prepare for winter fishing, ice fishing

If this is your first chance to prepare for winter fishing, then this article is for you. Today, we’re going to put the answers to the questions that newcomers have, when preparing for ice fishing, in a nutshell. As always, the experience and secrets of real fishermen will help us out.


When you prepare for winter fishing, it’s important to pay attention to every little detail. Let’s find out what novice fishermen, planning to go ice fishing for the first time, should take with them.


prepare for winter fishing, ice fishing


Prepare for Winter Fishing – What You Need to Have

Winter Clothes and Footwear

Choosing the right clothing to prepare for winter fishing can reasonably be considered the number one priority. If you pick them incorrectly, there is a serious risk of falling ill or even getting frostbite.


The main requirements for winter clothes are that they must be lightweight, breathable, and at the same time very warm. And when it comes to fishing or any other water activity, you want to make sure to use a wicking material. Layering is best, so consider a simple set, not just overalls.


Jacket – Your jacket must be long enough to cover your back when you are sitting and include thick insulation – think fleece. Also, make sure the jacket has a good hood. Hoods are important to keep the wind off of your neck.


Trousers – As an outerwear portion of your winter fishing ensemble, your trousers should be in the form of a jumpsuit, i.e. with straps. They are available with extra padding (bibs) for kneeling when ice fishing and you can even buy some made out of buoyant material, allowing them to be used as a floatation device.


Hat – The hat you wear should be light and warm and cover your ears and part of your neck as much as possible. A hat with earflaps is a good choice.


Boots – Choosing boots can be difficult due to the amount of conflicting advice over materials. However, the main requirements for winter fishing boots are indispensable: waterproof, lightweight, warm, and durable. Also, if you are ice fishing, you need to make sure your boots have good traction.


There are more clothing elements that are just as important to prepare for winter fishing, such as thermal underwear (depending on the wishes and abilities of the fisherman), a warm jumper, socks, a scarf, and gloves.


ice fishing auger


Basic Equipment

The basic equipment you need to prepare for winter fishing includes a pole/paddle, an auger, an angler’s box, a bailer/shovel, and a reel. Of course, there are more and you can’t forget the bait and tackle!


Pole/Paddle – Some fishermen, especially a number of beginners, will ask – what is it? Well, this is a percussion-type tool. Most often – a wooden handle and a steel sharpened tip. The fisherman checks the thickness of the ice with it.


Auger – An ice fishing auger is a very important tool for fishing because without it one cannot drill a hole to throw the tackle into the water. 


Ice Fishing Box – This box holds many of your tackle items, a thermos, and a load of sundries. Also, if your fishing does not require running, but rather sitting at one hole for a long time, then the box can serve as a comfortable seat.


Fishbowl – This is a handy tool that can be used to easily shovel ice out of the ice-hole.


Fishing shovel/bailer – This is an indispensable tool for taking the fish out of the ice-hole. It’s particularly handy when you have caught a trophy. As long as you increase the diameter of the hole, the fish caught with the rod under the gills won’t get stuck.




Reels for Winter Fishing

What to take with you always depends on what kind of fishing rods and what equipment you’re going to use when fishing. However, there’s a standard list of fishing tackle that you should definitely take with you when you’re out fishing.


  •     A few winter fishing rods;
  •     Fishing line;
  •     Weights;
  •     Hooks;
  •     Baits.


Experienced anglers recommend assembling a few rigging options at home so that you don’t have to deal with these issues on the ice, during strong winds, or bitterly cold weather.


ice fishing, tent


Additional Accessories

The following accessories are optional, but their use will provide extra comfort, which is greatly missed during ice fishing.


Tent – The main purpose of a tent is to protect the fisherman from the cold, wind, and snow. At the moment in fishing shops, you can find three types of tents: dome, frame, and automatic. According to anglers, the most reliable on this list are frame tents. Automatic tents are the most convenient to use. And the dome ones are the most budget-friendly option.


Heater – To consider the purchase of this accessory, of course, it is necessary only after the purchase of the tent. Most often, fishermen use gas burners.


Sounder – Using the echo sounder (like sonar) during winter fishing, you will spend a minimum amount of time searching for fish.


Thermos – A thermos is a great accessory to keep warm on a frosty morning on the ice. Enjoy a cup of warm tea and your desire to stay on the ice for another hour will grow in seconds.


Whether you’re an experienced fisherman who wants to explore ice fishing for the first time or find yourself on a trip through Alaska looking for something new to try, there is a lot to consider when you prepare for winter fishing. Regardless, the recommendations in this article should help you get started.

Carissa Shuman

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