Beginner’s guide to ice fishing | Equipment, Rod, Sled, Lures shopping list

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Beginner's guide to ice fishing | Equipment, Rod, Sled, Lures & shopping list

Beginner’s guide to ice fishing | Ice fishing vs. regular fishing

What is the difference between regular and Ice fishing? One of the fundamental differences between traditional and Ice fishing is fishing in water and Ice, respectively. If you are an avid ice fisherman, open water angling may be the best option for you. That gives hobbyists who aren’t sure if this year is the right time to give ice fishing another chance. You will still need the equipment to try it, such as ice picks, a shovel bar, and maybe even a radar or shanty. However, this article is mainly intended for people who are still thinking about taking up ice fishing as a hobby.

What about the fishing line? Will you succeed on the frozen lakes with the same spool of fishing line you use throughout the year? It is a subject of some dispute. Hobbyists may argue that an angler with the right lure only spends money on a new line. However, many professionals insist on using ice fish lines.

Ice fishing tips 2022

What’s the difference?

Ice fishing lines are made to reduce line memory. Ask any runner. It is easier to stretch and loosen when it’s warmer. The temperature difference between August and January at frozen lakes is about 34 degrees Fahrenheit. It will significantly increase the stiffness of your line.

Many beginner anglers have not heard of line memory before. So what is line memory, and how if differ in open water fishing vs. ice fishing? Line memory can happen if a fishing line sits on a spool for too prolonged. Over time the fishing line will memorize the shape of the spool and may tend to curl trying as the line comes off the spool. Lines with high memory may produce more dramatic curls, resulting in tangles, decreased casting length, and lower sensitivity. Line memory can not be eliminated, but there are many ways to manage it.

Many all-season lines have anti-line memory properties. However, manufacturers can also treat ice fishing lines with anti-freezing chemicals. It helps prevent ice-based line memories and keeps your line from freezing to the rod.

Ice fishing vs. regular fishing

Two other characteristics are built into ice fishing lines, but they can also be found in standard open water lines.

The first refers to dropping and reeling a line during ice fishing. That is different from warm-weather angling. Ice holes’ edges are often sharp or rough, wildly when drilled manually. As the line brushes against the wall of the hole, this can cause damage. Because of its relative strength, braided lines might be better than monofilament.

The problem is, braided lines are more opaque than monofilament. Many people familiar with fly fishing and bass fishing may not realize that braided line is less flexible than monofilament when ice fishing. A fish will be more likely to catch it if the line is not moving as much as possible. Anglers will take every step to ensure that their line is undetectable. It means choosing more incredible colors such as dark green or blue.

Fluorocarbon is more potent than monofilament and is more resistant to abrasions. It has become a favorite for ice fishing. Fluorocarbon lines sink more quickly than mono, allowing lighter-weight ice fishing jigs to fall naturally. Many brands such as Berkley and Sufix offer fluorocarbon-based ice varieties. Many brands also provide ice fishing lines made of fluorocarbon for those who prefer braided fishing lines.

The good news is that 75 yards of Berkley’s Trilene Ice Fishing Line cost less than the standard line at most retailers. A new spool is not too expensive, especially if your current line doesn’t meet the above standards.

Best Ice fishing equipment

Introduction to Ice Fishing

It’s a great excuse to go outside with friends, drink a few beers, and enjoy a winter day. Panfishing for fresh trout and family fish fries are some of the options. Ice fishing is all about the thrill of the tug, the feeling of the sudden pull, and the satisfaction of finding today’s catch. Let us get into the idea of ice fishing. You stand out in the cold with a water line that you don’t do much, and it sounds dull and cold.

It is an addictive new way to fish, a puzzle to solve, and a new type of fight when you have something on your hook. Many of the same principles are applicable. Find out what they are biting and where they are associating with rocks. Wood? What grass patches are still there? How deep?

You can drop five to six minnows at different depths and drill new holes according to the pattern you notice. All while you enjoy a beautiful winter day. While it is true that some people may prefer to sit down with only one line and jig with their fish finders, others will be more active.

