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Old 10-20-2017, 04:20 PM
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Default Ice Fishing Minimum Requirements

Soooo... never ice fished, never wanted to. Now I'm thinking it would be nice to not have to put away the hunting/fishing activities for, oh, 5 months that there is snow and ice around here.

I'm not going to rush out and buy a tent, power auger, fancy electronics, sled and something to pull it with, other specialized equipment... at least not all at once right off the bat. What do you consider the "minimum" to have a positive experience and catch a few fish in the first winter? I've got warm clothes and soft water rods and fishing tackle, but nothing else. I'll be honest, not crazy about the idea of drilling 20 holes manually. I'm oooooold. LOL

oh, also, I'm not crazy about driving my truck onto the ice (no experience and it makes me nervous), so I guess I do need some way to get any gear out there. Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Old 10-20-2017, 04:24 PM
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35 whelen 35 whelen is offline
 
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First thing would be a hand auger and a Pull sleigh or a quad

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Old 10-20-2017, 04:49 PM
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All you need is an auger, rods/reels if it is nice out. Sled if walking on, chair if you like to sit. Flasher or camera gives you a big advantage and also makes it a lot more enjoyable if fishing is slow. Tent and heater are only important on cold days so if you want to fish every weekend they are necessary imo but if you are willing to settle for every once in a while when the weather is nice can do without.

I had everything but sold it all this year. If I decide to get back into it what I would buy would depend on who I plan on fishing with. If a buddy has a tent and auger all I would probably get is a flasher but if I was on my own or taking someone without gear I would be getting everything again as I find it more enjoyable.

Key is to buy stuff used and on sale. Then when you go to sell it you don't lose much.
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Old 10-20-2017, 04:54 PM
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You can definitely be out there and fishing with a hand auger, but if you were going to make one big purchase then a power auger would be the one. We'll have 3 feet of ice most places here and it ain't fun hole hopping when you're drilling by hand. A smaller hand auger (6" as opposed to 8") will be easier to crank

If you're looking for an ice rod you might be tempted to get a combo rod/reel but make sure you read as many reviews as you can, because a lot of the reels on those things are crap and you end up buying a new one anyhow. I just pull the smaller ones off of my summer rods

If you don't want to buy a sled to pull around you can get a 5 gallon bucket to carry everything in, works just fine and it doubles as a seat.

Since you already have lures (and a small tackle box I assume) then a short list could be: auger, ice rod, bucket, ice scoop, and you'll be fine
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Old 10-20-2017, 04:57 PM
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Default All you really need

You can get out with nothing but a hand auger and a rod and catch some fish through the ice!

Smelts or minnows where they are allowed and lures like spoons and jigs with plastics will get you on fish and are probably the most affordable.

You'll be restricted to warm days and get tired of hand drilling holes real quick but it'll get you rolling.

Although I'd recommend a tent or shelter with some form of heating. That will make the experience a lot more enjoyable on anything but a nice, sunny day.
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Old 10-20-2017, 05:01 PM
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Minimum - is a buddy with all the #$&@ for icefishing
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Old 10-20-2017, 05:20 PM
calgarygringo calgarygringo is offline
 
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Second that. There are enough ice fishermen on this forum with all the gear you are really not sure about I am sure someone would love to have some extra company for a few trips to figure it out. Get a couple ice rods and put your summer reels on them some warm clothes bait and see if you like.
If you do then sled, tent, good heater, chair, auger, electronics and you can fish as in summer.
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Old 10-20-2017, 07:32 PM
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You seem like a nice young man for the most part.

I suggest you try to hook up with an experienced guy with the gear. You could invest in a rod/reel or two. I wouldn't get too carried away with tackle until you talk to your new mentor.

If you want to stretch hunting season . you may want to consider calling predators. It can get the adrenalin flowing pretty quickly.
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Old 10-20-2017, 07:47 PM
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You are not a young guy anymore. Tent, power auger, sled, and flasher. You will have time of your life. So much fun. So if you sell it you lose $500, but you gained knowledge and had an experience. Some guys waste that on booze each month. Have fun. You only live once, Oki.

If you were up here, you would be welcome to come with my group anytime.

Last edited by sns2; 10-20-2017 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 10-20-2017, 08:25 PM
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All you truly need is a hand auger, ice scoop, chunk of wood with line on it ( I cant honestly say the last time I actually realed my rod in while ice fishing. I just pull the line up as I hold the line in my fingers for greater sensitivity). You already have tackle from your summer fishing and other then that a chair or bucket. Bucket is handy as you can put your gear in it and carry it out. So no sled is really needed either. Just pack light.

I used a beach umbrella on the ice for years to just block the wind from my back and sat on a chair or bucket leaning over the hole.
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Old 10-20-2017, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sns2 View Post
You are not a young guy anymore. Tent, power auger, sled, and flasher. You will have time of your life. So much fun. So if you sell it you lose $500, but you gained knowledge and had an experience. Some guys waste that on booze each month. Have fun. You only live once, Oki.

