Ice fishing is a thrilling and rewarding winter activity that allows anglers to pursue their passion even in the coldest of months. However, to enjoy a successful and safe ice fishing trip, you need to be well-prepared with the right gear and knowledge. In this blog, we'll explore the essential ice fishing gear you should have and provide some valuable safety tips to ensure your ice fishing adventure is both enjoyable and safe.
An ice auger is an absolute must for ice fishing. It's a tool used to drill holes in the ice to access the water below. There are manual and powered augers available, and the choice depends on your preference and budget. Powered augers, typically gas or electric, are quicker and easier to use, while manual augers require physical effort but are more budget-friendly. Here are a couple of Jiffy Ice augers that we enjoy. https://www.corlanes.com/search/auger/
Ice fishing rods are shorter and more compact than regular fishing rods, designed for use in the confines of an ice fishing shelter or on the ice itself. Paired with an appropriate reel, these specialized rods are essential for detecting bites and reeling in your catch through the ice. We have lots of options for ice fishing rod and reel combos. Ice fishing lines are typically designed to be more visible, have low memory, and remain flexible in frigid temperatures. Choose a line that suits the species you're targeting and the conditions you'll be facing. Your choice of lures and baits depends on the type of fish you're after. Jigs, spoons, and soft plastics are popular options. Always have a variety of sizes and colours to experiment with since fish can be picky depending on the day.
To shield yourself from the harsh winter elements, an ice fishing shelter is crucial. There are two main types: flip-over shelters and pop-up shelters. Flip-over shelters are sturdier and more insulated but may be heavier, while pop-up shelters are lightweight and easy to transport but offer less insulation. Check out our Celsius Shelter hub: https://www.corlanes.com/celsius-ice-fishing-hub-shelter-74x74x80.html
A sled is handy for hauling your gear and shelter onto the ice. It keeps everything organized and allows you to move your equipment easily from one spot to another. Ice safety picks are handheld tools with sharp points that can be used to pull yourself out of the water if you were to fall through the ice. They're a critical safety item that should always be carried while ice fishing. Ice cleats or ice crampons are a great idea if you are having trouble walking on the ice and keeping your balance. They attach to your boots and provide traction, reducing the risk of slipping and falling.
There are some essential safety tips that you should keep in mind when out. Always ensure that the ice is thick enough to support your weight. Four inches of clear ice is generally considered safe for one person, but thicker ice is required for larger groups or vehicles. Use an ice auger to check the thickness at regular intervals as you move around.
Layer your clothing to stay warm, and opt for waterproof and windproof materials. Don't forget insulated boots, gloves, and a warm hat. Frostbite is a real concern in cold conditions. We also have some heated Fieldsheer gear, which is great for those who struggle to stay warm. With four levels of heating, you can be sure you will stay warm. Hand and foot warmers are great to pack with you as well.
Never go ice fishing alone. Always bring a friend or let someone know your location and expected return time. In case of an emergency, having someone with you can be a lifesaver. Ensure that you have a cellphone or a device to be able to contact someone in case of emergencies. Keep an eye on weather forecasts before and during your trip. Sudden changes in weather can impact ice conditions, so be prepared to pack up and leave if conditions worsen. Cold weather can lead to dehydration and increased calorie burn, so make sure you bring plenty of water and snacks!
Ice fishing is an exciting and unique winter pastime, but it comes with its own set of challenges and safety considerations. By ensuring you have the essential ice fishing gear and following safety guidelines, you can enjoy a memorable and safe ice fishing adventure. Always prioritize your safety and that of your companions while you make the most of this frozen angling experience.