If you’re new to ice fishing, the wide variety of gear available can be overwhelming. From ice augers and fishing shelters to rods, reels, and lures, there are countless options to choose from.
As a beginner, it’s important to have the right gear to ensure that you have a successful and enjoyable ice fishing experience. In this post, we’ll go over some of the best ice fishing gear for beginners.
An ice auger is a tool that is used to drill holes through the ice. This is an essential piece of equipment for ice fishing, as it allows you to create the openings that you will fish through.
There are two main types of ice augers: manual and power. Manual ice augers are less expensive and require physical exertion to operate. Power ice augers, on the other hand, are more expensive but are easier to use and can drill through the ice more quickly.
As a beginner, a manual ice auger is a good option to start with. They are less expensive and will give you a good workout as you drill through the ice.
Ice Fishing Shelter
A fishing shelter, also known as an ice shanty, provides a warm and comfortable place to sit while you’re ice fishing. These shelters come in a variety of sizes and styles, from small, portable pop-up shelters to large, permanent structures.
As a beginner, a small, portable pop-up shelter is a good option. These shelters are easy to set up and take down, and are lightweight and easy to transport. They provide enough space for one or two anglers to sit comfortably, and also have room for your gear.
Ice Fishing Rod and Reel
An ice fishing rod and reel is another essential piece of equipment for ice fishing. These rods and reels are specifically designed for use through the ice and are typically shorter and more sensitive than traditional fishing rods.
As a beginner, look for a medium-light to medium ice fishing rod. This will provide the sensitivity you need to feel the bite of a fish, but will also have enough power to reel in larger fish. Pair this with a reel that has a smooth drag and a fast retrieve ratio for optimal performance.
Ice Fishing Lures
Lures are an important part of ice fishing, as they are what you will use to attract and catch fish. There are countless options to choose from, including jigs, spoons, and soft plastics.
As a beginner, it’s a good idea to start with a selection of jigs in different colors and sizes. These lures are versatile and can be used to catch a variety of fish. Try using small jigs tipped with a minnow or waxworm for panfish, and larger jigs for larger species like pike and walleye.
Electronics, such as fish finders and flashers, can be a valuable tool for ice fishing. These devices can help you locate fish, as well as determine their depth and size.
As a beginner, a basic fish finder is a good place to start. These devices use sonar technology to locate fish, and can be a valuable tool for finding fish in deep or murky water.
In addition to these essentials, there are a few other items that can make your ice fishing experience more enjoyable. These include:
- Ice skimmers: used to remove slush and snow from the surface of the ice
- Ice picks: used for self-rescue in case you fall through the ice
- Portable heaters: used to keep you warm inside your shelter
- Ice fishing chairs
Ice Fishing Clothing
Proper clothing is essential for staying warm and comfortable while ice fishing. Layering is key, as you can add or remove layers to regulate your body temperature.
Start with a base layer of thermal underwear to keep you warm. Add a mid-layer of fleece or wool for extra warmth, and a top layer of a waterproof and windproof jacket and pants. Make sure to wear a hat and gloves, and consider adding a neck gaiter or face mask to protect your face from the cold.
Ice cleats are a valuable piece of equipment for ice fishing. These cleats attach to your boots and provide extra traction on the ice, helping to prevent slips and falls.
Ice cleats are especially important when walking on ice that is rough or uneven. They can also be helpful when carrying heavy gear across the ice, as they provide additional stability.
In conclusion, having the right gear is essential for a successful and enjoyable ice fishing experience. As a beginner, start with the essentials, such as an ice auger, fishing shelter, rod and reel, lures, and electronics. Then, consider adding additional items, such as ice skimmers, ice picks, heaters, chairs, and ice cleats to make your ice fishing experience more comfortable and enjoyable.