It is a great hobby to start with enthusiastic friends who love winter, Ice, and fishing. What about gathering a few friends and hauling a portable shelter to the frozen lake? Drilling a hole in it is a good idea. Then, you can sit around and drink beer while waiting for the fish bite.

Ice fishing is not only about fishing but camaraderie and recreation. Ice fishing is for purists, and it’s as simple as digging a hole and setting up a line, then waiting for the fish bite to come. Do you require more creature comforts? You can build ice houses that are stronger and more well-equipped with satellite TVs and refrigerators to keep them busy until the fish come calling.

Which Winter months are best for Ice fishing?

Which Winter months are best for Ice fishing

March is the best month for ice fishing in the Ice Belt. However, anglers never know how the ice conditions might impact their access to the lakes. Some years, the Ice begins to melt quickly, while others see ice fishing season that extends into April.

To continue fishing during March, anglers must travel to one of the border waters of a frozen lake. It may be Minnesota or Canada, and Walleyes and other Minnesota gamefish seasons end in February. Anglers can only pursue certain species if they are on a road trip.

March is the best time to travel and explore new places because of the closed season and the ice conditions. Anglers who prefer to fish closer to home can find great bites for species such as perch, crappies, and sunfish.

What are the best places for ICE FISHING?

Your Winter fishing wish list may include many other areas than Minnesota. You may travel somewhere new to continue to check off boxes and learn new areas. Devils Lake is a favorite lake for anglers for both summer and winter. And it consistently receives ice fishers. It is a productive lake for walleyes and perch in the late season. South Dakota and North Dakota should be considered. 

You can fish in the Lake of the Woods or Rainy Lake during winter. These are Border Lakes with extended walleye seasons that are close enough to make day trips to them if there is an opening. Anglers should be aware that the Lake of the Woods walleye limit changes to an aggregate limit of 6 walleyes, sauger, and no more than four walleyes. The limit will vary on March 1, 2019. A protected slot limit applies to walleyes measuring between 191/2 inches and 28 inches in Lake of the Woods.

North Dakota

Devils Lake, North Dakota, is an ice fishing spot unlike anywhere else. Every ice anglers need to add Devils Lake to their bucket list. You will catch fish from the Ice when the bite slows down with walleye or perch. 

Minnesota

Are you considering Ice fishing on Minnesota’s Lake of the Woods & Rainy River area? It truly offers a memorable and satisfying winter experience. Every year more visitors return to the site and hear word-of-mouth from their companions or relatives about this exciting wilderness area. 

Wisconsin

Wisconsin is best when it comes to ice fishing. Green Bay is a basin of Lake Michigan that covers 2,000,000 acres, and it has some of the best ice fishing in the world. Big water means big fish, and Green Bay has some giant walleyes in the state. Fishing spots like the Fox River in De Pere, Sturgeon Bay, and Oconto are only an occasion for the best ice fishing spots holding big walleyes.

Spring on the Rainy River

The Rainy River Spring Walleye Season also changes. The spring season now catches and releases only, as the old limit of 2 walleyes less than 19.5 inches has been removed. It will be interesting for spring to see how this affects the fishing pressure at the Rainy River.

Lake Superior can also be a destination in March, depending on the ice conditions. Some years there is enough Ice to fish close to shore in March, and others, it is not.

Lake Superior anglers can catch Chinook salmon, lake trout, and lake herring. However, other species are less common during winter.

Canada

There are other destinations you may be considering for March in Canada. March is a month for ice fishing in the ice belt every year.

One thing is constant when fishing in new lakes or fishing through Ice. It is crucial to have a good lake map, whether it is a paper map that helps plan and get ideas or take with me in your Humminbird Helix Ice7. That will help you navigate the lakes and find the fish you need. Without a map chip and lake map, it isn’t easy to imagine fishing successfully in a short time. 

What are the best places for ICE FISHING?

What are types of fish can you expect in Ice fishing?

Crappies and perch are the main species that you should target during March. Perch are different each year, and some perch use deep structure while others have a shallow cover, and perch move towards shallow water during March. It all comes down to timing.

