Ice Rod

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First Time Ice Fishing Advice?

I have been fishing for a few years but I never ice fished. I want to start this winter and I have a few questions.

What is the essential gear? (please provide recommendations of any products)

What are the safety fundamentals?

What do you recommend for bait? (probably only going to catch panfish)

Any tips?

This question depends on where your Ice Fishing. In MN, WI, MI, ND you'll need a few items that guys further South wouldn't need.

Anyway, here is my "essential gear" list:

1. 8" Hand Auger or Gas Auger- The cheapest "entry level" auger would be a hand-driven auger, (they run about $60-$80).

Unfortunately, you won't be punching many holes with a hand-auger if the ice is over 1' thick. Why??? It's VERY taxing! My record for hole punching (in one day) with a HA is 10 holes, (1 1/2 FT ice).

And I definitely "felt it" the next day, (lol).

If you can afford to purchase a gas auger, (even a used one) it would benefit you greatly. However, if your in an area where your ice doesn't get beyond 1'- disregard- you'll be fine with an HA.

2. Vexilar- Can you go Ice Fishing without a Flasher unit? Sure. BUT, unless you absolutely KNOW the lake, (depths, drop-offs, shelf's, sunken islands, Etc) and how the fish "move" during the Winter you'll end up wasting a gob of time "looking" for the fish.

Realize- A Vexilar unit can shoot THROUGH the ice- showing lake depth and fish activity. If you end up having to purchase a Hand Auger this can be VITAL to how many holes you'll have to drill (and how soar your arms will be at the end of the day).

And, unfortunately, you can't use a liquid crystal Fishfinder like a Flasher- it doesn't work. A liquid crystal unit, (like a Humminbird or Eagle), just doesn't "update" fast enough to be successful. And it can't shoot through the ice worth a darn.

Some people would disagree that a Flasher should be on the "essential list" - but, "some people" may not be catching the same amount of fish. On a typical Ice fishing day (on a known lake) I will take home/catch at least 15-30 Bluegill, TOO many Perch and 2-6 Crappie. My success ratio is directly influenced by my electronics.

In other words, next to an auger, I believe a good Flasher unit is paramount to your success. Vexilar FL-8 Genz Pack- http://www.nextag.com/Vexilar-FL-8SE-Genz-686865720/prices-html

Do you "need" a Flasher? No. You can sit on some obligatory piece of ice waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, Etc. Realize- when it comes to Ice Fishing the difference between catching and fishing can be a matter of 10 yards or less.

3. 5 gallon Bucket with seat attachment- http://www.bucketsgonewild.com/Store-it-Bucket_Seat.html

4. Ugly Stik, Ice Rod- http://www.cabelas.com/rods-reels-tip-ups-shakespeare-ugly-stik-ice-rod-2.shtml

5. Pflueger, Micro Ice- http://www.cabelas.com/product/Pflueger-4410-Micro-Reel/738406.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch%2F%3FN%3D%26No%3D20%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3Dpflueger%26Ntx%3Dmode%252Bmatchallpartial%26WTz_l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All%2BProducts%26WTz_st%3D%26WTz_stype%3DSP%26form_state%3DsearchForm%26search%3Dpflueger%26searchTypeByFilter%3DAllProducts%26x%3D25%26y%3D13&Ntt=pflueger&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+Products#BVRRWidgetID Not a bad reel for $24.

6. Foam Bobber- http://www.cabelas.com/product/Wave-Buster-Slip-Bobbers/727421.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch%2F%3FN%3D%26No%3D20%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3Dbobber%26Ntx%3Dmode%252Bmatchallpartial%26WTz_l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All%2BProducts%26WTz_st%3D%26WTz_stype%3DSP%26form_state%3DsearchForm%26search%3Dbobber%26searchTypeByFilter%3DAllProducts%26x%3D19%26y%3D5&Ntt=bobber&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+Products

7. Power Pro, Braided line 4/15 (with a leader of 6-8LB Fluro)- http://www.basspro.com/PowerPro-Braided-Spectra-Fiber-Micro-Filament-Line-100150-Yards/product/44282/55116

8. A shelter of some kind, (either Clam or Eskimo)- If you live further South you won't need a shelter- just some good, (Ice Armor) wet weather gear.

However, many times, you'll want to go fishing and it's snowing or blowing like crazy. If your budget allows- a shelter is VERY handy for those types of poor weather days. The best part? With a shelter you can extend your fishing trip for many hours VS a handful- because your not freezin' your nuts off, (literally).

9. Buddy, Heater (with a low O2 sensor)- http://www.basspro.com/Mr--Heater-Portable-Buddy-Portable-Propane-Heater/product/10210207/112200

10. Bait/Lures/Jigs- Best "big fish" bait for Panfish would be a Crappie minnow, (or the smallest minnow you can find). The second best bait (for Panfish) would be a wax worm OR a meal worm. Waxy's and Meal Worms are so cheap you should be able to bring both, (minnows and waxy's/meals) when going on a trip.

Always try some Berkley Gulp Maggots too. They work esp well when the Bluegill/Perch are schooling.

You should have a variety of colored jigs in a variety of sizes. Green, black and red have always worked well for me.

