BlogDecember 2019

Ice Fishing Gifts You Can Feel Confident About

Ice Fishing Gifts You Can Feel Confident About

By Ken Schultz

Dec 05, 2019

Getting ice fishing gifts for someone is tricky unless you’re an accomplished ice angler, so read these broad-ranging suggestions about what to give, and not give.

So there’s an ice angler in your life, you’d like to get him or her a present related to that winter sport, and you need some ice fishing gift ideas. As a former ice fisherman (there’s no fishable ice where I now live), and someone who has often answered the fishing present ideas question, I have the following suggestions about ice fishing gifts — all things that you can feel confident with whether you know something about ice fishing or not.

Avoid Sport-Specific Gear.

Unless you’re an ice angler and know specifically what the recipient needs or wants, and what gear is and isn’t used in the recipient’s location, don’t try to guess what type of tackle he or she needs/can use.

Get a Sport Shop Gift Certificate.

It’s the easy way out of the ice fishing gifts problem. However, most avid anglers prefer to choose their own equipment (rod, reel, lures, etc.). A gift certificate from a local sports shop that stocks ice fishing supplies allows recipients to pick out what they want.

Get a Fishing License.

Not glamorous, but practical. And if the recipient is young, especially consider a lifetime resident fishing license, a gift that keeps giving for the recipient’s lifetime. It’s also a great way for them to remember you.

Keep Them Warm.

We’re talking innerwear, outerwear, gloves, and footwear, if they don’t already have what’s needed in this regard. You have to know sizes, of course, if you’re gifting actual merchandise, otherwise it’s gift certificate time. Also worthwhile as ice fishing gifts are hand warmers and toe warmers, and maybe heated socks or heated boot inserts. You can find a good selection of these items in ski shops.

Educate Them with a Book or DVD/Video.

Yes, this is old-school and you can find lots of instructional stuff on the web. But a local sport shop may carry something relevant along these lines. Especially look for a locally oriented fishing guidebook, which is helpful for year-round where-to/how-to fishing information.

Try a Fun Gift.

I’m thinking a mug, tee shirt, calendar, etc. — something to celebrate the fun of ice fishing and/or the sanity/hardiness/zeal of those who partake — a celebratory type of gift. After all, whether you intend to givee ice fishing gifts as a holiday or birthday present, it’s a time to celebrate.

For more inspiration, check out our Top 5 Unique Fishing Gift Ideas blog!

Happy Holidays!

Ken Schultz
Ken Schultz
Ken Schultz was a longtime staff writer for Field & Stream magazine and is the former Fishing Editor of He’s written and photographed nineteen books on sportfishing topics, plus an annual fishing tips calendar, and his writing has appeared on various websites for more than two decades. His author website is