The right gear can mean success or failure while ice fishing. To have a successful ice fishing trip you are going to need to pack the right gear as well as bring along the right friends. There are several ways to have fun out there in the cold and on the ice but the best way is to bring along good friends that are going to help you laugh your frozen butt off and toss back a few beers while you are doing it. Ice fishing gear is varied and there is quite a bit of it, if you want to bring more than just the basic essentials.
The basic equipment that you will need to survive and catch some fish are, very warm and very comfortable clothes for obvious lack of frost bite reasons. Gloves and hand warmers because after you pull a fish through the ice your hands are going to be freezing cold. Thick warm boots and possibly snow shoes depending on the conditions and how you will be getting to the location. Make sure that you pack extra socks, you might need them and if you do you will really appreciate that they are warm and dry. That covers keeping warm and cosy in the sub zero temperatures but if you want to actually catch some fish you are going to need some more gear.
First you will need a fishing rod or two, with sensitive tips but still have some strength just in case you haul in that huge one. There are ice fishing specific rods that you can buy which are shorter that regular rods but if you are on a budget you can use a regular rod. Be sure to bring some good line, four to eight pound test is usually a good fit. You are definitely going to need some kind of bait such as crappie minnows or worms. Bring jigs spoons and hooks to help you catch more fish if you need them. You can bring along bobbers if you don’t have a proper ice fishing rig which lets you know when the fish strike.
Be sure to also bring some minor tools to remove the hooks, cut the lines or whatever you might need them for. I suggest a folding multi-tool. An ice scoop is required to remove any ice that forms in the hole that you cut with the auger or ice saw. Also you are definitely going to need something to sit on. A large bucket works great because you can haul you gear out in it and use it to haul you catch back home when you are done.
There is a huge amount of gear that you can bring to make your trip a lot more like this fish finder for ice fishing easier and almost luxurious. Some of this equipment is quite nice but the rest is just extravagant. This includes fish finders, cameras, cell phones, underwater cameras, strike sensors, and GPS equipment. Nicer pieces of equipment include, a fishing hut, a space heater, cleats for easy ice walking, flashlights and lanterns, lighters and matches, and something to check the thickness of the ice. Tip ups are nice to bring along but are not quite necessary.
If you are going out for a all day expedition you are going to need extras such as food and drinks. I suggest beer as a proper beverage. There are other things that you are going to want to bring such as sun glasses to protect your eyes from the glare of the ice and snow. Those are the best bits of equipment that I can suggest, but there are many variables that you are going to have to cope with yourself. These are things such as ice thickness, storage for gear and transportation because if you are driving a truck right onto the ice you can bring pretty much any thing that you want but if you are walking ten miles then you are going to have to think about what you want to carry for that distance.