An important thing for anglers to take into account is to know all about ice fishing and the necessary equipment. Like all other fishing equipment that is different from each other to catch bass, ice fishing gear for bass is different from freshwater fishing. I always take care of my tackle box whenever I plan to hunt the fish from the frozen lake. Being an angler, I prefer to make sure that the thickness of ice is about four inches. The reason for making this check is to ensure the safety measure before using any basic fishing gear. I would like to cover all the essential fishing gear that will make ice fishing for bass easier.
Ice Fishing Rod – Important for all Beginners
Anglers who are at their start or novice at ice fishing should have complete knowledge to keep the ice fishing rods in their tackle box. I am using a standard fishing rod of about 28 inches with fast action containing sensitivity and strength. I have not only used this medium jigging rod for bass but also it works out for Panfish, Perch, Walleye, whitefish, and trout. You may also experience some smaller fish like Northern Pike and lake trout.
There is no universal rod to use in the ice fishing rod but choosing a rod that can give you a more precise fishing experience will be a better one. The rod’s power and length should be taken into account for that purpose which leads to the common classification of the ice rods.
The type of ice rods that are divided according to the power is given below;
If I talk about ice rods for bass the medium and medium-heavy rods are useful to catch them. In the case of bass fishing, as per my experience, I mainly prefer using a medium-heavy rod which is the best option. You may also use a medium-light spinning rod which is good for landing bigger fish.
Ice Fishing Reel – Important Ice Fishing Gear
Most anglers think that choosing the best ice rod will make them able to catch bass on ice. But this doesn’t happen always. I have used my best rod in ice fishing but failed once just because of a proper fishing reel. Therefore, if you want to avoid such a situation you must keep a proper fishing reel in your gearbox to land big bass. Another thing that you can choose to catch bass is the use of a stick with an appropriate hook but it cannot be possible without the use of a fishing reel.
Therefore let us explore which fishing reels can be suitable to catch ice fish. The thing you want to check in a good fishing reel is its durability. The next thing is to take into account the reel size which is considered good if you take about 500 – 1000. The reason for choosing such an appropriate reel for ice fishing is that you can easily adjust and tune them easily. If you are going to use the spinning reel, I will appreciate your decision as they are considered to be the most versatile one in each situation.
Make some primary distinctions between the spinning reels and inline reels that will make you take a proper decision about which one is good. The major difference that I consider is the alignment of the spool on the rod and the way the line emerges on it. If you are using a smaller rod to catch fish in ice, you must buy a smaller reel that would surely help you. The reel size for a spinning reel with an ultra-light model is about 1000-2500 and is the best one for beginners.
Ice Fishing Lines – Three Line Options as Ice Fishing Gear
Like all other fishing conditions it is important to have the best fishing line, ice fishing gear also needs to have the best fishing line. All fishermen are familiar with the three choices fluorocarbon, braid, and monofilament. You can use all these fishing lines in different fishing conditions but there is something that manufacturers have made common in them. This common property mainly leads to the fact that they can work in sub-zero temperatures.
Braid – Low Memory Fishing Line
Braid is most commonly known as the low-memory fishing line with zero stretch, sensitivity, and good abrasion resistance. The best fishing conditions to use the braid fishing lines is the temperature which should be above 20 degrees Fahrenheit. However, due to the most fishing experience, I would not recommend using these fishing reels in clear transparent water.
While targeting bass on ice, what thing do you have to check for the ice fishing needs? I mainly prefer to check out the line’s visibility. The use of braid fishing lines for ice fishing bass can be appropriate if you see the benefits like high sensitivity and low visibility. But each fisherman should take a few factors into account. These things include water clarity, fish behavior, and the potential leader usage to modify your strategy.
Monofilament – Low visibility Fishing Line
The best feature of choosing a monofilament fishing line is to use them throughout the day without freezing them. The only fishing line that provides low visibility water which is beneficial to catch bass in clear ice fishing conditions. The use of such low visible lines will help anglers to enhance the chance of getting a bite. The malleability of monofilament fishing lines is another crucial aspect to keep in mind.
When compared to other fishing lines like braid and Fluorocarbon, the monofilament fishing line is relatively flexible. This flexibility allows the line to have better manageability and reduced memory. Other parameters which I consider while using the monofilament fishing line contains strength and diameter. Selecting a fishing line with adequate strength in the range of 8 to 12 pounds to catch bass is good. If you are choosing a line with a thin diameter you will get better sensitivity. But in this instance, ensure that there is enough power.
