Ice Fishing Tackle

You only need a basic list of ice fishing tackle to get started ice fishing. While the ice fishing tackle kit or ice fishing gear you use will depend on the species you plan to catch, it won't take long to assemble the gear you need.

Starter Ice Fishing Tackle Kit

Ice fishing can be a fun way to spend a winter day outdoors with your family. Fishing through the ice can be an exciting new challenge if you enjoy catching freshwater species using different techniques. You can put together a simple ice fishing tackle kit and start catching fish through the ice in no time. However, before you head to your first ice fishing spot, always remember to review ice fishing safety tips and guidelines.

To start fishing through the ice, you don't need much tackle or gear. You can use this sample list of four ice fishing tackle basics.

Ice Rod & Reel Combo

The type of ice rod and reel combo you use should depend on the species you want to catch. For example, panfish rods are usually ultralight rods that average between 22 and 28 inches. Medium to heavy rods that average from 28 to 34 inches are a better fit for walleye or pike. Most rods and reels combos consist of a spinning reel paired with a carbon fiber blank that offers a high level of durability and sensitivity.

Fishing Line

You can start with an ice fishing line of 2 to 6-pound monofilament fishing line for most panfish species. The exception to this would be if you want to target larger species, such as walleye or pike. If you plan to target larger species, then you may want to go up to 10 or 12-pound test.

Natural Bait

One of the easiest ways to entice fish into biting during the winter months is to use natural baits. Waxworms, spikes, grubs or minnows are all good natural baits to try. These baits can be rigged on a jig or on a small hook around a #12 to #10 size depending on the size of the bait.

Ice Fishing Jigs

Hair jigs, spoon jigs, and baitfish imitating jigs are just a few of different types of jigs that can be added to your ice fishing tackle bag. If you are wondering about the best ice fishing tackle or lures, jigs rank at the top of the list. Experiment by varying the speed and type of jigging motion you use until you start getting bites.

To learn more about ice fishing techniques visit our next section.