Ice fishing is great way to get the family outside when the lakes are frozen. Here is a short list of
5 must haves to make your time on the ice more pleasant and more productive.
by Troy Letherman
Frabill I-Float Jacket and I-Bib
Staying warm, while remaining mobile, is of paramount importance to the Alaskan ice angler, and that makes this jacket and bibs set from Frabill extremely attractive. Combining the company’s signature ergonomic design and durable construction with additional features such as ice pick holsters in the bibs, this is outerwear built specifically for fishermen who refuse to stay indoors, even during the harshest winter days. But that’s not all—the I-Float Jacket and I-Bibs are the only ice-fishing suit on the market to be recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard as a USCG Certified Personal Floatation Device. Additional security features include mesh self-drainage openings for emergency water evacuation and high-visibility USCG Orange lining and garment accents for better detection when out in the elements.
Eagle Claw Shappell Jet Sled
As experienced ice anglers already know, you can’t have a productive day on the hard-water until you first get yourself and all of your gear to the lake. Enter the Jet Sled from Shappell; made with rugged polyethylene to absorb all the abuse you (and the unforgiving Alaska terrain) can throw at it, the sled also features molded runners for strength and stability on the ice. Optional hitches allow towing by an ATV or snowmobile for easier transport.
Muck Boot Woody Arctic Ice
Back to the issue of staying warm and comfortable on the ice, it’s always a good idea to have a pair of Muck Boots ready to go for your day’s adventure. Built for rugged, long-lasting outdoor performance, the Muck Woody Arctic Ice boots are lightweight and completely waterproof and boast 8mm CR flex-foam booties with four-way-stretch nylon for exceptional flexibility. The boots are also fleece lined for additional heat-trapping comfort, while offering cushioned EVA midsoles with ergonomic, contoured footbeds and calf-hugging stretch-fit bindings to seal in warmth and keep cold out. Double-reinforced insteps, heels and Achilles provide durable, long-lasting wear and aggressive Vibram Arctic Grip outsoles produce stability and all-terrain traction on wet and cold surfaces. Rated to -60 degrees Fahrenheit, these are undoubtedly the boots you need for this winter on the ice.
Eskimo Shark Z71 10-inch Gas Ice Auger
The powerful Shark Z71 features a 71cc Viper two-cycle engine specially designed for Eskimo ice augers. With high torque and RPM, you’ll have a Viper engine that overpowers the competition but remains easy to start and operate. From top to bottom, the Shark Z71 has the strength you need on the ice, making it perfect for big, lonely Alaska lakes where you’ll want to drill large hole patterns to increase your odds of dialing-in to the best fishing grounds.
Frabill Ice Hunter Series Rod/Reel Combos
Now that you’ve gotten to the water with all your gear, and you’re properly dressed for a day on the ice, it’s time to fish. You’ll need the right tools to do it, and for Alaska’s hardcore ice-fishing aficionados we recommend the Ice Hunter series of rod-and-reel combos from Frabill. Developed in partnership with the company’s pro-staff anglers, this complete line of rod-and-reel combos is specifically designed to target individual species. Each technique-focused combo has been created, tested and proven by the best in the sport. For Alaska, we recommend the Ice Hunter 32-inch Medium Heavy Combo for predator fish such as pike or the 38-inch Medium Combo for big lakers. Among our other top choices, the Jeff Gustafson 32-inch Ice Rod Combo is designed specifically for large pike and is great because it has the sensitivity to feel the bite no matter how light it might be while also having the strength to muscle big fish. The Jeff Gustafson 38-inch Ice Rod Combo was designed for hunting down lake trout and pike in Canada and has been fine-tuned to have a nice action, so you can feel light bites but when the time comes, still set the hook with plenty of backbone. And finally, for the biggest of the big bruisers, the Jeff Gustafson 38-inch Heavy-Duty Ice Combo has everything you need to tame trophy pike and lakers.
Now just add an assortment of Little Cleo and Daredevle spoons to your box and get out there on the ice!