Ice Fishing Gear
The ice fishing equipment you need for ice fishing is much different than freshwater fishing gear. Special ice fishing gear is needed to handle both the fish and the elements. Ice fishing essentials include ice fishing gear like electronics, ice tools, rods, reels, fishing bait and lures. See All Ice Fishing Content. A good ice augur is an essential part of your ice fishing equipment. You need to decide between a hand augur or a motorized augur. The latter is quite costly, but totally worth it, as you will be drilling several holes during a day on the ice.
Ice fishing is a popular winter activity in Scandinavia, Russia, Canada and northern parts of the United States with long, cold winters. For a successful outing you need strong ice, some kind of shelter nfed fishing and emergency gear. First and most importantly, you need strong ice. There are many recorded incidents of people, automobiles, snowmobiles fishong all terrain vehicles ATVs falling through the ice because people have made poor judgment calls on ice safety.
What gear do you need for ice fishing safety can be determined be examining, ice thickness, ice color, outside temperature, depth of water underneath the ice, type of body of water and whether the body of water contains salt water or fresh water. If there is any flowing water, cracks, breaks, abnormal looking ridges, significant slush or thawing it is unsafe to walk on the ice, let alone drive. The color of the ice can also help you determine ice integrity.
The strongest ice to have for ice fishing is black, blue bear green ice. Take special care to measure black ice because it is new. Vear many days of below-freezing weather, white ice is the most common.
It is safe, but it needs to be twice the thickness of black, blue or green ice to support the same weight. After you have determined how strong your ice is for ice fishing, the second thing you need is shelter. Some people choose to dress really warm and not use shelter at all, but this really requires you to brave the elements and is not recommended. When the ice is strong enough, some people just use their vehicles for shelter.
Others tow an ice house, also called an ice shack or shanty, out on the ice so they can get out of the wind without having to go how to turn on water valve for washing machine and forth to their vehicles.
Larger ice houses have a bottom with areas that open up where you can drill holes for fishing and they may have room for a television, a large space heater, a generator gsar even bunk beds. Smaller ice houses may be bottomless or just have enough room for one ice hole and one person. You will need an ice auger ro drill your fishing holes and a measuring device to measure ice thickness and water depth.
There are hand augers for thinner ice or electric augers for hard to drill through, thick needd. Two of the most popular options for catching fish are tipups and jig rods. Tipups are fishijg over how to submit a press release to newspaper hole with a lure and fshing line.
They are spring loaded so when a fish bites a flag pops up. Heed ups work well if you live in an area that allows you to fish multiple lines. For a more hands on approach you should use a jig rod, which is basically just a little fishing pole. Besides bringing your cell phone, a first aid kit, an emergency blanket and a change of clothes in a waterproof bag, the rest of the gear hou you need for ice fishing falls under normal cold weather gear.
Wear your hats, mittens or gloves, face masks, thermal underwear and socks, snow boots. If you have an ice house that will fit a space heater, you should dress in layers because it can get very warm. On a final note, it is important before you go ice fishing to check the laws and regulations in your geaar. Many places require what gear do you need for ice fishing to purchase a fishing license and they have guidelines for the number of lines and what times of the year you can put your ice house out or when it must be off the ice.
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BEST ICE FISHING GEAR CHOICES
Dec 20, · There are 9 essential items that every angler needs on their ice fishing gear list: Jigging ice fishing rod and reel Live bait container stocked with live bait Terminal tackle such as line clippers, fish grabbers, pliers, hooks, sinkers, etc. Ice fishing tip ups Ice fishing electronics Ice augur and. Feb 05, · Warm gloves are important when ice fishing. Besides bringing your cell phone, a first aid kit, an emergency blanket and a change of clothes in a waterproof bag, the rest of the gear that you need for ice fishing falls under normal cold weather gear. Wear your hats, mittens or gloves, face masks, thermal underwear and socks, snow boots. Jan 11, · Now, for the most experienced ice angler, you may have a heater, hand warmers, or even an ice fishing shelter. If that is the case you do not have to worry about clothing as much, but you should still always have back ups of everything. 2. Ice Fishing Rods and Line.
There are so many fun activities to do, and one of the most exciting is ice fishing. There are a lot of tips to keep in mind if you want to be successful ice fishing. These rods are much shorter than other rods, designed to let you easily drop your line in a hole. Check out an article I wrote to see some of the best ice rods available. With a rod, you will need fishing line to put on it, naturally. Lines vary in the amount of weight they are designed to carry.
In this article, I give guidelines on what pound test line you should be using for various fish species , so go read that if you are wondering what kind of line to get. Also, you will almost certainly want a reel for your rod. In addition to rods, which everyone has heard of, you can also use devices called tip-ups. Tip-ups are like auto-pilot for fishing. They suspend bait underwater, and when fish bite, a flag on the tip-up goes up.
When you see the flag, you pull up your line, which, hopefully, has a fish hooked. You could use a tip-up alone without a rod if you wanted, but the optimal combination is to use them together. If you are interested in buying a tip-up then check out my favorite among other great picks in this post. After all, no fish is going to bite a bare hook for fun as far as I know. There are many types of bait you can use.