If you were up here, you would be welcome to come with my group anytime.
Agreed ..... lot's of groups of AO'ers up here with enough gear that it becomes a real event some weekends. Worth looking some members up if you venture this way this winter.

You just bring your rod and a couple hooks and enjoy the day.

There is something special about getting a few groups of people out to a lake, firing up the coffee pot and BBQ and finding the weakest one to pick on.

Just don't be the guy who doesn't ice a fish ..... some of these guys are real bullies ....

Or don't step into a hole hip deep like I did ..... lol ..... darn 10" holes !!!! I looked like a one legged man sitting on the ice there as I was laughing (and in pain) yelling for rescue !!!!!
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Old 10-20-2017, 08:43 PM
huntsfurfish huntsfurfish is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sns2 View Post
You are not a young guy anymore. Tent, power auger, sled, and flasher. You will have time of your life. So much fun. So if you sell it you lose $500, but you gained knowledge and had an experience. Some guys waste that on booze each month. Have fun. You only live once, Oki.

If you were up here, you would be welcome to come with my group anytime.
I agree.

And I could be tricked into taking you out Oko. Have everything you would need. Could meet up at Travers or Chain lakes or something.

Have extra cameras, sonars, tents, rods, reels, line, gas auger, electric auger. That way you can see what you like too. Up to you.
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Old 10-20-2017, 09:23 PM
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my minimum is

- auger
- ice scoop
- ice fishing rods and just take the reels off your soft water stuff
- jigs
- bait

it can all fit in a backpack, with you carrying the auger
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Old 10-20-2017, 09:52 PM
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Rod lockers, an auger, and ice scoop are my basic kit. Everything else can be found in your regular gear.
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Old 10-20-2017, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sns2 View Post
You are not a young guy anymore. Tent, power auger, sled, and flasher. You will have time of your life. So much fun. So if you sell it you lose $500, but you gained knowledge and had an experience. Some guys waste that on booze each month. Have fun. You only live once, Oki.

If you were up here, you would be welcome to come with my group anytime.
I agree, get your own gear, you can come and go as you like and don't have to rely on others. It is always nice to go ice fishing with others and I almost always do but with my own gear it is much easier for me to go when I have the opportunity. The gear listed would be a great start.
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Old 10-21-2017, 06:43 AM
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Default Company is key

I've got it all. Tent, augers, sled, sonar, you name it. Pails of rods and lures galore. What I don't have- and this is the most important component- is a partner or two that want to fish in winter.

We are too far away from a good lake to make a journey just to stand on the ice alone. I can do it with the boat (when there are plenty of anglers willing to come aboard) or wading a stream, but the long timers around here stay home or go to Arizona all winter. There is something tragic about a lone ranger frozen to the pond, wrapped in layers of wool and drinking alone, jigging for perch. Pike are not fish.

The other thing is the squatter's rights assigned to those funny fellers in the little shanty towns. They claim an area of about 300sq.ft. on all sides and are pretty particular who they will let on their patch as a nomad. Leastways around here.

What you want to try is one of those 5000 participant derbies like Jackfish Lake north of Battleford. What a gong show those are; and fun.

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Old 10-21-2017, 08:11 AM
SNAPFisher SNAPFisher is offline
 
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You are getting some great advice on here Oki for getting started.

I'm glad EZM mentioned the social aspect. It really is. I don't know if it if just me but some grumpy people aside, I usually shake more hands, B.S. and talk to more people ice fishing than open water fishing. And, others seem more open to it too...especially when fishing is slow in an area

That said, I also greatly value the days where I'm watching a huge white circle and circle my hook and there is no one around to even know it. If you like quiet days with less people, you can easily find that as well.

Like open water season, I now look forwards to ice fishing season as much. Always feels like more at the time like now but pretty equal. No more missing fishing for 5 months for me.

I hope you do it and I hope if you get to appreciate it.
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Old 10-21-2017, 08:14 AM
PerchBuster PerchBuster is offline
 
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Instead of just a hand auger or big expensive power auger at first consider one of the auger units you can get nowadays that attach to a good 20V cordless drill. Clam and some others have them and they are a good alternative especially first 1/3 of the season when you are dealing with only up to 12" or so of ice. Hand augering really sucks and is enough to make you want to give up on ice fishing!
You will get more holes cut, able to move around and experiment better giving you more opportunities to be successful. You don't even necessarily need a rod. I used straight spools of line and hand lined for years.
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Old 10-21-2017, 08:32 AM
slamilton slamilton is offline
 
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I second the cordless drill option. As long as your drill is decent quality and the auger is relatively sharp you will have no problem and it sure beats doing it manually. I was easily drilling 10 holes per day thru over 2 feet of ice last year. Start with the basic gear and add more as you find you enjoy it.
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Old 10-21-2017, 08:41 AM
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Some of those cordless drill augers are just about as much as a power auger.

