Best ice fishing gear

Gear

A hand auger is harder to use than a power auger, but by keeping the blades sharp and clean, it should cut through most ice in fewer than 10 seconds.

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Which ice fishing gear is best? 

For many, the winter season ushers in the thrills of cold-weather activities that are not possible during other seasons. Fishermen can still fish in winter, and despite the frigid temperatures, there is nothing quite like being on the ice with good friends and a pop-up shelter. 

For beginners, ice fishing can be daunting since it does require more gear than standard reel-and-cast fishing. It can be an affordable and fun hobby to keep you occupied during the winter season, especially in northern latitudes. 

You will need different rods and lures depending on the kind of fish you are fishing for 

With ice fishing, the rod, reel and lures really depend on what you are fishing for. There are some great all-around fishing rods, reels and tackle, but it’s worth it to learn which fish live in your region. If you are on a budget, get a cheap rod and basic tackle like jigs and live bait like night crawlers or minnows. 

  • Perch are easier to catch with worms, spoons or jigs. It is better to use a light rod with faster action. 
  • For pike, you need a heavier, sturdier rod since they are larger fish. Minnows, live or frozen work nicely as well as jigs and spoons. 
  • Walleye are medium-sized fish, so using a medium rod works. Minnows, dead bait, spoons and jigs work well for catching walleye. 

Best ice fishing gear for managing the ice 

Best hand auger for ice fishing 

Eskimo Hand Auger with Dual Flat Blades, 6-8 inches

Eskimo Hand Auger with Dual Flat Blades, 6-8 inches

This is a hand auger made by Eskimo that comes in three different sizes — 6-8 inches. It’s more affordable than most of the competition, and the dual-flat blades immediately eat through the ice. The handles are easy to grip and make drilling through the ice much easier.

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Best power auger for ice fishing 

Eskimo Quantum Auger Series, 8-10 inches

Eskimo Quantum Auger Series, 8-10 inches

For those who want to drill faster and more effortlessly, the Eskimo Quantum Augers are some of the best around. The stainless steel blades are durable and remain sharp longer than most other blades. There is no real recoil when using this, and the 33cc engine can handle ice in the coldest environments.

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Best scoop for ice fishing 

Berkley Ice Fishing Scoop

Berkley Ice Fishing Scoop

Keep slush from clogging the fishing hole with Berkley’s nylon and aluminum fishing scoop. It can be used for holes as small as 6 inches, and it is incredibly durable. It will last many years with proper care and can’t be beaten for the price. The one con is that some people had trouble using it with smaller fishing holes.

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Best ice fishing gear for catching fish 

Best all-around fishing rod for ice fishing 

St. Croix Rods Mojo Ice Fishing Rod

St. Croix Rods Mojo Ice Fishing Rod

For those looking for one rod to master them all, St. Croix offers tons of customization. Choose a rod from 24-36 inches from ultralight to heavy. You don’t lose any sensitivity with these rods and feel the pull of the fish. It comes with a custom reel and stainless steel guides. Everyone from beginners to pros can benefit from one of these rods.

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Best LED for ice fishing 

12V 14W 30W 180 LED Submersible Fishing Light

12V 14W 30W 180 LED Submersible Fishing Light

This LED shines 1300 lumens in all directions and has enough weight to remain underwater. It is well made, and the electronics are sealed well enough where this could be used for multiple seasons. Use the blue light to attract fish, even outside of the winter season.

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Best ice fishing gear to stay comfortable 

Best bucket for ice fishing 

Frabill Sit-N-Fish Insulated Bait Bucket with Convenient Padded Cushioned Lid

Frabill Sit-N-Fish Insulated Bait Bucket with Convenient Padded Cushioned Lid

Frabill remains one of the most popular companies in the fishing realm. This bucket is 6 gallons. Use it to keep your drinks or fish cold. Thanks to the padded cushion, just flip it over to turn it into a seat. It also comes with a liner to insulate your bait, fish and drinks.

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Best ice fishing shelter 

Eskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter

Eskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter

Eskimo’s easy to set up fishing shelters come in many different sizes and come insulated or uninsulated. Set it up in less than a minute and enjoy the warmth with the quilted fabric. It is portable and comes with its own duffle bag to keep it compact and clean. The grommets come in the material itself, so no other fastening equipment is required.

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Best indoor heater for ice fishing 

Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater

Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater

Easily attach propane tanks to the heater without having to move around parts. The MH9BX is much quieter than past Mr. Heater models. Get between 3-6 hours of heat depending on what setting you use. This is completely safe to use indoors and does a great job of heating up a fishing shelter.

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Best ice fishing gear for safety 

Best cleats for ice fishing 

Yaktrax Walk Traction Cleats for Walking on Snow and Ice

Yaktrax Walk Traction Cleats for Walking on Snow and Ice

These are some of the most affordable and durable snow cleats available online. The cleats slip on, and they can be stretched to fit many different kinds of shoes. They provide 360 traction that will prevent slipping on the ice. Despite their flexibility, they do come in multiple sizes.

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Best ice picks for ice fishing 

Frabill Deluxe Retractable Ice Picks

Frabill Deluxe Retractable Ice Picks

Remain safe and ready with Fabrill’s retractable ice picks. They are light and can be worn under a jacket. The cord can stretch up to 72 inches and the ice picks are retractable, keeping you safe at all times. They are affordable, light and an amazing piece of gear to have on you at all times.

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