December 6, 2019
This is the year… it’s going to happen. You’re going on your first ice fishing trip! But what to pack? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! Here are the Top 5 Must-Have Items for Your First Ice Fishing Trip:
This seems kind of obvious, but we figured we start off with the good stuff. Make sure you have a valid fishing license and all your gear before heading out. Ice fishing takes the most basic of fishing equipment: rod, reel, tackle, and a drill.
Most anglers will use a single rod when ice fishing. If you would like to utilize multiple rods, get a tip-up, a device that will suspend bait for you and “tip-up” when a fish strikes the line. This allows for multiple holes and anglers can cover a larger area.
You’ll also want to bring something to sit on, whether that’s an upside down paint bucket or outdoor folding chair. Technically not fishing gear, but still very essential!
You can’t go ice fishing without first making a hole in the ice. Sure, you can use an ice saw or chisel, but an auger makes easy work of creating a hole.
There are two different kinds of augers: manual or powered. Consider the amount of holes you’re looking to drill, the thickness of the ice, and how quickly you want the holes made to determine which kind of auger is best for you. Manual augers are less expensive, lighter, and great for remote ice fishing locations. If you plan on making ice fishing a regular hobby, a powered auger is a great investment.
Once the hole is made, you’ll also want to have a small net to help clear the ice chunks out of the way.
We know that the cold temperatures are one of the biggest reasons many don’t want to try ice fishing. But with the right clothing, this becomes a non-issue.
Layering your clothes is essential, and is the first line of defense against the cold weather. The first layer should be snug to your body and made of quick-drying fabrics with wicking. Wool or synthetic blends work well as the first layer, something that will help with sweating. That may sound odd: sweating when ice fishing, but that is something to consider when wearing multiple layers. The second layer will insulate your body heat and should be fleece or wool. The final layer is the exterior layer to shield you from the elements as much as possible. Think waterproof windbreaker. Do not layer cotton fabrics, as they like to soak up the moisture and makes for a very uncomfortable day.
If you’re ice fishing from a shanty (portable shed) then this will give some relief from the weather. Most first time ice fishermen and women don’t have access to a shanty, so be sure to wear good, warm clothing that will protect you from the cold. Add a hat, scarf, and thermal socks to complete the ensemble.
Speaking of thermal socks, do not neglect your feet! Frostbite due to bad shoes is no joke!
Waterproof boots are essential when ice fishing. There are boots made specifically for ice fishing; average cost is $150. These boots are made to be worn in extreme temperatures and can withstand temperatures as low as -60 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll need a pair with good tread on the bottom that provide traction. You don’t want to be slipping around on the ice.
Good insulation is also key. Many boots will have enough fabric to cover your leg below your calf. Tuck your waterproof pants into your boots to help keep the ice and cold temperatures out.
Having all the right gear and clothing for ice fishing is important. But it is vital for all ice fishing trips that you go with a buddy. Sure, you’ll have a better time with a friend. But really, it’s all about safety.
Ideally, you should always go ice fishing with someone. Accidents can happen, and it doesn’t take long for hypothermia to set in. Whether it’s your first trip or fiftieth, ice fishing with someone else helps with all things safety.
For your first ice fishing trip, we recommend that you go with someone who has some experience, they can show you the ropes. Or hire a local professional guide; they’ll teach you all the tips of the trade.
A few last minute items to pack include water (remember to stay hydrated!) and snacks. Of course you’ll want to pack a camera to capture the memories. Plan to stay just a couple of hours on the ice, it’s best not to overextend yourself on the first trip.
If you want to go ice fishing, but not sure where to start, let FishAnywhere help you find a local guide. They’ll have all the fishing gear you’ll need and you can rely on their expertise for a successful outing. No matter what your skill level, your first ice fishing trip can be a fun and exciting adventure!
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