The Ultimate Ice Fishing Gear List

Winter’s almost here, and you know what that means! Ice fishing.

Unfortunately, ice fishing isn’t one of those sports where you grab a few things from your garage and head out. No, there’s definitely some must-have ice fishing gear. While you don’t need a lot, the more you have the more comfortable your experience and the more you’re going to love ice fishing.

Here’s the ultimate ice fishing gear list:

Tip-up: Sure you can use a regular fishing rod and reel when you’re ice fishing, but life (and fishing) is better with the right equipment. Instead of finagling your old pole, opt to get tip-ups, short poles designed specifically for ice fishing. Use one with an already-attached flag, and you instantly know when you have a bite. You’ll want more than one of them, so you may as well order a few.

Ice auger: Those ice holes don’t ‘just dig themselves, and that’s why you need an ice auger. While you can use a hand crank auger to dig one hole just fine, if you plan on dropping more than one line, it’s well worth the extra few bucks for a battery operated auger.

Bucket: You may not need a shanty to ice fish (although it does keep you more comfortable), but you do need somewhere to sit, and a bucket can do the trick. It servers multiple purposes, as you can carry supplies and store your caught fish.

Sled: While it’s not necessary, having a sled does make the whole ice fishing experience a little less exhausting. Being able to pull your fishing gear and supplies, instead of carrying them, lets you conserve energy.

Gaff hook: Used to hook and pull a fish out of hole in the ice, a gaff hook makes ice fishing easier and keeps you drier.

Other ice fishing  supplies that are nice to have, but  not necessary, include:

  • Ice pick
  • Skimmer
  • Lures
  • Wax worms
  • Small revolver (because  you never know what you’ll find on the ice)

And don’t forget your warm clothes and boots, as well as some snacks to keep you energized!