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.
- 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:
- Hand Towel
- Gaff- to remove large fish
If you take kids:
- Extra gloves
- Tissues (those noses run all the time!)
- Lot’s of snacks
- A small sled to entertain them