Freshwater flows into the lakes after the first snow melts. That rejuvenates the shallows and allows fish to return to the shallows using deep water. Deepwater fish can become barotrauma, making it difficult to get them back to the bottom.

An AquaVu HD7 will allow you to quickly and easily identify many deepwater areas without fish. It also helps with winter guiding by clearly identifying the species and sizes of the fish.

Crappies will also migrate towards shallow water when they encounter late Ice. They will leave the basin areas and head closer to their spawning locations, where they’ll alternately feed and rest until it is time to spawn.

Unique species that you may enjoy catching in March include whitefish and eelpout. Whitefish is a popular target for anglers who fish the Great Lakes during winter. Whitefish are less common in Minnesota, and however, they can reach double digits in Minnesota.

Guide to Ice Fishing

You need to have your fishing license. You have all your gear packed, and you are ready to go. What now? First, narrow down the areas where the fish congregate. You can follow other anglers who have success by heading in their direction. If the Lake is empty, you can use a map showing waters depths or a depth finder to help you locate the best spots depending on the type of fish you are trying to catch.

Once you have found the perfect spot, you will need to dig a hole. You should make the pit 6-8 inches in diameter. Any larger and someone might fall in the hole. You can either drill through the ice using an auger, or you can chip away at it using a spud bar. Once you have made a hole in the Ice, you can make it wider with an ice chisel or clean it with a skimmer.

You’ll need a fishing pole, line, and a bobber (a small bait-attached float that attaches to the end of your line) just as you would for any other fishing expedition. Because you can’t cast into small holes, the ice fishing pole will be shorter than the one you use in summer.

Best ice fishing poles

There are two types of ice fishing poles.

  • tip-up pole can be made of wood or plastic. The tip-up pole has a long stick and a reel that can be hung into the hole. The stick’s top has a flag attached to a spring. The spring activates when a fish bites. When that happens, the flag rises in the air to alert you. You can get a drink, go to the toilet, or just watch a few minutes of football without missing a fish with a tip-up stick.
  • The jigging pole is lighter than traditional fishing poles and only 2 feet long. These poles are moved up and down for bouncing the bait and attracting fish attention.

You need bait to catch fish. You need bait to catch fish. Small fish like minnows, shiners, and chubs make great lures. The type of fish you catch will vary from one Lake to the next, but panfish, such as bluegills, crappie yellow perch, sunfish, and sunfish, are common.

Fishing in winter is great because you don’t need to worry about it spoiling. You can either leave your catch on the Ice or cook it.

Do s and don’ts

These are only a few of these dos and don’ts.

  • Respect everyone’s privacy. Do not drill too close to another fisherman. It is rude and can lead to entangled lines that can cause you to end up with empty buckets.
  • Keep the volume down. Even if you have a stereo system and satellite TV, it is possible that your neighbors and fish won’t want to hear what you are saying.
  • Pets should be kept on a leash. If Fido can run wild on the Ice, he can easily fall into a freezing and wet hole.
  • Watch children. Unattended children are far more dangerous than the Ice.
  • Mark your holes. Place a large branch or another marker in the holes you have left behind so that the next fisherman doesn’t slip in.
  • Take care of yourself. You can leave the Ice as found, but keep it clean.

What’s the best barometric pressure to ice fish?

Rising barometric pressure is a good day to fish, and falling pressure can be ok. My point is that it’s about the barometric “movement,” not a number.

Take into account: Freshwater fishing is best when the barometer rises, and it is just fine when it falls.

Fishing is slower if the barometer isn’t moving or very slow.

Water temperature (in rivers, creeks, – water flow) and the lunar phase are also vital factors. As winter approaches, there will be ice and water temperatures drop. That is when fish schools up (walleye) and begin feeding. Peak feeding activity occurs in the Northern US and Southern Canada once the water temperature drops to 50 degrees. Walleye’s feeding peak is in the middle 40-degree temperature range and declines as the water temperature drop below 40 degrees. Although local conditions can vary, they are not too different.

Consider focusing your fall and spring walleye fishing efforts when the water temperature is in the mid-40 degree range.

