Ice Fishing Equipment Checklist

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Ice Fishing Equipment Checklist:

Minimum to take if you are just ‘tagging along’:

  • Fishing rods-with large guides, a sensitive tip, with some ‘backbone’.
  • Reels- Micro-spinning reel
  • Line- 4-8 lb test ice-line
  • Bait: crappie minnows, wax worms, fatheads,  etc…
  • A 5 gallon bucket (to sit on)
  • Hand warmers
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Fishing License
  • Proper Identification
  • A compass
  • Bobber stops with beads
  • An assortment of split-shot
  • Ice fishing bobbers
  • Fingernail clipper (to cut line)
  • Ice scoop
  • Jigs and spoons and hooks…etc.
  • Sipping whiskey for your host. Or beer. Lots of it. Trust me…this works wonders.

Ice fishing equipment if going alone:

  • Ice auger
  • Sled for auger or vehicle if the ice is thick enough.
  • Mouth spreader
  • Hook sharpener
  • Bait bucket
  • Small shovel – collapsible if possible
  • Ice picks-could be a lifesaver!

Preferred ice fishing equipment:

  • Vexilar/Fish Finder
  • Ice Fishing Shelter
  • Propane heater
  • Spud bar (for checking ice thickness)
  • Camera (disposable works best) – Deprecated – Use a smartphone!
  • Ice cleats
  • Ice anchoring system
  • Small flashlight. (I prefer one that you wear)
  • Lantern – If you want to fish at night
  • Matches or Lighter (for propane heater)
  • Tip-ups-preferably the freeze-free type
  • Leaders for tip-ups
  • Quickstrike rigs for tip-ups
  • Bait for tip-ups-herring, smelt sardines, etc.
  • Cell-phone
  • GPS – Deprecated – Get a smartphone.
  • “Glow-buster” glo-jig light.

Luxury Ice Fishing Equipment:

  • Underwater camera
  • Two-way radios to talk to your buddies – Deprecated – Get a smartphone!
  • Ice Fishing House
  • Strike sensors for tip-ups

Optional Ice Fishing odds and ends:

  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Hand Towel
  • Gaff- to remove large fish
  • Sunglasses

If you take kids:

  • Extra gloves
  • Tissues (those noses run all the time!)
  • Lot’s of snacks
  • A small sled to entertain them