Ice Fishing checklist:

Minimum to take if you are just 'tagging along' :

  • Fishing rods-Large guides, sensitive tip, with some backbone. Cost should be about $15-$20 per rod
  • Reels- Micro-spinning reel-$15-$20 per reel
  • Line- 4-8 lb test ice line
  • Bobber stops with beads
  • split-shot
  • Foam ice fishing bobbers-get the 'Ice Buster' brand!
  • Fingernail clipper to cut line
  • Ice scoop/ladle/dipper-for removing slush
  • Jigs and spoons and hooks...etc.
  • bait-wax worms, fatheads, crappie minnows etc...
  • 5 gallon bucket to sit on
  • Hand warmers
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Fishing License
  • Proper Identification

Necessary ice fishing equipment if going alone:

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

Preferred ice fishing equipment:

  • Vexilar
  • Ice Shelter
  • Propane heater
  • Spud bar (for checking ice thickness)
  • 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
  • "Glow-buster" glo-jig light. (they are new this year and pretty cool!)
  • Camera (disposable works best)
  • Ice cleats
  • Small flashlight. (I prefer one that you wear)
  • Lantern
  • Matches or Lighter (for propane heater)

Luxury ice fishing Equipment:

  • Aqua-view or underwater camera
  • Two-way radios to talk to your buddies
  • Strike sensors for tip-ups

Optional 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
This list is as complete as I've needed for ice fishing.  It never fails, though, that each time you go out fishing, something comes to mind that you may have forgotten. With this in mind, please consider sending that information to other ice anglers by e-mailing me to add that item to this ice fishing checklist.

Please e-mail me if I've forgotten anything important.



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