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Ice Fishing To-Bring Checklist

fishing man on ice

When heading out on frozen lakes or ponds to ice fish, you won’t want to leave home without these important items.

Even in a one-person ice shelter, there is room for essential ice-fishing items that you should never leave home without:

  •  Tip-ups and ice fishing rods/reels
  •  Ice shelter (anything to keep out of the wind)
  •  Propane heater for cold days
  • Spud bar (for checking ice thickness)
  •  Ice auger
  • Sled to carry auger and supplies
  •  Five-gallon bucket to carry fishing equipment and sit on
  • Tackle: lures, jigs and bait, extra line, hook sharpener, bobbers, split shot, needle-nose pliers for hook removal and line cutting
  • Hand warmers and ice cleats
  • Flashlight and matches or lighter
  • Phone
  •  GPS or fish locator
  •  Ice picks (to pull yourself out if you fall through)
  • Compass
  •  Ice scoop for removing slush from holes
  • Fishing license
  •  50 feet of rope and life vests for safety


More tips:

  • If you take your kids with you, also consider bringing snacks, extra clothing and gloves, tissues or a hanky, and extra sleds or ice skates to play with.
  • Don’t forget to protect everyone’s eyes with sunglasses, as the sun and wind can burn them. Sunscreen and lip protection is a good idea to bring along as well.
  • Lastly, no outing is complete without water to drink, some sandwiches or even soup, which is easily warmed on a cooker/heater or brought inside a thermos. ■

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