Ice Fishing Clothes

These are some basic items of ice fishing apparel to bring on your next ice fishing trip.

COMMON ICE FISHING APPAREL

  • Ice fishing suits. Perhaps the most popular choice of ice fishing clothing among die-hard, all-day ice anglers, as today’s ice fishing pants and jackets have several new features that increase angler safety without sacrificing warmth. In addition to being insulated, many are also windproof, waterproof, have breathable outer shells, quick-acting drainage systems and in some cases, are capable of floatation.
  • Layered clothing. Even if you don’t plan to stay out all day, ice fishing clothing that keeps you warm and dry is still important. Do not skip this step, even if you bring a heater. A moisture-wicking base layer, an insulated, wind-breaking middle layer, and a breathable outer shell are recommended. Changing weather conditions or a heater that quits working could end your day early if you aren't prepared.
  • Insulated boots. Wearing moisture-wicking liner socks under warm socks and good boots can keep you comfortable.
  • Scarf and hat. Keeping your head and ears warm will help you keep your whole body warm.

ICE FISHING GLOVES

It's also wise to invest in a good pair of gloves if you can. Like the suits, gloves have improved as well over the years. However, many anglers still choose between two basic types of fishing gloves.

  • 100% waterproof neoprene gloves are made of the same material used to make diving wet suits.
  • Water-resistant, mostly waterproof gloves made of materials like GoreTex or Thinsulate that usually include some portions of neoprene.

Both types of gloves have advantages and disadvantages. Neoprene gloves are somewhat stiff which makes handling small pieces of tackle somewhat difficult. They are also prone to punctures and tears. On the other hand, while water-resistant fabric-like gloves are more flexible, they are rarely 100% waterproof.

ADDITIONAL ICE FISHING GEAR

  • Ice cleats. These allow you to maintain traction, even on slick ice to keep your balance.
  • Ice safety picks. Wear safety picks (short plastic rods with medal picks) around your neck in case of an emergency. They are very useful if you fall in as you can quickly grab them to help you grip the ice.

Photo courtesy of Michigan Department of Natural Resources