Contrary to popular belief, the fishing season does not have to end when the temperatures drop and the water gets hard. When those winter months roll around, you can engage in some ice fishing.
Of all of the types of fishing, fly fishing and ice fishing are the most different from the others. These both require very different gear as the way you fish changes drastically. Today, we will just be talking about ice fishing and the gear that goes along with it. Knowing what you need to buy is key to ice fishing successfully. Here is a quick guide to ice fishing gear that you need!
The biggest difference you will see with ice fishing and other areas is the rod. Ice fishing rods are very small and compact to account for the downsizing that happens on the ice.
Generally, ice fishing rods will be super sensitive and only between 30-40 inches long. This is compared to some freshwater rods that are 7-feet long and more. When you downsize this much, you are changing the strategy to fit the type of fishing you are engaging in.
One of the best rods on the market is the Mosodo carbon fiber ice fishing rod. This option comes in 28 inches, or 70 centimeters, so it is made for the smaller species in more compact spaces.
There are tons of rod brands on the market, but Mosodo is a solid, yet affordable, option that will last a long time.
Every good rod needs a reel that goes with it. Having a reel that works in conjunction with the rest of the rig is key to increasing your chances of hooking up. Generally, ice fishing reels will be of the spinning variety. Spinning rods are best for ice fishing as they can handle really light setups and lures without tangling too easily.
You can also use a push button reel to get the job done. These are generally lower quality, but they can do well in certain situations.
If you need a good all around setup, go for the Mosodo Winter Ice Fishing combo. This comes with a quality rod and spinning reel together to give you a really good setup. The key to catching fish through the ice is to have the best setup possible.
Buying the rod and reel together is a really good way to ensure that they will work well together. It may be cheaper to buy them separately, which you can absolutely do, but when they are already paired together, it is tried and true to work well.
Lures and tackle
Ice fishing tackle is a pretty large market, and the amount of thought you put into the setup and presentation is really important. In this section, we will talk about a few great lures and all the tackle information you need to be successful on the ice.
Let’s start with lures. Ice fishing lures can be similar to other areas of fishing, but the key is downsizing. The best lures are really small jigs and ripping lures. The smaller size can still attract large fish, so do not think those two things are correlated.
One fantastic lure is the Simulation Fishing Scales jig. This is a smaller ripping jig that has very accurate and enticing colorways built into the bodies. If you want to match the hatch and really take advantage of what the fish below really want to eat.
Live bait is another good option depending on the species that you are targeting. Worms and small live bait options are great for sunfish and smaller species. When you are going to target the likes of bass, walleye, and lake trout, you may need to use something more artificial.
In terms of tackle, the key is to keep everything very light. Whether it be line or hooks, they need to be super small and subtle. The lighter the line, the more sensitive the setup will be. The smaller the hook, the better chance of it sneaking in and hooking up.
All of the gear we already laid out is super important and good, but the accessories are where you can really expand out and make the experience more enjoyable. Basically, if your budget allows, you can always be upgraded and improve your life on the ice.
One of the best accessories you can buy is an ice house. Ice houses allow for you to enjoy ice fishing without being totally subjected to harsh weather conditions. These can be a bit expensive, but you will definitely get your money’s worth by being able to fish even in crazy winds and thick snowfall.
You also need an auger. This is one accessory that is pretty mandatory as you need some way to access the fish through the ice. Where the customization comes in is how you access the water down below. If the budget allows, go for a motorized auger that makes drilling your hole super easy. If that is not an option, go for a basic hand auger.
One of the most underrated accessories for ice fishing is the bucket. A simple 5-gallon bucket can go a long way on the ice. Whether it be for hauling gear, carrying fish, or sitting on it, it can surprise you in how versatile a simple bucket can be.
A really important accessory for ice fishing is a set of ice picks. Ice picks are tools that can save your life if you happen to fall through the ice. Although you should never ice fish when the ice is thin, accidents do happen. Ice picks will allow you to stab into the ice and pull yourself out of the water. Those are the basics when it comes to ice fishing gear! Use this guide to see what you need to add to your arsenal and catch fish through the ice! Good luck and happy fishing.