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Ice fishing: essential equipment for the hard water season

If you are looking to try hard water fishing this season, it will be helpful to have a list of the essential ice fishing gear you will need to get started. While it looks like you need a whole lot of specialized ice fishing gear, you really don’t need much to catch fish through the ice this winter.

Before you go fishing in a frozen lake or pond, be sure to read the tips for ice fishing in the early season first. Once you are familiar with the safety basics of ice fishing, it is time to prepare your ice fishing gear basics.

Here are ten essential ice fishing pieces of equipment that you can use to catch species like perch, bluegill, and pikeperch through the ice:

  1. Ice fishing rods / reels. A standard ice fishing combo generally consists of a 24 to 28 inch long, medium weight jigging rod paired with a lightweight spinning reel.
  2. Jigs and live baits. Waxworms and Fathead Minnows are two of the best live baits for ice fishing. You can attach your live bait to a bare hook or point your jigs with live bait.
  3. Terminal tackle. This includes hooks, sinkers and swivels. Make sure you bring your line scissors and pliers as well.
  4. Ice fishing electronics. You can use electronics to find and catch more fish. These electronics can include a sonar and / or an underwater camera.
  5. Ice fishing tools including a snail. You can get a hand snail that requires more work but is also more budget friendly.
  6. Retractable ice ax. You should always have a pair of ice axes around your neck. Most winter swim jackets even come with ice axes. Be ready to use them to drag yourself onto the ice in case you fail.
  7. Next. Use a sled to transport your ice fishing gear.
  8. Ice scoop. An ice scoop is essential to keep your fishing holes free of slush. If you’re on a budget or can’t find one, a slotted spoon from your kitchen will do.
  9. Bucket, chair or an ice cream parlor. You’ll need something to sit on while ice fishing, so be sure to bring a bucket or chair. or something to sit in so you can fish in comfort.
  10. Ice cleats. Walking on ice with normal shoes or even boots alone can be very dangerous. Regular shoes and boots don’t have the right traction for slip resistance. Get a pair of ice cleats that will fit over most boot sizes and clamp the ice in place for extra traction.

In addition to this equipment list, remember to adapt to conditions to stay safe and warm on the ice. You need to buy the right clothes for ice fishing, e.g. B. a flotation suit or bib for ice fishing, plus a pair of insulated waterproof boots, gloves and a warm hat.

Cold weather doesn’t mean you have to stop fishing. You can still get out and catch lots of fish through the ice as long as you are prepared with this list of essential ice fishing gear.

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide in southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has been featured in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @ shefishes2.

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