12 Best Ice Fishing Gear Essentials – A List For Anglers

Do you love winter? Do you want to spend more time outdoors this season? Ice fishing may be just the sport for you!

Ice fishing is a great way to enjoy an outdoor activity in any weather. It’s a popular winter sport in many northern states. You can fish through the ice on a variety of lakes and ponds.

Ice fishing also offers a great opportunity to catch some really big fish. Northern pike, walleye, and trout are all common catches in winter.

But what do you need to collect before setting out on your ice fishing trip? To get started ice fishing, you’ll need some essential ice fishing gear.

Here are 12 gear essentials that you should buy before you begin ice fishing.

1. Ice Auger

Anyone who is serious about ice fishing knows that an ice auger is one of the essential pieces of equipment.

An ice auger allows you to quickly and easily drill a hole in the ice, which is essential for both bait fishing and jigging.

There are a few different types of ice augers on the market, but the most popular are hand augers and power augers.

Hand augers are less expensive and require less maintenance, but they can be tiring to use if you’re drilling a lot of ice holes.

Power augers are more expensive but well worth the investment if you’re an avid ice fisherman.

No matter what type of ice auger you choose, it is important to make sure that it is durable and well-made, as it will be one of your most important tools when out on the ice.

2. Fishing Rod and Reel

Arguably the most important choice for an ice angler is choosing a good quality fishing rod and reel.

An ice fishing rod should be light and easy to handle yet strong enough to withstand frigid temperatures.

It is also important to choose an ice fishing reel that can be easily operated with gloves on.

Many ice fishermen also prefer to use baitcasting reels, as they allow the flexibility to go after small and large fish.

In addition, it is always a good idea to have spare line and lures on hand in case of an unexpected breakage.

3. Ice Saw

Any ice fisherman worth their salt knows that having the right gear is essential to a successful day on the ice. First, you must make sure you have the ice fishing basics covered.

One of the most important pieces of gear is an ice saw. An ice saw is a handheld saw that is specifically designed for cutting through thick ice.

A walleye fish in an ice hole

It usually has a serrated blade that can easily cut through even the hardest ice.

Ice saws come in a variety of sizes, so it is important to choose one that is appropriate for the thickness of the ice you will be fishing on.

An ice saw can make short work of even the thickest ice when used properly, making it an essential tool for any serious ice fisherman.

4 Ice Chisel

Another essential tool for any ice fisherman is an ice chisel. This handy tool can be used for everything from clearing snow from your fishing hole to breaking through thick ice.

A good quality chisel will have a sharp blade that can easily cut through ice, as well as a comfortable handle that won’t slip in your hand.

However, when choosing an ice chisel, it’s important to consider the type of ice you’ll be fishing in.

For example, if you’re planning on fishing in very thick ice, you’ll need a much heavier chisel.

In contrast, if you’re only planning on fishing on relatively thin ice, a lightweight chisel will do the job.

A lighter chisel, on the other hand, would be preferable for examining the condition of the ice.

The advantage of a lightweight chisel is that it can be used with one hand which is convenient. 

This helps to prevent weariness, which allows your mind to remain concentrated on determining the best course of action.

5. Ice Fishing Sled

If you want to go for long-distance fishing trips and don’t have a boat at hand, then an ice fishing sled is the perfect choice for you.

A sled allows you to transport all of your gear out onto the ice, without having to make multiple trips.

It also provides a handy place to store any fish that you may catch and provides a comfortable place to sit while you fish.

When choosing a sled, look for one that is durable and easy to maneuver.

It should also have ample storage space for all of your gear. A sled can be a real lifesaver when it comes to ice fishing gear, so make sure to add one to your list of essentials.

6. Ice Picks

As any ice fisherman knows, the key to a successful day on the ice is being prepared.

Along with essential items like warm clothing and a good auger, one of the most important things to bring is a pair of ice picks.

These simple tools can mean the difference between life and death if you find yourself in the water.

Ice picks can be used to break through the ice and pull yourself out or to provide traction on treacherous footing.

They can also be used as a self-defense tool if you find yourself being attacked by an animal.

It’s also a good idea to wear a life jacket when ice fishing, even if you’re an experienced swimmer. Cold water can sap your strength and make it difficult to swim to safety

For these reasons, it is always a good idea to have a pair of ice picks within easy reach when venturing out onto the frozen lakes.

