Summer Travel Promo: Get 20% OFF Lodging When Booked Online. Enter Promo Code "Summer" at Checkout.

Essential Ice Fishing Gear: Getting Ready for the Season

Essential Ice Fishing Gear

It’s back! The long awaited ice fishing season is back and we have a few helpful tips to get ready before venturing out onto the lake. Making sure you have the essential ice fishing gear will make sure your first trip of the year is just as successful as the rest. So, let’s get ready for ice fishing Minnesota!

What’s in Your Tackle Box?

Essential Ice Fishing GearFirst and foremost, you always want to dust off your tackle box and crack it open to see what you have. Make sure all of your previous ice fishing lures, lines, and poles are in good working condition. Checking for dry or cracked lures will make sure you don’t get onto the ice and figure out that your best lure will no longer hold up. Lines can also get dry and weak over time, so making sure all of your line is still holding strong will avoid losing that monster catch before you can get it through the hole. 

Try a Few of These Ice Fishing Lures 

Every year, there seems to be a “hot new lure” that hits the market. A lot of the time, this is another way to get people to buy something that’s still around with a minor change and different packaging. Here are a few lures that have proven themselves time and time again that every angler should have in with their essential ice fishing gear. 


Rattlers are some of the most effective lures for snagging the attention of walleyes. These fish are HUGE on movement and noise. The Rip n Rap has been one of the best lures for ice fishing walleyes for a few years now. They have bright colors and eyes to replicate a walleye’s natural prey, they make noise and vibration, and are easy to create movement to catch their attention. The Acme Hyper Rattle is also a fantastic option. 

Essential Ice Fishing GearSpoons: 

Spoons are great for their versatility. These can easily be used throughout most seasons as they draw in a few different species of fish. These flashy little lures reflect light and are shaped to create the natural movement of a fish. Some may be a little squirrely if you are inexperienced at the jigging motion, but once you get the movement down, they are undeniably effective. 


Jigs are an absolute classic for ice fishing. They come in a wide variety of shapes and colors. Lure companies have been taking the original technology of these handy little lures to base many of their newer material. You can often find jigs that have both bright eyes and little rattles to create an all-around lure that can basically do it all. The Acme Rattling Google Eye Tungsten Jig has been making waves. 

You can also check out a few of the lures suggested by Angling Buzz to add some more variety to your tackle box. No matter what ice fishing lures you prefer, it’s always a good idea to have a variety on hand. If one isn’t working, chances are a different one will. 

What Should You Bring – Ice Fishing Gear List 

Aside from the obvious essential ice fishing gear, there are a few things that you will want to have on hand for cold weather fishing gear that will keep you warm and completely prepared for your fishing adventure. So, what should you get for gear beyond what goes into your tackle box? Well, there are a few things, including clothing, to add to your ice fishing gear list.


When it comes to packing for a trip out into cold weather, layering is going to be your best friend. You can add or remove layers as the temperature fluctuate, but you want to be careful of the materials that you choose. Materials like wool, neoprene, and polyester are going to be your best options. Try to avoid cotton as it traps in the moisture and dries slowly. You don’t want to be stuck in frigid temperatures with wet clothing. 


Gloves can be an essential ice fishing gear addition, and making sure you have the right gloves can make all the difference. When ice fishing, you are often handling a lot of wet elements. Gloves like the OZERO Winter Thermal gloves that are water resistant, wind resistant, and not too thick so that you can still handle the smaller detailed tasks like rigging up your lines. 


Ice fishing is an activity that you won’t want to do in a pair of Crocs or Jordans. You might be able to get away with it once you get into your ice castle, but anything outside is going to be rough if you don’t have adequate footwear. Have a pair of boots that are insulated, waterproof, and have good tread is something that will make staying on the ice far more comfortable. 


For the angler that wants to try multitasking or doesn’t want to hang onto their pole the entire time they are out, tip-ups are a game changer. These handy contraptions will sit over your hole with a flag that lets you know when you have a bite. There are older and newer versions available at just about every outdoors store that offers fishing gear and they all do pretty well. 

Essential Ice Fishing GearCameras/sonar:

When open water fishing, sonar is something most will use to track fish because boats never really stay still, even when anchored. Ice fishing gives you more of an advantage as far as the ability to use cameras to see what’s going on below the ice. You can drop a camera to use along with your sonar device and see in real time what is swimming around your lure. This allows you to jig when you need to and save your bait for the fish you actually want to catch. It makes it that much more interesting than dropping your line and hoping for the best. 

Essential Ice Fishing Gear and Ice Fishing Minnesota

Obviously you don’t need every single thing that we talked about, but for avid anglers that are hitting the ice every chance they get, they typically don’t leave the house without them. When it comes to ice fishing, being comfortable in frigid temperatures and having the correct gear could make or break your trip, so being fully prepared is important. One essential ice fishing gear detail that you won’t have to worry about with River Bend Resort is a place to stay and fish. We have ice houses, sleeper houses, and actual ice castles to rent so you don’t have to worry about where you are going to stay or drilling holes. We’ll handle it for you. All you have to do is show up and have a good time. Lake of the Woods ice fishing is here, are you ready?


Discounts - Specials - News - Big Fish & More

Keep up with what's happening around the resort!

Including fishing information, Miles Lab Bar & Grill specials, and hot spots on where all the fish are hangin' out!