Once the Ice has formed and the water temperatures have dropped to the low 40s, feeding activity will slow down. Fish feeding activity will peak again when the water temperature rises to the low 40s.

Ice fishing might be better than you think. You can fish for a week on either side of the Full moon cycle.

Take notes if you want to improve your fishing success. You may be surprised by the results.

Distance from a shore hole cut in Ice – water depth, bait, fish caught, etc.

Make a 3×5 map for each trip. It should include the location, the lake/river (GPS), and other physical factors.

It depends on the Barometer reading and whether it rises or falls fast or slow.

  • Water temperature (surface and below),
  • water depth
  • If available online, the flow rate of rivers
  • Plus lures/bait used –
  • Including the type and amount of caught, kept, and released fish.
  • lunar phase + waxing or waning
  • Wind speed and direction

What are some of the best tips and safety precautions for ice fishing?

safety precautions for ice fishing

Good friends will help you cook and eat venison, sausage, and fresh fish on the Ice.

You need to be aware of ice fishing safety.

It is essential to tell when ice fishing safely every winter. These guidelines will help you determine the safety of freshwater Ice. This table shows safe loads only for Ice with no water beneath, and it does not apply to static loads. If in doubt, don’t touch the Ice!

If you’re not sure if other ice fishers are nearby, you should Ice fish with a partner. If you plan on being on the Ice before sunrise or within an hour after sunset, use headlamps. If you’re not sure that the Ice is safe, don’t go to a new lake or ice fishing pond before sunrise.

  • Loads of Ice
  • Requirement for minimum Ice
  • Thickness in inches Description

Safe Moving Load 3-4 One person on skis 2 One person walking on snowmobiles 3 One person on foot/skates 3 One snowmobile 4 A single passenger car 8 A 2-1/2 ton truck 9 An 3-1/2 ton trucks 10 A 7-to-8 ton truck

It is essential to make some simple field observations to determine the structure, thickness, temperature, and strength. That will allow you to choose the best ice sheet to support your load. Take care! Be careful! Consider wearing a personal flotation device, and rope yourself into an assistant.

It is essential to know the thickness of the Ice. You can do this by using an ice auger to drill holes. You should note whether the Ice appears clear (sometimes called black or white Ice) or covered with air bubbles, sometimes known as snow ice. Both types of Ice should be measured in thickness. Pay attention to crack frequency and whether they’re wet or dry. Be aware of variations in ice thickness along rivers due to bends, riffles, shallows, junctions, and tributaries. Ice thickness can vary near shore, rocks, or submerged logs because the gravel and shores absorb and radiate the sun’s heat into the water.

Warm inflows from springs can cause Ice to become thinner for both rivers and lakes. The ice thickness close to shore could be narrower due to warm groundwater inflows or the insulation effect of drifted skis, or thicker due to the candle-dipping effect at variable water levels.

You should observe any snow covering and variations in its thickness. Keep track of the air temperature over the past few days and continue to follow the air temperatures when the Ice is used for supporting loads.

Contrary to popular belief, an abrupt and significant drop in air temperature causes an ice sheet to become brittle. Ice may not be safe for use for 24 hours.

The Ice loses strength if the temperature is above freezing for more than 24 hours, which is the norm in spring. The power of the Ice is rapidly lost regardless of its thickness. Air temperature changes have a significant impact on bare Ice. However, these effects can be subdued with increasing snow cover. It is not possible to give quantitative guidance.

Considerations

Water must support an ice sheet. The water level may drop near a riverbank after an ice sheet, leaving the ice sheet exposed near the shore. You can hear a hollow sound while probing with an Ice Chisel, and it is not the safest place to load loads onto Ice.

Cracks in the Ice can be either dry or wet, and they do not penetrate the ice sheet if they are dry. To get the minimum ice thickness, multiply the vehicle’s class by 2. Instead of driving parallel to cracks, you should go perpendicular to them.

Radial cracks can be seen originating from the center of a load on thicker Ice. That is usually found at around one-half the failure load. The ice sheet will eventually fail if the radial cracks are not removed. The backpack should be removed immediately if radial cracks appear. It is only a matter of time before the ice melts, and ice will creep. It happens with thinner Ice at breakthrough loading. However, it is much more rapid than the previous process and cannot be relied on for warning.