Find Ice Rod On eBay Below:

Winter Special Ice Fishing Rod Tip Ups Quickset Automatic Hook Setter 3 for998
Winter Special Ice Fishing Rod Tip Ups Quickset Automatic Hook Setter 3 for998
$9.98
Fenwick Elite Tech Ice Spinning Rod  16  Light
Fenwick Elite Tech Ice Spinning Rod 16 Light
$39.95
Green Hornet ice fishing rod
Green Hornet ice fishing rod
$19.99
Portable Ice Winter fishing Rod Ultra Short Throw Fish Pole Hard SeaRaft TackJB
Portable Ice Winter fishing Rod Ultra Short Throw Fish Pole Hard SeaRaft TackJB
$3.70
Intrigue XL 30 Medium Action Ice Rod With Attached Spring Bobber
Intrigue XL 30 Medium Action Ice Rod With Attached Spring Bobber
$12.99
13 FISHING Widow Maker Ice Rod 27 UL WMTH27UL
13 FISHING Widow Maker Ice Rod 27 UL WMTH27UL
$63.24
13 FISHING Widow Maker Ice Rod 24 UL WMTH24UL
13 FISHING Widow Maker Ice Rod 24 UL WMTH24UL
$57.49
13 FISHING Widow Maker Ice Rod 25 L WMTH25L
13 FISHING Widow Maker Ice Rod 25 L WMTH25L
$57.49
13 FISHING Widow Maker Ice Rod 26 ML WMTH26ML
13 FISHING Widow Maker Ice Rod 26 ML WMTH26ML
$57.49
13 FISHING Widow Maker Ice Rod 28 M WMTH28M
13 FISHING Widow Maker Ice Rod 28 M WMTH28M
$57.49
ONE 3 Infrared Ice Rod 40 M I2 40M
ONE 3 Infrared Ice Rod 40 M I2 40M
$18.99
13 FISHING Widow Maker Ice Rod 38 L WMTH38L
13 FISHING Widow Maker Ice Rod 38 L WMTH38L
$68.99
Intrigue XL 24 Medium Action Ice Fishing Rod With Attached Spring Bobber
Intrigue XL 24 Medium Action Ice Fishing Rod With Attached Spring Bobber
$12.99
banner Ice Fishing Flag Compact Metal Pole Fishing Rod Tip Up Warning Safety
banner Ice Fishing Flag Compact Metal Pole Fishing Rod Tip Up Warning Safety
$2.97
Fenwick Elite Tech Ice Spinning Rod  27  M
Fenwick Elite Tech Ice Spinning Rod 27 M
$39.95
3 Daiwa Triforce 301 MRB Ultra Lite Ice Fishing Rod
3 Daiwa Triforce 301 MRB Ultra Lite Ice Fishing Rod
$25.00
Ice Fishing Rod for winter fishing IFR 1000 balalaika from Ukraine
Ice Fishing Rod for winter fishing IFR 1000 balalaika from Ukraine
$8.99
3 Ice Fishing Jiging Rods
3 Ice Fishing Jiging Rods
$9.95
2 24 Ice fishing rods and reelsHT Neon with reels see photos
2 24 Ice fishing rods and reelsHT Neon with reels see photos
$10.95
Lot Of 8 Ice Fishing Rods Used
Lot Of 8 Ice Fishing Rods Used
$24.99
2 24 Ice fishing rods and reels no with reels
2 24 Ice fishing rods and reels no with reels
$10.95
3 Ice Fishing Rods Unmarked with with two reels and one line holder
3 Ice Fishing Rods Unmarked with with two reels and one line holder
$9.45
Pair Of Shanti Stix 18 Light Action Ice Fishing Rods + Free Ice Jigs
Pair Of Shanti Stix 18 Light Action Ice Fishing Rods + Free Ice Jigs
$14.99
New Spinning Carbon Portable Combo Pen Pole Ice Fishing Rods Reels Retractable
New Spinning Carbon Portable Combo Pen Pole Ice Fishing Rods Reels Retractable
$2.30
Intrigue XL 27 Medium Light Action Ice Fishing Rod With Attached Spring Bobber
Intrigue XL 27 Medium Light Action Ice Fishing Rod With Attached Spring Bobber
$13.99
Winter Special Ice Fishing Rod Tip Ups Quickset Automatic Hook Setter 3 for998
Winter Special Ice Fishing Rod Tip Ups Quickset Automatic Hook Setter 3 for998
$9.98
Lot of 11 Vintage 9 Wood Handle Ice Fishing Rods Schooley
Lot of 11 Vintage 9 Wood Handle Ice Fishing Rods Schooley
$40.00
Dinghy Fishing Rod Tip Up Compact Metal Pole Ice Fishing Flag Warning Safety
Dinghy Fishing Rod Tip Up Compact Metal Pole Ice Fishing Flag Warning Safety
$3.15
Wood Handle Fiberglass 36 ice dock fishing rod
Wood Handle Fiberglass 36 ice dock fishing rod
$7.99
ICE FISHING EQUIPMENT RODS REEL 2 BEAR CREEK TIP UPS  NEW FILLET BOARD
ICE FISHING EQUIPMENT RODS REEL 2 BEAR CREEK TIP UPS NEW FILLET BOARD
$13.95
Portable Spinning Carbon Combo Pen Pole Reels Ice Fishing Rods Retractable
Portable Spinning Carbon Combo Pen Pole Reels Ice Fishing Rods Retractable
$2.48
15m Ultralight Telescopic Carbon Fiber Ice Fishing Rods Sea Rock Casting Pole
15m Ultralight Telescopic Carbon Fiber Ice Fishing Rods Sea Rock Casting Pole
$12.50


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