Ice Fishing Tools
I grew up in Austin, Texas, fishing creeks, lakes, and down at the gulf coast, watching the Reds run and catching more Speckled Trout than you can shake a stick at. Shortly after graduating, I moved 25 hours directly north to a small river town called Red Wing, Minnesota. I left Austin in the mid-afternoon someday in August. The temperature outside was close to 110 degrees. I drove my chevy Malibu 25 hours straight, only stopping for gas and food. A thing only a young kid can do. I get sleepy after 2 hours in a car now. As I pulled into Red Wing, I rolled the windows down and welcomed a nice cool 65-degree breeze. It was delightful. Little did I know, I was in for a world of hurt come February.
The 2-degree weather brought more than just intense shivering. It brought me a new experience of ice fishing. So here I am now giving a rundown of ice fishing tools you'll most definitely want in your arsenal.
Ice Fishing Gear
Ice fishing is a great way to spend time with friends and family in the winter. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to find the right gear for ice fishing. This article will explore the different tools available for ice fishing, including ice fishing augers, ice fishing chisels, and electronic instruments.
Ice Fishing Tools
There are a variety of tools to use when ice fishing. The type of tool you choose will depend on the kind of fish you're trying to catch and how long you plan on staying out on the ice.
Ice fishermen's must-have tools and accessories can be classified into two major areas: gear to help them out on the ice and equipment to help them out in the cabin.
The ice anglers themselves use a variety of ice fishing gear and accessories while they're on the ice, including:
- Ice augers for drilling holes to catch fish. Either electric or manpower.
- Fishing rods and fishing reels for catching bigger fish. A no-brainer. You already knew this one.
- Fish grippers or tongs allow you to hold onto your big catch while safely getting it back to shore.
- Portable shelter, such as an ice shanty or hut, helps keep people warm and dry while they're fishing on the ice. This also provides a place to store their equipment when they're not using it.
Ice Fishing Augers
Ice augers are the most crucial tool for an ice fisherman, and power augers tend to be heavier than manual ones. Ice fishing can be an enjoyable pastime if you have the right equipment. But before you buy an ice auger, it's essential to consider factors such as weight and efficiency.
If you're packing out for a long haul along the frozen lake, you probably want to have something lighter weight and a sure bet. A hand auger takes some doing, but It's pretty dependable. The StrikeMaster Lazer 7 Inch Hand Auger is a good option. But if you don't want to burn out your shoulders, you may want to opt for something like the StrikeMaster Lithium 40V Ice Auger.
Ice Fishing Chisels
When those nights start getting longer, and the temperatures start getting colder, you know it's only a matter of time before that fishing spot will be frozen over. A good-quality ice chisel will be essential. It'll help you understand how thick the sheet actually is and if you can safely walk on it in the first place. And while your preservation is the number-one benefit, an ice chisel is also helpful in re-opening old holes and starting new ones. Or maybe you're lucky enough to expand a current hole to land a larger fish.
You'll want to find one specifically designed to keep holes open all season long. It would be good if made from super-tough welded steel, with a comfortable foam-grip handle, for controlled strikes with reduced vibration.
The 62" Chisel from Rapala fits the bill. The two-piece design ensures it's easy to store and transport, and there's an extra-thick, rugged lanyard strap so you don't accidentally lose it down a new ice hole. Not that that's ever happened to me.
Ice Fishing Fish Finder
Your mind and body give you a sense of fulfillment and joy when you are being with nature. Fishing is like relieving all the stress in the world. Unless you're not catching anything and freeze your toes off. A good ice fishing fish finder will do more than find fish; it will keep you from running all over the place. The best ice fishing fish finders use a high-pixel color or grey-scale screen to display a graphic image of the bottom, the fish, the bait, and the thermocline. Ice fishing electronics like fish finders work using a transducer to send a sound ping through the water. A solid choice is the Garmin STRIKER 4 Portable Fishfinder.
The Garmin STRIKER 4 Portable Fishfinder is the newest in the STRIKER line of fish finders. The latest model is rugged and waterproof with a built-in GPS, barometric pressure sensor, and an internal compass. Although you cannot add detailed mapping to this unit, you can still locate and save docks, favorite hot spots, huts, etc. A 3.5-inch color display makes it very easy to see bottom views and all the waypoints you have marked.
Ice Fishing Gripers and Tongs
Keeping track of the fish weight is necessary for some anglers. Plus, some mechanical scales are pretty hard to read, and sometimes the markings fade away with time. So, the solution is simple: a fish scale! It doesn't matter what type of angler you are, but ice fishermen especially don't have time to waste fiddling with scales. The Piscifun gripper with a digital scale is an attractive and reliable option.
Portable Ice Fishing Shelter
Suppose you ever tried your hand at a spot ice fishing but have been put off by sitting out in the freezing temperatures. In that case, you know a portable ice fishing shelter is the answer. Some might say that using a tent to ice fish is cheating, but they can keep saying that while they freeze their wrinkled little tails off.
The Happybuy Ice Fishing Shelter is set up in 60 SECONDS, and this ice fishing tent comes fully assembled. After folded, the tent fits perfectly in the included bag for you to carry away, weighing only 29 lbs. The wide-bottom design provides a significant fishing area for you and seven of your friends.
Happy (and cautious) Ice Fishing
Well, I hope this was beneficial for you and gave you a good starting point to dive into the wild world of ice fishing. Just remember to be careful. You're on a frozen lake, after all.
Many anglers will walk out on the lake with 2.5 inches of good ice, but the recommended is 4 inches. For sleds, snow machines, snowmobiles, etc., you'll want 5–6 inches. If you're brave enough to drive a lightweight car on the ice, you're looking for 7–12 inches and 14–16 inches for full-size trucks. Thinner ice in areas with swift surface currents is a significant hazard, so don't even mess with that.
Keep safe and happy fishing.