Ice fishing season is just around the corner so i have decided to create a comprehensive ice fishing checklist of all the items needed for ice fishing. Some of these items are basic necessities while others are pure luxury, prepare yourself with these items to maximize your fun on the ice.
Always make sure the ice is thick enough before venturing too far at least 4 inches to walk on, 6 inches for atv’s! Ice seldom freezes uniformly. It may be a foot thick in one location and only an inch or two just a few feet away BE CAREFUL! Every year someone loses their life ice fishing, don’t let it happen to you.
Ice fishing checklist
Ice picks__ always keep two ice picks in a convenient pocket in case you fall through the ice, these small items are practically weightless but can be the difference between life and death!
Fishing license and id__ it is cheaper buy a license than to pay the fine if you get caught without one.
Warm clothing__ dress in layers for comfort, if you get too warm excess clothing can be removed easier than wishing you brought another jacket.
Gloves__ bring extra gloves in case your main pair get wet.
Boots__ hat__ thermal underwear__ hand warmers__ battery operated socks__ if your feet get cold easy.
Sunglasses__ eye protection should always be on top of your list for obvious reasons snow blindness is no fun.
Food, drinks__ always bring some sort of food and drinks if you will be on the ice for an extended period hunger may strike and having something to drink is always a must.
Hand towel__ you will definitely get your hands wet more than once while ice fishing so bring a towel be prepared.
Ice fishing rod/reel combo__ bring at least one for each hole.
Extra line__ foam bobbers__ jig’s__lures__ sinkers__ spoons__ and terminal tackle__
Tip-ups__ these are great when fishing multiple holes, if the flag pops up there is usually a fish on your line.
Needle nose pliers__ letherman type utility tool__ you will need a few tools and i would start with these.
Sharp knife__ you may need a knife to cut bait, line, or rope.
Ice auger__ whether a gas auger, or hand auger this is essential to make your holes.
Spud__ to check ice depth, or to pry your shack free from the grip of the ice.
Ice dipper__ to remove the slush that constantly builds up in your holes.
Gaff__ for pulling large fish out of the hole.
Bait__ always bring plenty of bait, and different types.
Hot seat__ although not necessary this provides comfort as well as heat.
Bucket to sit on__ no need to say more.
Compass__ if there is a white out you should always know what direction shore is.
Shelter__ if you don’t have a shack and plan to stay for many hours these are great for getting out of the direct weather, especially on windy days.
Heater__ fuel__ great for extended stays on the ice.
Walkie talkie__ if you have buddies out with you or for emergency use.
PFD__ personal flotation device, these are always a good idea.
Cell phone__ emergency use or for talking to whomever.
GPS__ know exactly where you are and which direction to get to land/car/help.
Camera__ for pic’s of your buddies, your catch, or the scenery.
Flashlight__ i bring two one hand held, and one hands free headlight, make sure you have fresh batteries.
Matches/lighter__ may be needed for heater or emergency, keep in waterproof bag.
Sled__ needed to haul your gear weather you walk on the ice, or pull behind your snowmobile or 4 wheeler a sled is a must have.
Spear__ some fishermen like to set up lures in holes inside the shack and spear muskie and other large fish.
This ice fishing checklist should always be used as a reminder of what is needed for ice fishing, and everyone is encouraged to add to it, and copy it for your friends. Please be alert at all times when on the ice, stay warm, stay safe, and most of all have fun ice fishing.
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