7. Ice Fishing Gloves

In addition to a good quality rod and bait, one of the essential items of ice fishing gear is a good pair of gloves.

Gloves obviously help to keep your hands warm and dry, which is essential for maintaining your dexterity while fishing.

They also provide a layer of protection from the sharp edges of the ice.

Ice angler with gloves on

When choosing gloves for ice fishing, look for a pair that are well-insulated and waterproof.

Also, make sure that they allow you to maintain a good grip on your pole. With the right gloves, you’ll be sure to stay warm and dry while enjoying a productive day of ice fishing.

8. Ice Scoop

An ice scoop allows you to quickly and easily remove slush and debris from your fishing hole, keeping the area clean and clear so you can fish more effectively.

When choosing an ice scoop, look for one that is durable and easy to use. It should also be lightweight so you can easily carry it with you on the ice.

I recommend a metal ice fishing scoop because this will ensure that it can withstand cold temperatures and repeated use.

With a good ice scoop on hand, you’ll be ready to enjoy a successful day of ice fishing.

9. Bucket

When it comes to ice fishing, having the right gear is essential. One essential piece of gear is a bucket.

A bucket can be used for storing bait, holding extra line, or even sitting on it when the ice gets cold. And, if you’re careful, you can even use it to haul fish out of the ice hole

But not just any bucket will do – when choosing a bucket for ice fishing, it’s important to choose one that won’t rust, and that won’t get too slushy.

Whichever material you choose, make sure your bucket is up for the task of braving the elements.

10. Warm Clothing

Snow Pants: Snow pants are waterproof pants that are worn over regular pants to keep you dry and warm. 

They have suspenders or an elastic waistband and usually have zippered pockets. Snow pants should fit snugly but not so tight that they restrict movement.

Boots: Ice fishing boots are essential ice fishing gear, as they keep your feet dry and warm. 

Look for boots that are made specifically for ice fishing, as they will have insulation and traction specifically designed for cold weather and slippery surfaces.

Hat: A hat will help to keep your head and ears warm and can also help to prevent heat loss from your head by trapping body heat. 

Choose a hat that covers your ears and forehead and is made from a material that will wick away moisture.

A hat may seem like obvious ice fishing gear, but it really can help you retain heat and protect you from the sun.

Thick Socks: Socks are a key piece of clothing for keeping your feet warm in cold weather. 

Choose socks that are thick and insulated, and make sure they are waterproof if you plan to walk on the ice.

Jacket: A good jacket is essential for staying warm in cold weather. It should be waterproof, insulated, and have a hood to protect your head and ears.

11. Sunglasses

The reason sunglasses are important ice fishing gear is because they protect your eyes from the sun and the glare from the ice.

Without sunglasses, you would not be able to see the fish and could easily get sunburned.

Another reason why sunglasses are important for ice fishing is that they protect your eyes from the cold and the wind. If you don’t have good sunglasses, you will start to feel pain in your eyes and may get a headache.

The best pair of sunglasses will have high UV protection.

12. Ice Fishing Camera or Fish Finder 

You can really take your ice fishing gear to the next level with a camera or fish finder. These devices will allow you to see clearly what’s in the water.

A camera will allow you to take pictures of the fish you catch and will allow you to identify the species of fish.

A fish finder will help you to see the depth of the water and will help you easily locate the fish you want to catch.

Both of these devices are important for ice fishing, as they will help you to identify what you are fishing for and to catch the fish you want.

You can find out more about the top ice fishing cameras here, and you can read about ice fishing flashers and fish finders here.


Ice fishing is a fun pastime that requires some preparation. While it may seem like an easy activity, you must prepare for a number of things.

You should choose the right ice fishing gear and consider safety before heading out on your ice fishing trip.

When it comes to ice fishing, always wear the proper attire, bring the necessary supplies, and check in with family members before leaving.

As for our favorite tips, I’d recommend bringing a good book or playing some music to keep you entertained while waiting for the bite.

And rest easy knowing that you have all the best ice fishing equipment for the job.

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Picture of Sean Ward

Sean Ward

Hey there, my name is Sean – OnTrack Fishing is my site. I’ve been fortunate enough to catch bass in the States, barramundi in Australia, trout here at home, and carp on the Danube delta. If I’m not fishing, or talking about fishing, then….I’m probably asleep.


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