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The Ultimate Ice Fishing Gear Checklist

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With some winter items, you might not know what to get for the person on your list. It can be hard to figure out if they already have everything they need. But don’t worry! We’ve put together a list of everything someone needs to ice fish this winter.

From clothes and boots to sticks and hooks, we’ve got it all covered. Get ready with us as we go through the ultimate ice fishing gear checklist!

Basic Checklist For Ice Fishing Clothing Trip

You should wear proper clothing when ice fishing. You’ll want to make sure you stay warm, look great, and are ready for all kinds of weather.


Your hands are the only things that touch the ice under your feet, so they need to be protected. You don’t want them touching wet, cold ice – it will not feel good!

Clamshell Insulated Boots

Booties go over regular shoes to give you insulation against the cold ice underneath to make your feet warm. They’re perfect for slippery conditions when you’re out on the lake.

Base Layers

Your base layers are your first line of defense from the cold. If you’re going to be out there a while, they will help regulate your body temperature and keep you feeling good.


A hat is a great way to protect yourself from the elements. A bill on a hat can really help block the wind and snow from getting in your face, which helps you stay warm!

Jeans or Snow Pants

This may seem like an odd choice for ice fishing, but the right pair of pants can make all the difference.

Avoid cotton and go for something that will keep you dry and insulate your body heat.

Ice Fishing Gear & Equipment List

You also need a few basic things to ice fish: a heater, a tip-up flag, a fishing license, etc.

These are essential things to have if you plan on being out on the ice for several hours. We’ve included them in this list so everyone knows what they need to get!

Fishing License

Ice fishing requires a special kind of fishing license depending on where you live.

Make sure you have one before going out onto the ice! In most states, your regular fishing license won’t so – you’ll need a separate one.

Tip-Up Flag

When ice fishing, you will need a tip-up flag to let you know if a fish has taken your bait or not.

You can buy flags from your local fishing store – they typically come in bright colors so they’re easy for everyone on the ice to see!


You might not consider this as “gear,” but it is certainly useful when ice fishing.

A heater can keep your feet and hand cozy while you wait for that next bite! You can even use it to heat up some snacks and hot cocoa.

Bucket Seat

You can use a bucket or chair to sit on and keep your legs and feet elevated and off the cold ice. That way, you stay warm and comfortable!

Hook Sharpener

Hooks get dull over time, which will make it more difficult to land a fish. A hook sharpener can help keep your hooks sharp and ready for another day on the ice.


Jigheads are another essential ice fishing accessory. This is what you put on your line, which stays down at the bottom of the lake. It’s what brings up your fish!

Ice Shelter

Ice shelters can shelter you from the elements while you ice fish and is usually more of a luxury than anything else. If you already have an ice fishing shanty or shelter, you likely won’t need ice shelters.

Ice sled

An ice sled is a great alternative for a tent. It’s pretty simple – it can be made or purchased at your local fishing store! You place whatever you need on top of the sled and then use the handle to push it along!


You’ll need a few nets to bring the fish you catch onto the ice. They will help make sure you get your catch safely!

Sinkers/Split Shot

Sinkers and split shot sinkers will weigh down your line so it sinks down into the water where the fish are hanging out!

This extra weight helps keep your bait in front of curious fishy noses, leading to more bites!

Fish Finder

A fish finder is a great way to keep track of what’s below the ice.

Use it to find where the fish are hanging out and make sure you’re putting your line exactly where they might go for some tasty bait!

Ice Hole Opener

A special tool called an ice hole opener is perfect for making holes in the ice. They are usually made of metal and have a T-handle, which is helpful if you’re not wearing gloves!

Checklist For Ice Fishing Rod

There are many types of ice fishing rods on the market, depending on what kind of fish you want to catch.

If you plan on going out for crappies or perch, it might be worth getting a telescoping rod with a small tip-up flag set-up already attached.

Spinning Reels

A spinning reel can be great for ice fishing. You might not feel like you’ll need a reel, but if you plan on catching bigger fish, it can come in handy!

Ice Reel

Ice reels are great for ice fishing.

They’re very simple, easy to use, and they don’t take up much space in your tackle box. If you plan on going out for a while, they can make things go by quickly!

In-Line Reels

In-line reel are great for catching perch or panfish, but not so much for larger fish. They’re easy to use, and most come with ice reels already attached.


Tip-ups are similar to in-line reels, but they’re really only suitable for panfish. They take up less space than ice reels would!

Ice Fishing Line

The line is what connects your hook to the rest of your fishing gear.

The stronger it is, the better chance you have of catching that big one! You can get a line from a local fishing store or even at a grocery store.

Checklist For Ice Auger

An ice auger is essentially a huge drill bit that makes holes in the ice that allow you to send a line down into the water, and are big enough to pull fish out. There are many distinct kinds of augers.

Electric Augers

Electric is great ice augers for anyone who plans on going out on the ice often. It can cut through thick chunks of ice with ease, so you won’t have to worry about it taking forever!

Manual Auger

A hand auger is good for anyone who only goes out once a season. It’s a little more work, but it gets the job done with little to no issues in most cases.

Gas Powered Augers

Gas-powered augers are great for anyone who plans on going ice fishing quite often. They work quickly and get the job done easily!

Pro Tips for Being a Beginner Ice Angler

Being ice anglers is not easy, most anglers will tell you this. You make sure to dress warmly, have all your gear ready, you go out on the ice, and then what?

When you are first starting off ice fishing it is important that if are going to use live bait that you learn how to rig up a proper rig for the bait. It will save you time in You have to get used to sub-freezing temperatures and bring a lot of patience with you.

Make sure to have a checklist for your gear so you don’t forget anything. It will make the trip out much easier if you have everything!

Don’t be afraid to ask experienced anglers questions about where good places are, what kind of bait is best, and how to use certain tools. Most ice fishing forums are filled with hundreds of experienced anglers who would be more than happy to help you out!

Final Thoughts on Ice Fishing Gear Checklist

Ice fishing is a fun and exciting sport! Make sure you have all your gear ready, dress warmly, and bring a friend if you’re going with someone. If you follow the checklist above, then you’ll be sure to have a great day on the ice!