Safety During Ice Fishing

If you don’t know how to do it correctly, it can be dangerous. You or your vehicle could be crushed if the Ice is too thin. Due to wind and cold exposure, carbon monoxide poisoning can result from poorly used heaters and frostbite. 

Layers are essential when ice fishing. Layers will trap heat and allow you to remove individual pieces as you become warm. You will need a layer of bottom material, such as polypropylene. You can add a heavy shirt, pants, and socks, and add a fleece or wool sweater to top them. Cover your extremities as they are the most susceptible to frostbite. You should wear lined mittens and a wool hat to cover your ears. Don’t forget your waterproof boots, which should be big enough to hold an additional pair of socks. Also, creepers are spiked shoes that will keep you upright on the Ice.

You should check the Ice before you go. To walk on the Ice, it should be between 3 and 6 inches thick. A car can drive on it, and a truck can drive on it 10 inches wide. Ensure that the Ice isn’t becoming too thin. Test it by walking onto it with an auger or a spud. Listen out for cracks and loud booms that could indicate a dangerous shift in the Ice. Always fish with someone else. Just in case, bring along blankets, ropes, and a first aid kit.

What equipment do you need to carry for your ice fishing trip?

Ice fishing is as easy as having the fishing rod, some live bait, and a tool to make through a hole. These are, however, the essential elements for equipment for fishing on the Ice. Suppose you’re a beginner, an ice angler, or a veteran professional in the waters of hard core fishing. In that case, you will find some ice fishing necessities that every angler should have.

Essential Ice Fishing Gear List

Essential Ice Fishing Gear List

Let’s assume that you have already got your Ice fishing gear, including winter clothing and boots with insulated soles, as well as the license you need. The focus should then be on the necessary equipment to catch fish on the Ice. There are nine essential things that every angler should have to have on their ice fishing kit checklist:

  1. Jigging rod for ice fishing and reel
  2. Live bait container filled with live bait
  3. Terminal tackle like line clippers and fish grabbers hooks, pliers, sinkers, and so on.
  4. Ice fishing tips for tip-ups
  5. Ice fishing equipment
  6. Ice augur and Skimmer
  7. Retractable Ice scoop
  8. Sled for toting all the equipment you use for fishing on Ice
  9. Chair, bucket, or an ice shanty to create the shop

As you can see from the essential ice-fishing points in the previous paragraph, it needs some unique equipment and additional design. To be successful on the Ice, here are a few guidelines about the essential equipment for ice fishing!

Ice Fishing Rods and Reels

There are two types of rods for fishing on Ice. The first is a jigging rod, a smaller variant of the traditional fishing rod combination. An ice fishing jigging Rod has a maximum of 3 feet in length and features an ultralight action and a tiny spinning reel. A good jigging line is enough for the majority of anglers. But, a crucial tip is to pay close attention to the kind of line you are using for fishing. Use as light of a line as you can for the type of fish you’re hoping to catch. Also, a specially-designed Ice fishing line is more effective than standard fishing lines because it can withstand colder water better and resist abrasion. It is more obscure under the frozen water.

The other rod anglers need to be using on their fishing equipment is the tip-up. Tip-ups for fishing in Ice are distinctive to fishing on Ice. They’re made up of a line spool placed in the bottom of the hole beneath the water, usually with some live bait hanging beneath. If the fish catches it, the lure’s flag or another type of indicator will appear to warn you to the strike. Tip-ups let you fish several holes, but you need to be mindful not to go overboard. It is much easier to succeed using fewer tip-ups instead of reaching more than after a fish has popped the flag.

Live Bait Containers and the Importance of Alive Bait

Live bait is the most sought-after fishing bait for anglers on Ice. The issue is that live bait cannot have a good time staying alive even in sub-freezing temperatures. Fish can be caught more in the Ice if they have live, fresh bait like minnows. But, most live bait containers aren’t up to the task in ice fishing. Traditional buckets for minnows are heavy to carry around and make the task difficult for minnows to stay fresh. Though not explicitly designed for Ice fishing, one of the top latest ice fishing equipment are the bait containers that live made by Bait Up(tm). Its compact, innovative design lets you refresh the water in your hole in the Ice and remove it from the elements. Both of these features will help keep your live bait in good condition longer, which means more fish.

