By Dave Brown
Ice fishing can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it's important to take the necessary precautions to stay safe while you're out on the ice. Make sure you check the thickness of the ice before venturing out, dress in warm clothes and bring along a safety kit. And most importantly, never go ice fishing alone!
What to Wear while Ice Fishing
When ice fishing, it's important to dress in warm clothes to keep you comfortable. Layers are a good option, as they will help you stay warm without being too bulky. Some other things to consider when dressing for ice fishing include:
- A Hat: A good hat will help keep your head and ears warm.
- Gloves: Gloves will keep your hands warm and protect them from the cold weather.
- Boots: Boots with a good grip are essential for staying safe on the ice.
- Warm Coat: A coat that is waterproof and windproof will keep you warm and dry in even the harshest conditions.
- Bibs or Warm Waterproof Pants: A good set up bibs or ice suit is a must. Preferably something waterproof and windproof. This helps keep you warm on especially cold and moist days.
How to Check the Ice Thickness
Before heading out onto the ice, it's important to check the thickness of the ice to make sure it is safe. You can do this by using an ice auger to drill into the ice or by checking for cracks or open water. The general rule of thumb is that you should never venture onto ice that is less than 4 inches thick.
In addition to dressing appropriately, it's also important to bring along a safety kit. This should include a first aid kit, a whistle, and some kind of flotation device in case you do break through the ice. Having these items on hand can help you stay safe if something unexpected happens.
Here is the short Tune-Up Tuesday video all about Ice Safety and a few great tips for your next adventure.
What Fishing Tackle Should I bring for my day on the Ice
Ice fishing tackle can vary depending on what type of fish you are targeting. However, there are some basic pieces of tackle that every ice fisherman should have:
- An Ice Fishing Rod: A light and short rod is ideal for catching panfish and trout. But they can also be powerful for walleye, bass and lake trout as well. If you are targeting larger fish, you may want to bump up the action of your rod just a bit. Okuma has a full lineup of Ice Fishing Rods with names like Trio Pro, Cold Water and ICX
- A Spinning Reel: A spinning reel is perfect for tackling smaller fish. In general, you will want something small. Something like the Okuma Ceymar 500 or 1000 size spinning reels work perfectly for ice fishing. Lightweight and perfectly balanced on your rod.
- Artificial Lures: Artificial lures can be used to catch a variety of different fish. Jigs, Flies, Vertical Jigs and swimbaits are very popular on the ice. One of the most popular vertical jigs for 2023 is the FishLab Bio-Minnow Vertical Jig.
- Bait: Live bait can be used to catch larger fish such as bass and pike, but dead bait can work just as well. But if you have the option, always go live.
- Tackle Box: A good tackle box will keep your gear organized and easy to access.
Ice fishing can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it's important to take the necessary precautions to stay safe while you're out on the ice. Make sure you check the thickness of the ice before venturing out, dress in warm clothes and bring along a safety kit. And most importantly, never go ice fishing alone! With the right knowledge, preparation, and safety measures in place, you'll be able to have a successful day of ice fishing. Good luck and happy fishing!
Check out the full lineup of Okuma Ice Fishing gear HERE at Okuma Fishing USA.