What To Bring For An Ice Fishing Adventure🎣
There’s still great fishing to be had during the wintertime!
The ice fishing season provides fantastic angling opportunities in Prince Edward County. You can get out on the hard water with minimal equipment, or gear up with handy items that make for a more comfortable experience.
Image & Words by: Ashley Rae | SheLovesToFish.com
I’ve created a list of equipment I like to bring along during my ice fishing adventures, including safety items that all anglers should have.
Because ice fishing can involve a mixture of activity and sitting still for long periods, it’s important to wear the right clothing.
Dressing in layers and avoiding cotton will make for a warmer and more comfortable experience. Moisture-wicking base layers made of materials such as merino wool or polypropylene pull away sweat and moisture, keeping you dry and therefore warmer during less active periods.
Waterproof insulated boots, a warm pair of waterproof gloves and a fleece-lined toque will also help keep the warmth in.
In addition to dressing right, it’s a good idea to wear a floatation suit. Ice picks should also be part of your attire as they can be used to pull oneself back onto the ice in the event of breaking through.
Safety is always a priority when it comes to being out on the ice especially on the Bay of Quinte where current is present. A spud or an ice chisel is a long, heavy metal bar with a sharp edge designed to help check ice thickness by chipping a hole.
By checking the ice thickness a step ahead, this can help detect thinner ice that is too unstable to walk on.
There are many auger options on the market nowadays from manual hand augers, to gas-powered and electric.
When thicker ice is present, a power auger makes the job of cutting holes much easier. Always ensure the auger blades are good and sharp.
I also like to bring along an ice scoop to keep the ice holes clear of ice chunks or slush so that I can jig my lures properly, and not run into any drama when bringing a fish up through the hole.
Cleats come in handy not only for walking around with ease on glare ice but they also help to prevent slipping when drilling holes.
There are a variety of options when it comes to ice shelters ranging from homemade huts, to one-person flip-overs, to pop-up shelters with space for the whole family.
Ice shelters are certainly optional but it’s nice to be able to get out of the elements on a cold winter day.
On the cooler days I prefer fishing in comfort inside my shelter with my propane heater running. Always ensure there’s ventilation when using propane heaters inside shelters.
The Bay of Quinte offers ice fishing opportunities for a variety of species including: walleye, northern pike, yellow perch, and black crappie along with some alternate species. Be sure to refer to the Ontario fishing regulations before heading out on the ice so that you’ll know which species are in season and what the limits are.
Recommended tackle and equipment varies depending on the species you’re after.
Refer to one of the region’s fishing tackle retailers to find out what works well in the area.
Food and water
Lastly, it’s important to stay hydrated and keep energy levels up while out on the hard water as this will also aid in keeping warm. I like to bring along granola bars, a sandwich or a bagel, and lots of water. I’ll often wrap my sandwich in tinfoil and heat it up on my propane heater. Additionally, a thermos filled with coffee or hot chocolate seems to taste better while consumed out on the ice.
I hope you have a safe and successful ice fishing season!