There are also plenty of types of lures you can use. As the name suggests, a lure should lure the fish towards your line. Then there are jigs. The movement is not automatic; you must move your rod in regular, rhythmic motions to move your jig. You can use a combination of lures, jigs and bait if you want. You are going to need to cut a hole in the ice. An ice auger is a drill made for ice fishers. They come in different sizes depending on how big you need your hole to be.
Manual augers are inexpensive and easy to maintain. Gas-powered augers drill holes with incredible speed and ease, which would make for an easy time if you plan to cut dozens of holes. Overall, I recommend manual augers. To see my recommended pick among a list of other you can go to this post. You could take an ice chisel and smash through the ice, but if the ice is especially thick, this would be unreasonable. This is totally optional, but if you want to make locating fish far easier, you can buy devices like fish finders and underwater cameras.
Fish finders use sonar to tell you onscreen what objects are present underwater. And an underwater camera is exactly what the name implies. I wrote an article about the best fish finders you can find, so check it out if you want to buy a good one. Serious ice fishers will often set up a wooden shelter on a frozen lake and leave it there all winter.
They fish from within the shelter. A tent shelter is great. At least they keep you warmer for a large percentage of the time you spend out there. If you want to see some good tent shelters for ice fishing, take a look at an article I wrote listing some.
Start with a few. For a slightly more detailed discussion of what gear you need you can check out any of the links provided under the specific equipment. Ice fishing is a tame sport, but it becomes dangerous if you make one mistake: doing it on thin ice.
I advise against walking on anything below four inches thick. For more details on the subject of ice thickness check out this article written on Outdoor Troop by another Ice Fisher. If ice breaks and you fall in the water, you need to get dry once you return to land. Being soaking wet in freezing cold weather will lead to hypothermia.
Maybe leave a sleeping bag there to use to warm up in. If the ice is over eight inches thick, though, you really have nothing to worry about. Hypothermia is no joke. Make sure to dress warm and try to make a high percentage of what you wear waterproof.
For a lot of advice on what to wear ice fishing, you can read another article I wrote. Speaking of warmth, if the weather is extremely cold, consider bringing a shelter. It will provide protection from the wind and insulation from the cold while still allowing you to fish. If you are planning to do some nighttime ice fishing, make sure to wear reflective clothing.
Just make sure the ice is thick, and then stay warm and dry. What time of year should you go ice fishing? You already know the answer is winter, but to be a bit more specific, the best times are in January and February. December is a bit riskier due to being so early in winter, but you can do it if you determine the ice to be thick enough. March is possible for ice fishing, too, but if the weather has warmed a bit, it could be dangerous.
Always check ice thickness. As for time of day, the vast majority of fish are most active during the early morning and evening hours.
So, get out to the lake early, before the sun has even fully risen. During the day, the action might slow, but you can still catch fish. And at dusk, fish will be quite hungry once again.
You can even fish after dark if you want. For the most part, any fish you can catch in the summer will still be in the lake in the winter, despite the cover of ice above it. There are many species of fish you can find all throughout North America. On the small side, there are panfish like crappie and bluegill. There are larger fish like northern pike, lake trout and perch. A less common fish is the kokanee, but you will only find it natively in the northwestern region of the United States and north of that, including all of Western Canda.
However, it has been introduced to many other freshwater locations throughout America. If you want to know what species you will find in a particular lake, the Internet offers great databases to help with that. For example, the state of Wisconsin, which is one of the best places for ice fishing, has an online database with information about all their lakes including what species are found there and how common each one is.
And that will result in more catches and more fun. If you are aiming to catch one type of fish then I have articles to help.
In a big lake, they could be in all sorts of places, so where should you look? With eyesight alone, there are still some things you can know. Some fish prefer shallow waters, so you know where to go to find them. Some fish are bottom-feeders, so you know to put your line at the bottom of the lake. Well, there are electronics. Fish finders with transducers can be a gigantic aid in ice fishing. Learning to read a contour map can save you even more time. Such devices still greatly help, of course, and some of them have maps for thousands of lakes included.
So, how does a map help you find fish? There are certain structures underwater that tend to result in large numbers of fish congregating together. Big changes in underwater elevation often become the preferred hunting grounds of many fish. They like to corner prey against cliffs and confuse them. Such dramatic structures can cause highly congested areas, too.
Instead, they swim around. When two points a point is an underwater area higher in elevation than the surrounding area are near each other, a large fish traffic jam can occur, which is great for hungry big fish, and even better for you. These are things you can learn to spot quickly on a map.
Using a GPS in conjunction with a contour map will make getting where you want to be a cinch. As I said earlier, there are some fish finders that basically do everything: they have sonar, of course, but also maps and GPS. You can even mark locations on the maps. That way, you can easily return to a favorite location the next time you head out to the lake.
You probably realized this long ago, but ice fishing is not the process of pickaxing ice and finding fish frozen solid there.
Fish are smart enough to not get frozen. For a quick how-to guide check out my post focusing on cutting a hole in the ice for ice fishing. Using a manual auger is simple: put the drill on the ice, hold one hand on top, and use your other hand to turn the handle, which will rotate the drill.
With a bit of pressure, you will begin drilling through the ice.