers often result in cuts on hooks so a good, well stocked first aid kit is important to have on hand.
It is important to have identification and a current fishing license with your ice fishing equipment. Additional supplies such as ice fishing heaters, chairs, blankets and even a camping stove are great additions to your ice fishing equipment and gear.