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Essential Ice Fishing Gear

The Bare Minimum for Ice Fishing

When it comes to ice fishing you can have loads and loads of gear and toys or the just bare minimum and still catch lots of fish. It’s great to have power augers, portable ice huts, heaters, tip-ups, ice rods, fish finders, underwater cameras and all sorts of other ice fishing luxuries, but don’t limit yourself to needing these things. Most of the time when I go out ice fishing I have many of these luxuries, but I’m not dependant on any of them. During the winter months I like to keep the few things I need to fish in my jacket pocket so that at the spur of the moment I’m ready to go.

All you really need to go ice fishing is:

200-300 yard spool of line

a pill container of hooks, lures and jigs

a pill container of weights and jig heads

That’s it, nothing fancy at all, and it can all fit in one pocket.

If you use bait you will need that too, but it is not necessary if you’re use lures or jigs.

The first thing you need to do is “pirate” someone else’s old fishing holes. There is no need to drill your own. If the holes are only a day or two old you should be able to break through them with your foot or a large stick.  

Next you set up your spool of line with weights and hooks, or lures or jigs and fish. If you use minnows you can make a Gad which is like a very primitive tip-up using a stick to hold your line over the hole.

If you get a bite the spool will just spin freely on the ice until you set the hook. All you have to do then is hand line the fish up through the hole.

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