Everything You Need for Ice Fishing Season

Two men ice fishing on the frozen winter lake.

There are plenty of less-than-desirable aspects of Minnesota winters: subzero temperature, icy driving conditions, reduced daylight, and so on. Fortunately, besides the holidays, there is another bright spot to the season: ice fishing.

However, before you can get out on the ice, you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared with all the essential gear. We’ve put together a checklist of the essentials you’ll need for a successful ice fishing season.

Warm Clothing

A bit obvious, sure—it is called ice fishing, after all. Layer up with a coat, a hat, a face mask, gloves, insulated boots with metal cleats, and thermal wear. Throw some hand warmers in there for good measure, and then add another layer on top. You can always take a layer off if you’re warm.

Sled and Shelter

Make things a little easier on yourself by using a sled to haul your gear. Make sitting out in the cold a little less miserable with a pop-up shelter to break the wind and protect you from snow.

Ice Fishing Rods and Line

Ice fishing rods are built shorter than your standard fishing rod. This allows for more maneuverability within your ice shelter and better sensitivity to bites, as well as better leverage for reeling in fish. Similarly, ice fishing line is typically thicker so it can withstand the freezing temperatures.

Ice Auger

You won’t be doing much fishing if you can’t break through the ice. Hand augers are affordable and an effective way to drill through the ice that’s less than a foot thick. Power augers are more expensive and better used for ice that’s thicker than a foot. The diameter of your blade will depend on the size of fish you’re hoping to reel in.

Ice Scoop

An ice scoop is another critical piece of ice fishing gear. After drilling, you’ll need to remove the slush from the hole. Ice scoops separate the crushed ice from the water, allowing you to easily clear a path to drop your line.

First Aid Kit

Along with the standard items that should be present in a fishing first aid kit, throw in a few warm blankets, a headlamp for finding your way in the dark, and an ice pick if you wish to anchor yourself while you fish.

If you’re preparing for ice fishing season, find all the gear you need, including licenses and certifications, with Mimbach Fleet Supply’s Sporting Goods!

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