Ice Fishing Essentials | Gear And Knowledge

Ice fishing is well-thought-out to be a rewarding sport; however, you do not want to be out on the ice deprived of the necessary provisions. Therefore, you will need ice fishing essentials (gear, tackle, and knowledge) to ensure you pierce through the ice comfortably.

Ice Fishing Essentials
Ice Fishing Essentials

Consequently, you will require some of the best fishing tackle for catching fish. In this article, we shall discuss them as well as some basic things you need to know for ice fishing.

Ice Fishing Essentials Today | Gear & Tackle

  • Five-gallon Bucket
  • Ice Scoop
  • Ice Auger
  • Jigs and Spikes
  • Rod and Reel Combo
  • Proper Dress
  • Tarp Straps
  • Gear
  • Shanty
  • Sonar
  • Tip-ups
  • Flasher/Fish Finder

Five-gallon bucket

A five-gallon bucket is often considered as the body of the ice fishing operation. This five-gallon bucket usually maintains the bait’s freshness, facilitates the transportation of the gear, plus is used as a seat and storage of the tackle.

The five-gallon bucket is a critical component for ice fishing, and surprisingly enough experienced anglers have this process useful in one way or another. Moreover, you can consider using a Frabill sit N-fish bucket since it is insulated with Styrofoam for storing your bait without freezing.

Ice Scoop

An ice scoop is a vital component of ice fishing. Once you drill a hole in the ice surface, often some portion of refuse will end up filling the channel. This slush subsequently hinders you from dropping the fishing line and landing fish. Thus, once you are done drilling, lower your ice scoop horizontally and then slowly lift the slush vertically. By doing this, water will filter through the discard, thereby pushing the slush to the side.

However, using a plastic scoop is not recommended since it hardens and becomes fragile in colder temperatures, unlike the metal scoop.

Ice Auger

The ice auger is the best tool for breaking through the fish and ice. Having a 4 to 5 ft. adjustable auger, which weighs 6 to 8 pounds, and a 6-inch diameter is essential for breaking through thick ice. Ice augers are usually affordable, and they are very useful when it comes to ice fishing.

It takes less than 30 seconds for the ice auger to cut through 1 foot of ice surface since the 6-inch diameter ice auger experiences less resistance. When fishing for fish weighing more than 5 pounds and drilling through an ice surface measuring more than 1 ft. with less effort, the 8-inch diameter ice drill is the best pick. Thus, an ice auger is an essential ice fishing equipment.

Ice Fishing Gear

Jigs and Spikes

The Jigs and spikes are one of the best ice fishing tackles. First, you start by pairing this tackle to a handful of Tungsten jigs with a couple of spikes maggots and then tying to the fishing line using a clinch knot. Afterward, you should ensure that your wick with spit and tightly secured before rotating the knot perpendicularly to the jig. In the middle of the tail, 2 to 3 spikes will suffice. Once the spike is secured, pinch the maggots to expose their insides. Despite being gross, this method is very effective when it comes to ice fishing since the scent produced attracts fish.

Rod and Reel Combo

Having a 28-inch medium power rod that maintains 4 to 8 pounds’ line rating and size 20 spinning reel is a versatile combo for ice fishing. Using a 6-pound fluorocarbon ice line with the rod and reel combo is perfect for fishing on the ice as it incorporates an incredible light-weight design and is ideal for targeting large predators such as Pike and Walleye.

Additionally, using the fluorocarbon line is vital since it prevents curls and twists, which often results in ice building on the line. The apparent consistency of the fluorocarbon line gives it a lower visibility presentation in comparison with the braid or monofilament. Lastly, because of its durability, fluorocarbon is perfect for ice fishing.

Dress Code

How you dress up during ice fishing is crucial since you be exposed to freezing temperatures. Despite ice fishing having incredible capabilities, it comes with a premium price. If you are a recreation angler having snow pants, gloves, hats, neck warmers, and boots for ice fishing are essential.

Having such winter clothes is ideal since you will be drilling, transporting, and setting up your fishing equipment. Therefore, for you to maintain your primary goal, which is to stay dry, you will have to purchase those clothes before starting ice fishing.

Tarp Straps

To transport your gear, use 3 to 4 trap straps with metal S-hooks measuring 2 to 3 ft. It can be challenging to carry and getting your equipment secured on a sled during a windy day or in a place with difficult terrain. Therefore, using a rubber strap is vital, unlike nylon or other material that serves as a terrible trap. Likewise, removing your gear from pure rubber is much easier when compared to clothes and plastics. Nevertheless, tarp traps are pocket-friendly, and they perform very well, thereby reduce frustration while fishing.


