Explore Brian Sticka's expert selection of the best ice fishing gear and equipment for a successful and enjoyable ice fishing experience.
Are you itching to get out on the ice this winter? Me too. I love fishing. That’s why I do it all year round. I love it so much, the folks at Fleet Farm hired me as their top fishing expert. My name’s Brian Sticka. I help fishing enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels find the equipment they need to improve their fishing experience. If you’re looking forward to putting out tip ups this year, I have some ice fishing gear that you might want to check out.
Eskimo Quickflip 1 Ice Fishing House
It’s no fun to be caught out in the cold. Don’t ice fish out in the elements, choose a high-quality ice shanty to keep you warm. The Eskimo Quickflip 1 Ice Fishing House is easy to transport and has double-walled hinge brackets that provide a sturdier structure in windy conditions.
Early in the year you have to move around a lot to find active fish. Having a shanty that’s easy to move around the ice helps you find hotspots on the lake with all the gear you need.
Lakes & Rivers 6-sided Insulated Ice Shack
The Lakes & Rivers 6-Sided Insulated Ice Shack is fully insulated to retain interior body heat and offers an 80-inch center height and 115 square feet of space inside for fishing. When fishing with my buddies or family, it’s nice to stay warm, have a lot of room to drill multiple holes and be all spread apart to cover more area.
Otter Pro Sleds
Bringing your gear with you isn’t always easy. Drag an Otter Pro Sled behind your truck or ATV to easily transport your heavy equipment to your fishing spot. Ice fishing can be rough on equipment. With different sizes and durable material, these sleds are ideal for your next ice fishing trip.
Ion Alpha Series Augers
Drilling holes for ice fishing can be a pain in the neck if you don’t have a hard-working auger. The ION Alpha Series Auger is lightweight and can cut through 3.4 inches of ice per second. It’s lightweight, it doesn’t need extra fuel so your truck doesn’t smell of gas all day, plus, it cuts through ice like a pro.
The K-Drill Auger has a unique three-blade design that can chip through fresh ice and frozen ice holes in a flash. Its sturdy aluminum design offers a thermal technology to keep your hands warm. These augers are quiet and effective, so you don’t spook the fish and can move from hole to hole with ease.
Humminbird Ice H9 MSI+ GPS G4N MEGA LIVE
Tracking fish under the ice is a key advantage to your fishing success. This fish finder uses sonar technology so you can see where fish are below the ice. You can see how fish react to your jigging and see where you should move to have a better chance at a catch.
13 Fishing Freefall Ghost Combo
If you’re looking for a new rod this winter, look no further than the 13 Fishing Freefall Ghost Combo. This rod is one of my favorites for fishing and catching larger panfish. The straight-line presentation to the fish versus a curled line is more effective and more sensitive to the point you really don’t need a spring or traditional bobber. I truly believe we catch bigger fish because of this.
Lindy Slick Jigs
Trying out some new jigs can give you an edge on the ice. Lindy Slick Jigs are a great choice for its weight-forward design, allowing it to swim away from the hole, covering a wider area than normal ice jigs, and giving it some excellent action. This jig is great for bluegill, crappie, perch, and trout.
Check out our “goby” colors that work extremely well with whitefish and walleye. Find some zebra mussels and bang the bottom with this bait and hang on!
Beaver Dam 60th Anniversary Tip Up
It’s not just a tip up, it’s a tradition. Choose the tip ups that are made by the folks who have ice fishing in their blood. This anniversary tip up commemorates sixty years of high-caliber craftsmanship with its legendary Beaver Dam® Smooth-Spool Technology and Freezeproof Grease to ensure that even the most finicky fish won’t drop the bait, helping you put more fish on the ice. See how this tip up can take your ice fishing experience to the next level.
Rapala R12 Heavy Duty Lithium Filet Knife
Before you fry up your fish, you’re going to need a high-quality filet knife for the finest cuts. I recommend the Rapala R12 Heavy Duty Lithium Filet Knife. It’s battery-powered, can run for 80 minutes, and has an LED light for nighttime cleaning.
30-qt Live Bait Cooler w/ Net
Don’t forget to grab some bait before you go fishing. Keeping your bait lively while you fish can make a big difference between a good day and a bad day of fishing. I recommend the 30-qt Live Bait Cooler for fishing trips when a lot of live bait is required. This bait cooler holds up to 30 quarts, or 7.5 gallons of water and weighs 11 pounds. I like to use minnows for fishing for northern pike with tip ups, and this cooler can hold a whole school of them for your next fishing trip.
Mr. Heater Buddy FLEX Heater
It’s okay to admit it. It can be a little chilly on the ice. That’s why you should pack a heater with you to keep you and your pals warm while you wait for the flags to go up. The Mr. Heater Buddy FLEX heater is great for heating enclosed areas in extreme winter temperatures. It has a 180-degree spread so everyone can keep warm, plus advanced safety systems to warn about low oxygen and a thermal shutdown system to keep you safe.
Yaktrax Chain Cleats
Slipping on the ice is a real hazard when fishing. The Yaktrax Chain Cleats can help prevent injuries on the ice with its ladder design for heel to toe traction. Its natural rubber sling remains elastic and secure in sub-zero temperatures. What used to be in the bottom of my ice bucket is now a requirement on the bottom of my ice boots. A fall running for tip ups or carrying an ice auger is dangerous at any age.
If you’re looking for another pair of winter boots, Lacrosse has a wide selection to choose from. Hailing from the Midwest since 1897, these boots are made with generations of experience making great footwear. A big reason to stop fishing is if your feet get cold. These quality boots keep your feet warm and help you catch fish by being able to fish longer. I also wear mine in the boat for fall and early spring fishing trips, so they have year-round value.
Striker Jackets and Bibs
You need to dress in layers while you’re fishing this winter. When fishing in subzero temperatures, I recommend Striker jackets and bibs. They’re designed to retain heat in the harshest conditions. More ice fishermen are catching on to the fact that a good ice suit is crucial to being able to travel to distant ice spots and be able to fight the elements longer.
These picks are essential for your next ice fishing excursion. I hope you and your fishing buddies have fun out there. You can find more ice fishing gear all in one stop at your local Fleet Farm or at FleetFarm.com.