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 skating rinks. That means it’s almost time to get in the water and go ice fishing. Those of us who fish for ice are probably already prepared and just waiting for healthy ice, but many are thinking about trying it for the first time. I remember the first time I left. It wasn’t easy to determine exactly what I needed. Fortunately, a few people helped me choose the right gear. Here’s a beginner’s guide to the basic ice fishing equipment you’ll need.

A basic rule that everyone should follow, but for newcomers to ice fishing it should be clearly stated. Pay close attention to the thickness of the ice before you try to leave. 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

courtesy of DNDR


1. Outdoor Ice Sniper rod and reel Combo

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 Oyster’s Ice Sniper so great. This is a medium weight, high quality rod, suitable for a reel of the right size. With this rod you can perform most standard ice fishing tricks, such as. B. Snowboards and even walleye. A good combination reduces the chance of a hardware failure that could spoil the experiment. The guys at Clam know what they’re talking about, and it’s a great combination.

Advantages / Excellent combination

A small light for big fish

In summary / an excellent way to start your equipment

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

There are many different types of ice drills

To ice fish, you have to be able to drill holes in the ice. For a beginner, it is cheaper to use a hand drill. I’ve been there. It’s good on thinner ice, but once it reaches 10 inches, it’s bad. It’s REALLY bad if you have to drill a lot of holes when you’re hunting fish. A powerful auger is not that expensive and will save you a lot of trouble. The Eskimo Sting Ray is an excellent 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.

Benefits / Drilling holes quickly without wasting your energy

Requires and 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 get 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 Korkers studs have 20 stainless steel studs cut in different directions that dig into the ice and keep you on your toes. The studs slide over your shoes and are very safe and sturdy. Even if there is snow on the ice, spiked shoes are a MUST in my opinion.

Pro/G gives you traction on all ice surfaces

Against/No – buy a kit for everyone who goes out on the ice with you.

At the end of the day, the serious ones should get a point for the ice.

4. HT Enterprise Ice Master Complete Aasset

Do you have an assortment of equipment

The lures and basic equipment needed for ice fishing are actually quite simple. Small jigs, some floating bait, a few holds and a depth gauge is all you need. Fortunately, HT Enterprises, a company that many anglers trust, including myself, has a simple kit that gives you everything you need. Just add wax worms and you’re good to go.

For everything you need, minus the wax worms or little snowballs.


Conclusion / You have the basis for the pan and the walleye.

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 love, and this braided belt is perfect. It has a small diameter, doesn’t freeze and gives me the feel I need for those little brush strokes. That’s what you should use.

Advantages / Excellent line for ice fishing

It consumes a little more than a normal line, but it’s worth it.

Results: Gives you the feeling and strength you need.

6. Clam Kenai Pro 40th Anniversary EditionInsulated Foldable Fishing Cabin

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 had seating 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 go for the original.

Pro/ Extreme maneuverability to get to the fish fast.

A little expensive, but worth it.

In the end, get the originality for the 40th birthday!

7. Vexlar FL-8se Genz packaging

Accurate and easy to use

If you want a fish detector, 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 in a short time. The flashes look strange at first, but within minutes of using them you can catch them and it’s incredible. The FL-8se flash classic is truly legendary. The world’s most popular FL-8se 3-color sonar displays weak green targets, medium orange targets, and strong and low red targets. 525 segments of resolution, super-bright LEDs and 10 interference deflection settings make the FL-8se an excellent fish finder/flasher for all seasons.

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 Negro Ice Cream Note

As for the label, there are a few things to consider. Some anglers watch other anglers in their area, and if they see someone who attracts a lot of fish, they may try to approach that person. You can move around, but don’t scare anyone 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 man’s point of view.

And when someone is nice to you, you do the same. 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 ended up at the pole vault school because of a tip I received on the way to the lake. I went to get the guy and we both had reached our limit. I still get text messages from this guy about good fishing, and we met on a great fishing trip. It will all pay off in the end, folks!

Searching for fish under the ice

If you are new to hard water fishing, there are a few ways to help you in the beginning of your career. If you don’t know the lake, see if there is a map of the bottom contours you can use. Here you can see depths, elevations, 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 are having luck. You probably won’t get the best property positions, but you’ll have some good ideas on how to get started. Not all bait shops do that, as the shop at my two favorite lakes tells you directly where and when it’s best to go. It’s the best kind of company, and I would definitely help them as much 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 blinker, it’s worth its weight in gold if you want to reach the fish.

When is the best time to go ice fishing?

Many of us know that the first hours of the day and the last hours, including the dark hours before and after, offer the best chances 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 gets going can be a good time to take a few bites. It is a mistake to think that frozen lakes are not affected. It makes a big difference. Drill a hole in the ice and look at the water. The pressure at the top of the ice has a strong 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 allows you to tie a fish to a bag of feed and the fishing can be fantastic. It also means it’s the thinnest ice. 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 the way the water is, and there is a phenomenon called turnover that determines where there is the most oxygen in the water. It is a fact that in some lakes there can be a serious lack of oxygen in the winter, because the plant life then stops producing products. This is because the death of plants in winter can deprive the water of oxygen, causing fish to die. These things happen at the end of the season, and that’s a good reason to inquire about the lake and fishing conditions before you leave.

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 around if you’re not sure. Social media and local bait and tackle shops are good starting points.

About the author

Derrek Siegler.

Derrek Sigler has been a professional outdoor writer for more than two decades, ever since he completed his master’s degree in creative writing with a thesis on the humor of fishing. 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 wrote for Cabela’s and worked as an editor for Gun Digest. Over the years he has also written for Petersen Hunt, North American magazine Whitetail, Wildbird, Grandview Media and has worked with Bass Pro, Tough Brands and bone collectors. 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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frequently asked questions

What equipment do I need for ice fishing?

What basic equipment do I need to fish?

There are only three types of fishing gear that beginner anglers need: Hooks, weights and floats. Weights are needed for a longer casting distance and to keep the lure under water. If you are fishing for the first time, settle for a simple split lead. They are cheap and easy to install.

How do you know how to ice fish?

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