Ice fishermen are typically a hardy lot but most are not resistant to new ideas. Fishing supplies to make their day or night out on the ice less strenuous and more comfortable are popular with ice anglers. They always welcome upgrades on important basic gear. Modern technology offers easier ways to access fish, stay somewhat warm while on the ice, and eliminate the guesswork in finding the fish.
Ice fishermen use devices called tip-ups and jigging rods to catch every species from bluegill to northern pike and lake trout. However, without a way to make a hole in the ice, you can have all the modern gear in the world and be unable to access the water and the fish. Ice augers make this possible, with the manual auger the only option at one time. While manual augers work well under most circumstances, they require strength and technique to operate, and you will tire after drilling multiple holes. Gasoline and electric augers only require that you get them started. These tools do the work, chewing through ice quickly with little effort on your part. Gas-powered augers are heavier and harder to transport than manual augers, but make up for that by drilling 10-inch wide holes with ease. They allow you to make multiple holes in the ice in a fraction of the time necessary with a hand auger. Augers powered by rechargeable batteries are more eco-friendly and accomplish the same task.
Portable Ice Shelters
Protection from wind, cold and precipitation offered by portable ice shelters make them quite popular. The windbreak shelter gives you haven from strong winds, usually on two or three sides, but leaves you at the mercy of rain or snow from above. The collapsible ice shelter is much like a camping tent and gives one or two anglers refuge from the elements, setting up quickly with poles for a frame. The flip-over shelters have a sled base that serves as a foundation. This type has a very short setup time that makes it handy. Cabin-style ice shelters can accommodate more anglers. They feature a folding floor and poles supporting the sides and roof.
Rather than set up all their equipment and then hope fish are in the water below, many ice anglers depend on electronic fish finders. These portable units come in different styles, with a display screen to determine what is swimming below. According to the Bass Pro Shops website, it can take time to gain experience with a fish finder and understand the data it sends back. Many come with an instructional DVD to help with this dilemma. Fish finders can show you the fish location and depths, allowing you to devise a strategy to catch them.