Ice Fishing Electronics and Why They Are Worth It

Fishfinders and other devices to fish on Ice aren’t modern. They are significantly more sophisticated and valuable for anglers on the Ice than they used to be.

Electronics may put a dent on your ice fishing equipment budget, but they’re worth the investment. There is no need to drill hundreds of holes to find the perfect spot, and ice fishing devices allow you to locate fish more quickly and mark hot spots for future trips.

The proper equipment for fishing ice will ensure an enjoyable time out on the water. The nine ice fishing equipment important features listed above are crucial regardless of the ice angler you are. Add them to secure Ice and numerous lakes, and you’ve got an effective ice fishing combo.

What is an ice fishing sled?

What is an ice fishing sled?

Ice fishing Sleds are crucial for anglers headed out into the tundra. They let you effortlessly pull through all your equipment, from an ice rod to augers. Many of them come with hitches that allow you to connect either an ATV or snowmobile to facilitate transportation.

What is the best way to attach skis to the ski sled?

Make some blocks out of the 2×4. Screw to the ski base into a block of wood. Then across the ski into the chunk of wood, attach at least two screws from the top and two from the bottom of each block.

CHOOSING THE BEST ICE FISHING SLED

Best Ice fishing sled

Have you thought about the most efficient way to get your gear to the frozen ground? If you’re like the majority of people, don’t think it’s a good idea, at least until it spills over during the launch, slams into the rear of your ATV, or weighs you down driving on snow. That is a category of gear that we tend to overlook even when disaster strikes since we prefer to rely on what we have. 

The Cheapie

I’ve pulled ice equipment in all kinds of things, from red plastic kid sleds to drywall mixing tubs. The main benefit is cost and availability. Most likely, you’ve got one in your garage and, when you’re pulling hand-held across reasonably level terrain and very little snow, it could be a good fit for your needs. The downsides are numerous and range from how they move over snow that is deep (plowing through or gliding carelessly across the top) and how well they hold your gear in. There are no slopes, no excessive speeds, or using equipment, and no costly equipment should be the basic guidelines to follow when using these sleds. They’re the first ones to break fastest to frustrate and most likely to end up in the garage, based on my experiences. If you’re an ice fisherman or even winter recreate once or twice per season, you’ll probably achieve better results.

The Hand Tow

When it comes to cost, you’re getting a sled that’s in the middle. They are generally significant. However, they’re not excessively so because the poly rope used is designed to be pulled manually under various circumstances. The sled has a heavier weight, however, not so much as feeling heavy, as the primary purpose of these sleds is walking and transport. It is best to have higher sides when feasible and an appropriate lip at the top of the sled. You can utilize bungee straps or other ways to secure a load on rough surfaces.

ice fishing sled

Every person should have at the very least one of these sleds for various reasons, not least the off-season. These sleds cost less than 100 dollars and can haul across snow and dry terrain in the same way. Their angle at their front makes better towing even in the deepest snow. Grooves that run along the length of the sled help the sled to stay straight ahead of you, too. They can float deer across the water in a small stream and carry landscape plants throughout the yard.

You might want to alter the rope to be more comfortable to bare hands and extend it. A strap system that fits your waist with a longer lead will make pulling effortless for longer distances. There are many uses for it, and these new features work pretty well for most applications.

The Machine Tow

If you transport equipment around the ice with an ATV or snowmobile, the sled you’ll need differs from the other two mentioned. The higher speeds, the more tension and torque, together with the potential to tow larger objects, require a device designed specifically for the task. Therefore, using a roto-molded sled is the only method to choose. It will cost more, but it will guarantee an even thickness of the sled across the entire length, emphasizing corners pockets, angles, and corners where it matters. The majority of other sleds are smaller and less durable in these areas. The process of making them adds weight, but when you’re behind equipment, you will not feel it and yet enjoy the advantage of durability for your efforts.

