Top 10 Gifts for the Ice Fishing Enthusiast by John Olson
Whether it’s Christmas, a birthday or any other gift giving occasion, finding a good gift for the ice fisherman in your life can be a challenge. For those that don’t venture on the ice, the equipment available can all look good or bad depending upon your viewpoint. This article is meant to help navigate the ice fishing equipment market to lead you to that perfect gift. If the ice fisherman in your life hasn’t upgraded their equipment in 5+ years then they are really missing out on some great advancements in the field designed for catching more fish, increasing mobility, and coupling it all with great comfort.
1) Ice Fishing Flasher
If the person you are shopping for does not have a flasher, any flasher is going to bring their ice fishing to the next level. A flasher is literally the best tool to help an ice angler catch more fish. Popular baseline models include the Vexilar FL-8 and the Marcum VX-1. If you want to go for the top of the line or the ice fisher in your life already has a baseline model head for the Marcum LX-5 or the Vexilar FL-20.
2) Ice Auger
Every ice angler needs a hole in the ice in order to fish. For the first timer a hand auger is a great way to start. Today’s models cut fast and hold their edge for a long time. Look to a model like the Strikemaster Lazer or the Nils Master auger. For an ice fisherman that has embraced the modern ice fishing mantra a gas powered auger allows for punching many holes in a short period of time.
3) Portable Ice House
The beauty of the modern portable ice fishing house is that they are lightweight so you can move them great distances with ease, set up in seconds and provide great protection from the elements. For the ice fisherman who enjoys both comfort and warmth, a portable ice shelter is the perfect gift. Popular models include the Fish Trap series by Clam, Otter products and Eskimo.
4) Ice Fishing Rod
In the past 10 years ice fishing rods have come a long way. Today’s models are designed especially for ice fishing and have backbones that allow for strength and proper loading, while not sacrificing feel. A popular baseline model is the Genz Stix designed by the ice fishing fore runner Dave Genz. For the top of the line feel there is the St. Croix Legend series which come standard with a top of the line spring bobber attached.
5) Portable Propane Heater
The ice fisherman in your life likely already has a sunflower or similar propane heater. While it probably still works fine, if you buy them a newer safer model all can rest assured that no problems will occur. Mr. Heater portable buddy and big buddy as well as Coleman’s line of catalytic propane heaters are indoor safe yet still pump out an impressive amount of heat.
6) Tip Up
Perfect for catching northern pike while you are fishing for other species a tip up is a must have for an ice fisherman. With ice fishing laws allowing for multiple lines the tip up is a great way to set a second line and have it signal you when a fish has taken the bait.
7) Glow Jigs
The advent of the glow jig has been a boon for ice anglers everywhere. These jigs emit light and lures fish closer to them because of it. At times these jigs greatly increase the probability of catching fish. Lindy has a large line of these jigs including the Genz bug and the Frostee jigging spoon.
8) Ice Cleats
Designed to give great traction when the ice gets slippery, ice cleats can be a God send on clear ice or ice that goes from stocky to slick.
9) Underwater Ice Fishing Camera
Nothing brings in view the underwater world a fish lives in better than the underwater ice fishing camera. Ice anglers can use these cameras to see how fish react to their presentation as well as how to fine tune the way your jig acts in the water.
10) Rod Case
Designed to protect the high cost ice fishing rods that top anglers prefer, it is also an easy way to transport ice fishing gear. Buy one of these to keep the high tech rod that your ice fisherman has purchased in the past.
So there you have it, a great list to find a great ice fishing gift for that special person in your life. Any of these gifts will be sure to bring a smile to their face.