Fluorocarbon – A component of Successful Ice Fishing Set up
Using a fluorocarbon line in clear water conditions when the bass is fussy, you may get a catch. Another thing that is considerable is the line strength which should be between 6-10 pounds. These line tests are specifically made to catch bass. In order to check the minor changes in the underwater environment and the small bites the Fluorocarbon fishing line provides a good sensitivity.
Keep in mind while going for ice fishing you are going to expose your fishing kit to extreme weather conditions. Therefore, you have to choose such a fluorocarbon line that doesn’t have the capability to stiffen or crack in extreme weather conditions. Another important factor includes the Knot strength, it would be beneficial to tie knots properly. It will help you to maintain the line’s strength and prevent it from breaking and slipping.
Ice Fishing Lures – Best Options to Target Most Gamefish
Both live bait and artificial bait options are available for anglers to be used as ice fishing lures to target the most game fish. I mainly prefer to use live bait but I will mention that it is very difficult to keep a live bait alive to catch a target. When talking about bass there are many options that can be effective and efficient to catch bass in ice.
Whether you are targeting smallmouth bass or largemouth bass in ice, they accept small lures in winter. In the case of small lures, I would say that micro jigs, bucktail jigs, glide baits, and soft plastics would be the most productive.
The commonly used lures to catch bass in ice and are added to the ice fishing gear are discussed below.
Brief Overview of Ice Lures to Catch Bass
- Inline Spinners – The use of small inline spinners to catch bass is quite good like Mepps or Panther Martin through ice. The reason is simple as the float and vibration produced by the rotating blade might awaken a bass’s aggressive impulses.
- Jig Heads with Soft Plastic Lures – If you prefer to use jig heads combining them with the soft plastic lures is an efficient way to catch bass. The use of grubs, twister tails, and smaller creature bites will also be helpful when used with different colors and sizes works best.
- Lipless Crankbaits – Lipless crankbaits are well-known for extremely tight wobbling action and vibrating motion. To hunt bass, they can simulate hurt baitfish and make a lot of vibrations and sounds. Choose smaller sizes that are appropriate for ice fishing.
More ice fishing lures to catch bass that can help you include swimbaits, jigging Rapala, and Jigging Spoons. Jigging spoons also have a wobbling action when they are jigged up and down. This action trigger bass to strike the bait. To entice bass under the ice by using swimbaits I would suggest you choose small soft plastic swim baits. Moreover, Ice anglers use jigging rapala to target bass. Such lures use a minnow-like profile and darting action when they are jigged. So using them can be productive to attract aggressive bass.
Ice Augers – Essential Tool in Ice Fishing Gear
Putting the ice augers to hunt any fish in ice is very important for ice anglers. These are the specialized tools designed to pierce the ice with holes so that fishermen can access the water below and fish through it. Ice augers are designed particularly to address the difficulties presented by dense ice and cold weather. It is important to make proper drill holes to access points for dropping lines. Furthermore, they make it easier for anglers to do ice setup and retrieve caught fish.
There are two types of ice augers used as target ice fishing gear given below;
- Manual Auger – Physical Effort to drill Holes
The manual augers require physical effort to drill holes consisting of a shaft with a cutting head at the bottom and a handle at the top. The main thing is to know how the anglers have to use manual augers. The anglers have to rotate the handle to cut through ice manually. When compared to power augers, manual augers are often lightweight, transportable, and quiet. They are appropriate for fishermen that like a more conventional and easy-to-maintain style of ice fishing.
- Power Auger – Equipped with motor
If you don’t want a manual auger, you can use a power auger that uses a motor that can be run on petrol, electricity, or battery. The use of such augers will not let the anglers utilize their physical power to drill the holes. If you are dealing with denser ice and want to drill holes in a quick way this is the efficient method to use. They are perfect for fishermen who frequently fish in locations with solid ice or who need to quickly drill several holes.
Wrapping it up!
I have covered all the essential equipment to take into the ice fishing gear to catch bass. If I talk about more fishing equipment that would be helpful in ice fishing, then a list would come up. This list includes ice scoops for ice fishing, Tip-ups, Terminal Tackle, Ice shelter, and portable heater. However, the ice fishing gadgets discussed in the article play a vital role. Besides ice fishing, I would recommend you to go fly fishing too along with the best fly rods this summer to enjoy more fishing adventures.