Basic Ice Fishing Gear |

Derrek Sigler 14.02.21

Image cover – Shutterstock/Danielsen

It’s winter and the lakes and ponds are starting to look less like water and more like ice rinks. This means it’s almost time to get out to the hard water and do some ice fishing. Those of us who often fish on the ice are probably already prepared and just waiting for safe ice, but many are thinking about trying it for the first time. I remember the first time I left. It was not easy to determine exactly what I needed. Fortunately, a few people helped me choose the right material. Here is a beginner’s guide to the basic equipment you will need for ice fishing.

A basic rule that everyone should follow, but for those new to ice fishing, it should be clearly stated. Pay close attention to the thickness of the ice before trying to leave it. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, you should follow this basic guide to ice thickness.

  • 4″ – Ice fishing or other activities on foot.
  • 5 – 7 – Snowmobile or ATV
  • 8 – 12 – Car or small van
  • 12″ – 15″ – medium duty truck

Guidewith thanks to MDNR


1. Rod and reel combinationClamshell Outdoor Ice Sniper

The combination makes perfect sense

You need a popsicle stick to take it away from me. – You don’t want to go out with shit. That’s what makes the Oyster Ice Sniper so great. This is a medium weight, high quality rod that fits the right reel size. With this rod you can perform most standard ice fishing tricks, such as. B. Snowboards and even walleye. The right combination reduces the risk of hardware failures that can spoil the experience. The guys at Clam know what they’re talking about, and it’s a great combination.

For / Excellent combination

A small light for big fish

In short, it’s a great way to get your gear started.

2. Eskimo Sting Ray Power Ice Necklace – on sale!

There are many types of ice drills

To ice fish, you have to be able to drill holes in the ice. For a beginner, it is more economical to use a hand drill. I’ve been there. It’s fine on thin ice, but once it reaches 10 inches, it sucks. It really sucks when you have to drill a lot of holes to chase the fish. A powerful auger is not very expensive and will save you a lot of trouble. The Eskimo Sting Ray is a great option for novice anglers and is long lasting thanks to the powerful 33cc Viper engine. Select the feed screw. You’ll thank me at the end of the season.

Advantages / Drill holes quickly without wasting energy upwards.

Requires/costs more than a hand drill

Conclusion: Save yourself the stress and opt for an electric drill.

3. Corkers Top of the Ice

Don’t slip.

I’m not going to lie – I wish someone had told me to grab my ice shoes before I went out on the ice for the first time. It was just open ice with little snow and let’s just say it wasn’t fun. These crampons from Korkers feature 20 multi-directional sawn stainless steel crampons that dig into the ice and keep you on your toes. The studs slide over your shoes and are very sturdy and safe. Even if there is snow on the ice, crampons are a MUST in my opinion.

Pro/Gives traction on all ice surfaces

Cons – buy a kit for everyone who goes out on the ice with you.

Bottom Line/Serious should have a point for ice cream.

4. HT Enterprise Ice Master Complete Aasset

Do you have an assortment of equipment

The basic bait and tackle for ice fishing is actually quite simple. Small jigs, a few fladderbaits, some crankbaits and a depth gauge is all you need. Fortunately, HT Enterprises, a company trusted by many anglers, including myself, offers a simple kit that gives you everything you need. Just add wax worms and you’re done.

Pro / everything you need, without the wax worms or little snowballs.


You have the basis for pan and gold.

5. Sufix 832 Improved ice fishing frame

The ice pipe is frost-resistant!

You need a line specifically designed for ice. I’ve tried almost all of them, but Suffix is the brand I stick with, and this braided belt is perfect. It has a small diameter, doesn’t freeze and gives me the feel I need for those fine lines. That’s what you should use.

Advantages / Excellent line for ice fishing

It takes a little longer than a regular line, but it’s worth it.

Bottom Line/Gives you the feeling and strength you need.

6. Clam Kenai Pro 40th Anniversary EditionLift-up insulated ice fishing hut

The original and the best – a 4 year anniversary!

If you are looking for a portable cabin, you should start your search at Clam Outdoor. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the original Flip the Shack fish trap. This elegant facility featured a seating area and a folding thermal hut to keep you warm. The chair stands on a sled on which your equipment fits, so you are extremely mobile as an ice fisherman. If you’re serious, you might as well take the original.

Pro/ Extreme maneuverability to reach the fish quickly.

A little expensive, but worth it.

Bottom Line/Get Original for the 40th Anniversary!