The more you carry unnecessary items when ice fishing, the more it takes time to set up everything. Having several unnecessary things will make you reluctant to move into a different location in case the ice fails to heat up. When going for ice fishing, it is recommended to carry some essential items such as a thermos bottle, ice auger, ice rods, tackle box, and reels.

Having such a few numbers of items makes it easy to set up or relocate, which is something critical in running and gunning. If you have many things to carry, you should use ice sleds.


Often anglers disagree and say having a cabin is not necessary. However, having a shanty will help in protecting you against freezing winds. You can have a good popup shelter that is easy to set up and transport. Nonetheless, having a cabin will help in improving your fishing skills.

Ice fishing tents keep us warm and dry. We need to have one as we spend a long time on the ice.

Ice Fishing Shanty


Having quality sonar is one of the ice fishing essentials. With good sonar, you will have the power to see the fish with precision. Without drilling any hole, you can use sonar to see the bottom of the ice surface and locate a fish quickly. As the fish moves via the cone of the sonar, a blip will


Tip-ups are often the best when it comes to fishing in multiple holes at the same time. You will hook on your bait and then let it out to the depth you prefer. The good ice fishing tip-ups will help in suspending the bait, and once you have a strike, the device will tip up, and a signal is shown, which often a red flag.

Flasher/ Fish Finder

A flasher will help in two ways, and the first one is that it will help you locate any vegetation and depth. This will help you to choose the right fishing spot.

Secondly, a flasher will help you to mark a fish and indicate if the fish is interested in your jig. If you are jigging, the flasher will help you know if you need to lift or leave the bait. With fish finder, you can use it in offshore or kayak fishing.

Ice Fishing Essentials | Basic Knowledge

We must know the basics of ice fishing before going to face a long day on the ice. Here are two of the important rules of the ice game. But, we recommend going through the tips and techniques for ice fishing.

Where to drill

When you have all the ice fishing essential gadgets, you will now need to locate the best place to drill. Here are the three most critical steps that will help you to find the best place to dig;

Step 1

You should always look for a place that looks promising. Always check for the depth changes as well as vegetation by using a fish finder. Once you find your most preferred location, you can set up your cabin.

Step 2

Within your shanty, drill a perimeter. You should often drill as many holes as the number of your tip-ups. For a beginner, you can start with 5 to 10 holes.

Step 3

You will then set up your fish finder and jigging rod in the hole within your cabin. Place all your tip-ups in the fishing holes surrounding you. When placing the tip-ups, ensure that they are in a position where you see them quickly.

How long you should fish in a single hole

If you spend an hour on a hole without getting any action, you might move unless you wait for the pressure to drop or the afternoon where the temperature might be slightly high. Before you relocate, it is advisable to use a flasher to see if there are any fish within your hole. Once you spot a fish, then you will need to switch up your presentation instead of relocating. If you have spent an hour without spotting anything, then it’s high time you move to a different location.

Tip-ups are one of the must-have ice fishing essentials. With tip-ups, you will be able to cover lots of ground by yourself or a friend. You can up to 12 rods into the water at the same time while using tip-ups. On a good day, it can be tricky to keep up, and on a bad day, you will still be busy tending baits and jigging.

Know The Fish Behavior

Ice fishing can be different for different fishes. To make sure the better result, we should know about the fish we want to catch. We must know when they are active to play with them.

If I target ice fishing for catching walleye, it may not work with pike or trout. We may need to change the techniques, places, baits, lures, or even rods.


Before going for ice fishing, it is vital to check all of the fishing regulations and safety suggestions for the location and states you plan to go fishing. Having gone through this article, you now have a better idea of the essential ice fishing gear that will guarantee the success of your fishing trip.

Always fishing on frozen water means you have to walk on chilled water; therefore, it is essential to have boots with spikes. The spikes will make it easy to clamp down on any ice surface, making it comfortable to walk on the frozen water surface.

When it comes to gripping your jigging rod, the hockey tape works perfectly. The hockey tape was designed for ice and wrapping it around your jigging rod, and it improves the hold and comfortability. You can use lip balm in protecting your items, such as the fluorocarbon fishing line from freezing.

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