The next step is to think about the best method for connecting the sled to the machine you prefer. My opinion is quite strong when recommending that you require a sturdy hitch system. Long ropes are fantastic until you suddenly stop or get stuck on Glare Ice. Then your equipment quickly turns into an object, and it is thrown at the rear of your machine or is caught on an edge and then flips. The rigid steel bar hitch systems eliminate all that and are the most reliable option for towing. Make sure you use the correct size pin and a key that securely secures hitch to the machine, as searching for pins in the snow is not the best idea.

It is equally important where the system is attached to the sled. Bolt-through options, although typical, put excessive pressure onto the small parts of the sled, frequently failing. An alternative is to use the hitch-pocket mechanism, which is molded into the sled. It makes use of a pin to push through the sled, then hitched and then sledded once more. Pressure is distributed evenly across the front part instead of being distributed at two distinct points, making it more durable and reliable.

From this point, you could think about hyfax runners that are worn out before the bottom of your sled is. If you drive over concrete, gravel, or rough surfaces frequently, they will cost you in time. Travel covers are also essential, which secure the load inside the sled, keeping it dry and snow-free when you pull. If you’re not concerned about floating in the water, I make a small hole through each of the tiny longitudinal wells of the sled’s backside. That lets any water stuck inside escape into my garage by propping the front of the sled a bit.

Select a purpose-driven sled this winter, and take advantage of the benefits, no matter the method you choose to go fishing or playing. Mainly if you’ve bought better ice equipment through the years, think about it as an investment in the overall set-up.

Ice Fishing Lures Shopping List

Ice Fishing Lures

Bay de Noc Lure Co. Swedish Pimples

Swedish Pimples are a proven fish-catcher with a track record exceeding 100 years! It catches all types of fish. All are rigged with a treble hook, a red flipper, and a bonus yellow flipper with an extra split ring in the package. Sizes 2, 3, and 4 include a single spare hook. FishUSA stocks 13 colors, each in 5 sizes.

Bay de Noc also offers a specialty line called Crushed Ice Transparent. It is an identical lure but with some accurate, eye-catching colors. You want at least a couple of these colors in your collection.

Custom Jigs & Spins Ratso Jigs

No ice fishing arsenal is entire without plastics, and the Ratso Jig does nothing but catches fish. Tip them with a single live or Berkley maggot for best results. Glow Brite, Lemon Lime, and Candy Corn are killer colors. The Ratso is driving for a dominant share of my jigging time! FishUSA stocks eight colors, each in 2 sizes.

Rapala Jigging Raps

 Jigging Raps are a great choice. The most productive colors are the Silver Fluorescent Chartreuse and the Gold Fluorescent Red. You may choose the size based on the water depth and the species you plan to catch. The three smaller sizes are great for panfish, while the larger ones work for walleye, pike, or lake trout.

Lifting the Jigging Rap sharply causes the bait to be zigzag, attracting fish. That alone may trigger the instinct for the fish to attack. Still, occasionally a more subtle presentation or even fishing it motionless is needed to get the fish to bite. FishUSA stocks Jigging Raps in 26 colors, each in 5 sizes. Many of the custom colors are exclusive to FishUSA. It’s still good to have different colors to test with. On any given day, fickle fish may prefer one color over another or a color you’ve never tried before.

Lindy Tungsten Ice Worm Jigs

Lindy Tungsten Ice Worm is a dense, horizontal jig with a perfect profile and brilliant colors. Tungsten sinks faster than lead jigs and aids sharpness and hook-setting. You may keep a small tray with an assortment of sizes and colors. Choose Chartreuse Glow, Chartreuse/Lime, and Chartreuse/Orange colors. You will fish these with the slightest twitches – just enough to keep it moving or large looping lifts and drops. Tipping the hook with bait or small plastics is deadly for panfish. FishUSA stocks ten colors, each in 3 sizes.

ice fishing equipment list

Summary

This is a beginners guide to ice fishing. It is a great experience to try this winter. Do you think we missed out anything? Let us know.