7. Vexlar FL-8se Packaging Genz

Accuracy and ease of use

If you want a fish finder, the Vexlar device developed with Dave Genz is a good option. Dave is a great guy and a legend in ice fishing. Years ago I had the pleasure of fishing with him and I learned a lot from him in a short time. The blinkers look strange at first, but after a few minutes of use you can catch them and it’s amazing. The classic FL-8se flash is truly legendary. The world’s most popular three-color FL-8se sonar displays weak green targets, medium orange targets and strong lower red targets. 525 resolution segments, super bright LEDs and 10 interference deflection settings make the FL-8se an excellent all-weather fish finder.

Pro/help, you’ll be a better fisherman.

Contraindications/non-contraindications. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll be able to

If you try, you’ll get hooked.

A Ice Cream Nigga Note

As far as etiquette goes, there are a few things to keep in mind. Some anglers watch other anglers in their area, and if they see someone who attracts a lot of fish, they may try to approach them. It’s good to move around, but don’t scare people away. This sucks. I can walk up to them and ask what they’re using because it might not be me, but I’m not going to try to hear it from a guy.

And if someone is nice to you, do that too. If they tip you and you sit down to fish, invite them to sit with you. Karma is good when you’re on the ice. A few years ago I found myself in a school of bass thanks to a tip I received on the way to the lake. I went to get the guy and we both had reached our limit. I always get these texts about good fishing, and we met on a great fishing trip. It’ll all work out in the end, folks!

Searching for fish under the ice

If you are just starting out in hardwater fishing, here are a few ways to help you get started. If you are not familiar with the lake, see if there is a map of the bottom contours you can use. You can see the depths, runs, depressions and other places where fish can be found. Some species become lethargic in cold water, and all fish do everything they can to use as little energy as possible. Ask your local bait shops what works and where people have had great success. You probably won’t get the best property positions, but you will get some good ideas on how to get started. This is not true of all bait shops, as my two favorite lake shop will tell you directly where and when it is best to go. They are the best kind of company, and I would definitely give them as much help as you would.

Another good way to get an idea of where to go is to just follow the crowd. If you see a lot of people in an area, it’s usually a good sign that there are fish there. Don’t be afraid to exercise and swell up. If you have a flasher, it’s worth its weight in gold when it comes to hitting the fish.

When is the best time to go ice fishing?

Many of us know that the early and late hours of the day, including the dark hours before and after, are the best times to catch fish. The same goes for ice fishing. We also know that changes in atmospheric pressure, for example. B. Just before a weather system is on the way, it may be a good time to bite. It is a mistake to think that frozen lakes are not affected. It makes a big difference. Drill a hole in the ice and observe the water. The pressure at the top of the ice has a significant effect on the water below it. And any pressure that affects the water affects the fish that swim in it.

Well, the first ice of the year has a way of attaching a fish to a food bag and the fishing can be fantastic. This also means that it is the finest ice cream. I’ll pass, thanks. I like thick ice for fishing. But you have to keep an eye on what’s going on under the ice. The oxygen content in the water affects how the water is, and there is a phenomenon called turnover that determines where the most oxygen is in the water. It is a fact that in some lakes in winter there can be a serious lack of oxygen because the vegetation does not produce anything. In fact, the dying off of plants in winter can deprive the water of oxygen and kill the fish. These things happen at the end of the season, and it’s a good reason to inquire about the lake and fishing conditions before you go.

Where can I go ice fishing?

Any lake with enough ice should be good, as most lakes do have some fish in them.  It’s always good to ask if you’re not sure. Social media and local bait and tackle shops are good places to start.

About the author

Derrek Siegler.

Derrek Sigler has been a professional outdoor writer for over twenty years, since earning his M.F.A. in Creative Writing with a thesis on fishing humor. But if you ask anyone who knows him, he’s been telling fishing stories since he was old enough to hold a fishing pole. He has written for Cabela’s and worked as a book editor for Gun Digest. Over the years he has also written for Petersen Hunt, North American Whitetail Magazine, Wildbird, Grandview Media and worked with Bass Pro, Tough Brands and Bone Collector Stores. His success in farming led him to write for their magazine, and he appeared several times on their television show to talk about hunting and ATVs. He writes about the things he loves – hunting, fishing, camping, trucks, ATVs, boating, snowmobiling, and the outdoor lifestyle he enjoys with his family in their home state of Michigan, and much more during their adventures across North America.

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