Ice fishing clothes and safety gear
Proper clothes and a simple safety kit are key to a successful and comfortable day of ice fishing. The best way to avoid trouble is to have ice fishing gear that keeps you warm, safe, and able to survive an emergency.
Checklist for the best ice fishing clothes
Ice fishing clothes protect you from the elements so you can focus on catching fish. Winter weather conditions and temperatures on the lake can change rapidly. The following gear needs to be part of your ice fishing kit before heading out on the ice.
Wear thermal underwear as the first layer and then add wool or flannel followed by a water-proof winter coat and pants. An ice fishing suit keeps you warm and comfortable out on the lake. Consider a two-piece combination of jacket and snow pants to provide more flexibility.
Pack a change of clothes. In the event that you get wet you will have something warm and dry to wear home. Changing won’t be fun but the short-term cold is bette than hours spent soaking wet.
A wool or neoprene hat is essential to minimize critical heat loss and protect your ears. Spend the extra money on high quality head gear. Cheap hats might be OK for a jog in the park, but you need the good stuff to stay warm on the ice.
The reflection of the sun off the snow and ice can be very harmful to your eyes. Good sun glasses are important, if not essential, when ice fishing for long days in sunny conditions. As with the other ice fishing clothing, it is worth splurging on quality.
Sun screen and sun block for skin protection
Wear sunblock on all parts of your body that may be exposed to the sun and wind. Cheeks, lips, ears, and nose are all at risk. Frostbite and sunburn make a bad combination.
Insulated waterproof winter boots are essential for spending a day on the ice. Do not tie your boots too tightly. It is important to keep blood circulating freely. Frostbite can occur quickly so don’t take risks with your footwear.
Wool socks and wool mittens
Wool socks are the best choice to keep your feet comfortable. In the event your feet get wet the wool can still keep them warm.
Mittens work better than gloves. There is a trade off for dexterity, so you have to make a call. Some people wear both to have the flexibility when needed.
Buy the best winter gloves you can find. Cold fingers are not only uncomfortable, but the numbness can also cause you to lose a fish.
Face mask and scarf
A good face mask helps protect you against the cold, especially when ice fishing on windy days. A scarf also protects against frostbite. You don’t need a big bulky scarf, just something to cover the exposed neck area above the top of the coat zipper.
Hand warmers and feet warmers
Despite all the warm clothes you might need some extra help to stay comfortable on a long day of ice fishing. Hand warmers and feet warmers are probably the best ice fishing clothing investments.
Ice Fishing Safety Gear
Falling through the ice is every ice fisherman’s nightmare. Safety gear needs to be apart of the ice fishing equipment kit
Need More Ice Fishing Information?
Go to the Ice Fishing Equipment For Beginners page to see all the gear you need to get started ice fishing.
Go to the Ice Fishing Techniques page to find out how to catch perch, crappie, walleye, whitefish, pike and trout.
Go to the How To Read The Ice page to learn about safe and dangerous ice conditions.