The basic things have all been mentioned, but I would add a tip up in there to. I caught lots of fish with a tip up! Keep and eye open for sales. My brother bought a power auger at Canadian tire last year for $150ish, its not the best kind but it does work good


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Old 10-21-2017, 09:06 AM
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Hand auger, ladle, snow pants, tackle, rod, blanket, plastic jug and a sled. Walk on the ice with your gear in tow. Dead stick a line from the jug. Lay under the blanket, snow pants and winter gear on and jig away. U can tatally hear the jug being pulled to the hole when u are jigging. That's my old methodsd in my younger years. Now I take way to much crap...not as fun as its a lot of work. Simple is nice.
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Old 10-21-2017, 10:50 AM
PerchBuster PerchBuster is offline
 
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Don't forget a good pair of needle nose pliers, spreaders to help remove hooks on Pike and Walleye, Fluorocarbon Leader, and some method to be able to quickly check your depth manually or digitally.
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Old 10-21-2017, 12:13 PM
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I just started ice fishing 2 years ago. The first year i just went out with buddies who had everything and learned from them. Then last year, decided that i loved it so much i bit the bullet and bought everything for myself (except the flasher). Hence this year comes the flasher. The biggest thing i hate is relaying on someone so that's why i bought my own stuff. I can go when and where i want, and also take buddies along that can't afford the toys. If and when my wife gives me grief about buying fishing toys, i tell her that she buys make up/clothes and i don't say a word so don't say anything when i buy my toys lol.
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Old 10-21-2017, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Okotokian View Post
I'm not going to rush out and buy a tent, power auger, fancy electronics, sled and something to pull it with, other specialized equipment... at least not all at once right off the bat.
Of course your not....
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  #25  
Old 10-21-2017, 10:03 PM
TylerThomson TylerThomson is offline
 
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Absolute minimum is a chisel, line and hook. Bait helps to. Ive caught fish while out of town working and getting an unexpected day off with the above on a lake I've never fished before with the only difference being my brother and I got a cheap hand auger rather than as chisel.

If you stick to fishing warmer days you can usually reopen holes from the day before with a swift kick.

Everything else is a bonus. It depends on the level of comfort you want and your budget really. I started with pretty much the above and now have enough stuff to outfit a small village lol. Even with all the electronics and tents and fancy rods and reels you'll still have slow days. Keep an eye on kijiji and get what you can a piece at a time. If it's something you enjoy I doubt you'll ever have enough "stuff"
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Old 10-22-2017, 05:34 AM
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I have always kept an 8 folding hand auger, slush scoop, a few 1x 2x 1/4 plywood sticks with concaved ends wrapped with monofilament, a roll of orange flagging tape and a 36 ice rod with spinning reel for jigging in a plastic sleigh I can pull out behind me. Mother nature sometimes provides a nice soft bendable branch for my set lines although I always have a few 1/2x36 wood dowels and a roll of stove pipe wire to make set line holders with. And I have a couple of the polar tip ups as well.
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calgarygringo View Post
There are enough ice fishermen on this forum with all the gear you are really not sure about I am sure someone would love to have some extra company for a few trips to figure it out..

Yeah... it would have to be a really new member. Someone who hasn't read many of my posts.

Thanks for all the suggestions guys!
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:59 PM
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Awe, your not THAT bad.

But seriously or back to topic what sort of fish would turn your crank. Do you want to go after big pike or would fishing trout from Chain lake be just fine. to a certain extent it will force some decisions a 6" hole is typically easy enough to hand bomb and 8" and bigger get annoying fast when you cut them by hand.

IIRC you already fish so it's pretty likely you will like ice fishing as long as you can stay comfortable.
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  #29  
Old 10-25-2017, 08:25 PM
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6 hand auger or less with sharp blade and its very fast to make a couple holes. I have bought 2 ice rods and made 5 more out of old broken rods and just put any reel I have on them. You can even hand line if you dont want to do it even more basic. Ive also used a full length rod. Basically can catch fish with what you can carry onto the ice with your 2 hands. Done it for years and slowly worked my way to needing a sled (which I built) to carry everything out.
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Old 10-25-2017, 10:18 PM
Isopod Isopod is offline
 
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The one thing I haven't seen anyone mention yet is a pair of really warm boots, especially if you don't have a tent. Standing out on the ice all day will chill your feet like you wouldn't believe. I use a pair of Sorrels rated to -100F and they are good for a whole day on the ice. If you don't have or don't purchase really warm boots, then get a battery-heated insole, or in a pinch use those foot-warmer packs.
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