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Must have ice tackle/gear?


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If you havnt noticed, this is my first year of full fledge ice fishing. I've dont the occasional fish with a buddy, work fishing contest, and the like, but nothing really on my own. I'm really looking forward to trying it out this year.

Anyways.. I've got a cheapo rod/reel combo that I picked up from Gander mountain a few years ago. For tackle, I really dont have much at all. So, suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

Oh, I've got the Shelter, Vexilar and hand auger so for as well.

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Must have ice tackle...

You are going to need a variety of horizontal and vertical jigs for panfish...

Horizontal jigs: I like to use JR's Tackle Ice Minnows and Pumkinseeds, Custom Jigs and Spins Ratso's and Rat Finkees, Systems Tackles Genz Bugs, just to name a few. Red glow is a good choice for color, and I would pick sizes between 12 and 8 and that will cover a variety of situations and species.

For vertical jigs I like Custom Jigs and Spins Shrimpos, Nuclear Powered Ants and Two-Spots, Systems Tackle Pounders, JR's Tackle Moonglows, just to name a few.

You might also want to pick up some jigging spoons. Jigging spoons can be used for most species and are a very effective lure during the winter. JR's Tackle Flashers and Crushers, Scenic Tackle Angel Eyes, Custom Jigs and Spins Slender Spoons, Acme Kastermasters, Sweedish Pimples, just to name a few. I carry sizes anywhere from 1/16oz to 1/2oz.

I would also carry a variety of different sized hooks too.

Split-shot is also needed.

For bobbers/floats I would go with the Ice Buster Bobbers by Todays Tackle. These bobbers are made with foam and can be cut down to balance with any presentation. A very good choice for panfish, perch, walleye...

A lot of options out there...

Good Fishin,

Matt Johnson

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First off welcome to the world of ice fishing...Its a great sport, that you can take as seriously as you would like. You have a great start with the flasher and auger and house... But you want an assortment of lures. Which is going to depend on the species you are after. I suggest you look at the lures that this web pages sells.. FM has put togeather a ton of great lures that are tried and work well for fishing in this state.


From there I suggest you try and make it to a few of the FishingMinnesota Get togeathers and maybe a IceLeaders event. There you will be able to see and maybe even try a few of the things other people use to decide what you may also want to buy. Thats how most of the things I have bought have gone, I see someone else using it and think.. thats slick, got to have that for myself!

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Tip ups, for placing away from your shelter. Nice way to pick up a bonus pike or cover water while your fishing out of your shelter.

Quick strike rigs - for your tip ups.

Heater - I use the paulin heater/cooker.

Ice Scoop

Radio for listening to da gofers.

Matt gave a great overview of lures, one other suggestion might be to pick up a few minnow shaped baits like the jigging shad rap.

Rod holder

5 gallon buckets - bring a couple extra garbage bags and TP for portable toilet. Just make sure your buddy lights a match before you go back in the shelter. The garbage bags come in handy for picking up garbage, yours and the slobs you'll encounter on the ice. Plus, you have extra seats. The 5 gallon bucket is very valuable.


Something to hold live bait. The new lindy grub holder looks sweet.

Ice cleats so you don't slip on the ice

Ice anchors to keep your house down in early season.

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I would add a lantern also for a little night fishing. propane lanterns also give off quite a bit of heat. I also got one of the small lights that clip on the brim of a hat. They work well for tying knots, or setting tip-ups in the dark. I would also highly recommend a GPS.

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As said earlier you can take this as serious as your wallet will allow. I've been ice fishing since I was still in diapers and I've gone from one end of the spectrum to the other.

As a youngun, we'd go out with a chisel and some line tied to a stick. Minnows on bare hooks, couple split shots and a bobber, and the 5 gallon pail you sat on made a great rod carrier.

Now I'm lazy, and a little better off money wise. When I go out in the portable I have a couple rod/reel combos, small box with different hooks and jigs, sunflower heater, radio, 12-er of beverages, and some beef jerky.

Be careful, once you're on the ice you will become addicted. I personally feel this is a good thing. After a few times on the ice you will realize what you want/need and go from there.

Welcome to the wonderful world of staring down a hole!!!!

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I can't believe no one has mentioned Angel Eye Jr lures. I would also include some electronics. I just purchased a Vex-18 and a Marcum VS500, so needless to say I can't wait to use them.

Within the next month we should hopefully be on the lakes, can't wait!


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Primary winter fish are, Eyes, Pike, Crappies. OK Sunnies to if you're into that. So get gear um geared towards your primary fish.

You'll want a rod/reel combo with 4lb med to med-light action for jigging. Then a bobber rod/reel to start off. You'll buy more as the years go on. Tip ups as mentioned and Matt went off on what's all out there. Print that out so you know when you go.

I can't wait. Looks to be pretty chilly next week! Still have a ways to go though. I'm getting a new Otter house this year! Woo Hoo! Is it Dec yet?

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Oh forgot to mention Ice Picks. Incase you fall in these will help pull you out. Haven't used mine - YET! Some also wear a life jacket to. Early ice is what I'm talking about. Hand auger, make sure you have real sharp blades that helps a ton.

OK GPS, 4 wheeler, aqua-view helps to grin.gif

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