Gearing Up For Ice Fishing
Gearing up for your next Lake of the Woods ice fishing trip? Ice fishing on Lake of the Woods means different things to different anglers. For some, it means waking up in the morning at a resort with a nice breakfast, boarding heated ice transportation and being shuttled to a fish house strategically placed with the holes drilled and thermostat set at 70 degrees. For others, it means driving out on an ice road or firing up the snowmobile and going about it on your own. Whatever you choice, there are a lot of innovations when it comes to ice fishing gear.
Any leg-up you can get on the ice is beneficial. Whether its upgrades in safety gear, new methods of staying warm and dry, electronics upgrades, and lures designed to get those walleyes to eat, here’s just a few of the new products on the market for this coming ice fishing season. Yep, there are certainly more, but we thought these might get you thinking ice fishing!
Ice fishing suits offer the angler a simple and functional way to stay warm while out in the elements. Various companies offer cutting edge ice fishing clothing. Warm, flexible, padded knees for kneeling by the hole, large pockets for cell phones and now, even forms of flotation.
Clam’s Ascent Float Parka and Bibs
- Safe, breathable float garment
- Maximum flexibility and mobility for the angler
- Exceptional warmth and breathability
- 300D waterproof/windproof/breathable shell
- Removable and wearable fleece liner
- Rapid drainage system
- Available in size Small to 5XL
- Green and orange available up to 3XL
- Waterproof cell phone pocket
Frabill’s I-Float Jacket and Bib
- USCG Certified Personal Flotation Device and Comes With Ice Picks With Holsters
- Both Bibs and Jacket Have Mesh Self-drainage Openings For Emergency Water Evacuation
- Jacket Has A Collapsible Hood and Hand Warmer Pockets
- Both Bibs and Jacket Are Water and Windproof
- Bibs Have Ergonomically With Designed Knees Durable Cordura on Heavy Wear Points
Ice Fishing Electronics
Electronics have become a staple for ice fishing. There are a number of great options out there that will not only make your ice fishing more productive, but also more entertaining. Having an easy way to tell depth, whether there are fish below you and just as importantly, how they are reacting to your lures is a huge advantage in icing more fish. Vexilar, Marcum, Hummingbird, Garmin, Lowrance and Aqua-Vu are just a few names in the marketplace.
Marcum M-Series Flashers
- The most advanced line of flasher-sonar ever built
- TrueColor Patented MBC Brushless Lighting Display
- 1000W Peak-to-Peak output power
- 20° ice transducer
- 2″ target separation
- Patented Multiple Step Interference Rejection
- Split-screen 5′ Bottom Lock Zoom
- Selectable Depth Ranges: 20′, 40′, 80′, 160′
- Includes 8′ transducer cable, rechargeable 12V 7A battery, 3-stage automatic battery charger, and deluxe padded red soft carrying pack
Aqua-Vu Micro 5.0 Revolution Underwater Camera System
- A unique underwater camera system, refined for the best fishing views ever
- Industry-exclusive, patent-pending Revolution Camera Reel System
- Effortless deployment and retrieval of underwater camera
- Adjustable IR lighting
- Removable fin and camera position clips
- Great for virtually any fishing setting, even ice fishing, and open waters
- Built-in 60′ ruggedized cable with depth indicator
- Enhanced, brighter, 5″, high-resolution, IP67-rated waterproof LCD screen
- Sunshield screen protector
- RCA Video Out
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery with on-screen indicator
Rods, reels and line.
Gone are the days of sitting on a bucket with a jiggle stick with curled mono or black tip up line. Today’s ice fishing rods, reels and line offer perfectly balanced rigs with the perfect amount of backbone and sensitivity based on what type of fish being targeted along with what type of baits being fished. New technology in line creates no stretch and water repellent technology preventing the line from freezing. Here are just a few new offerings for this year.
ONE 3 Hybrid Comfort Grip Combo
- Lightweight graphite body and rotor
- Aluminum Spool
- 2 ball bearings
- Instant anti-reverse
- Soft Touch handle knob
- Solid fiberglass blank
- Stainless steel guides with polished inserts
- Evolve Hybrid Comfort Grip handle
Fishing Black Betty Freefall
- Durable aluminum construction
- Evolve smooth cork drag System
- Evolve micro-click drag knob
- Left or right hand retrieve fender
Suffix 832 Advanced Ice Braid
- UNBEATABLE STRENGTH Most durable small diameter ice braid available
- HYDROPHOBIC Water-repellant protection to reduce freezing
- ABRASION RESISTANT GORE® Performance Fiber adds incredible fray and abrasion resistance for durability
Ice Fishing Lures.
With ice fishing as one of the most rapid growing segments of fishing in the northern portions of the U.S., lures specifically designed for ice fishing have continued to expand. Colors, action, vibration, rattles, glow colors, glow lights in the lures, tungsten. Let’s just say anglers have more options than ever. Remember, it still takes the angler to make these lures effective! Some of these look like they will be awesome for the stained water walleyes and saugers of Lake of the Woods.
Rapala Slab Rap
- Gives ice anglers a lure that will hang-up less.
- Slow-falling action, this lipless crankbait is intended to stay in the strike zone longer.
- It can be fished around rock, vegetation, and every other conceivable type of structure.
Lindy Glow Spoon
- Glow sticks are replaceable and can be purchased in handy three-pack refills
- Unique action drives predators to strike
- Tungsten rattles attract gamefish from a distance
Northland Glo-Shot Jig
- Features luminescent glo-shot stick
- Single hook design perfect for deadsticking
- Lead free construction for better swimming action
Portable Ice Shelters
I wish they had technology and easy to use portable ice shelters like this when I was a kid sitting on a five gallon pail in the open elements. Innovation and technology has really changed the game when it comes to portable shelters. For a relatively small investment compared to a boat, anglers can have a shelter, ice auger, perhaps a flasher and basic ice fishing tackle and be in the game and very effective.
Clam Warrior X Thermal Ice Shelter
- Warm, comfortable instant-setting shelter
- Lightweight 2-person flipover design
- All-gray plastic tub for best visibility
- 900-total-denier fabric construction
- Thermal fabric on the roof
- Holds heat in, reduces condensation
- 1-1/4″ diameter poles with RPSX system
- Bench seat system
- Auger mounts behind the seat
- Includes travel cover
Eskimo Outbreak 450I
- More Fishable Area
- Durable Materials
- Removable Window Panels
- In-Skirt Grommets
- Deluxe Tie Down Kit
The forecast on Lake of the Woods for the upcoming ice fishing season is excellent. As this fall has shown, the lake is full of walleyes and saugers, some of which are absolute trophies. With a consistent layer of ice through the winter, on average, resorts typically get houses on the ice around December 10th, give or take of course based on temps, weather and good ice.
The ice fishing season on Lake of the Woods is extended. Fish houses in other parts of the state must be off in February. At Lake of the Woods, however, fish houses are allowed on the ice through the month of March. In addition, the walleye season stays open through April 14th and the pike season never closes. This allows for not only excellent ice fishing opportunities, but an extended ice fishing season compared to much of the state. There are some advantages to being border waters and being up north.
Ice fishing is nearly upon us. Be safe, work through a resort, stay on the resort marked ice roads and trails and get out and enjoy this most beloved outdoor activity called ice fishing!