Ice Up: Adding to your Ice Fishing Tackle Box
As ice up is inching in, it might be time to add a few things to your box to make sure you are ready for the season. Ice fishing tackle doesn’t usually require much if you are a live bait fisherman, just a tip up and some bait, but if you are planning to actively fish, you can add a few products to your box that might help you land some major lakers, walleye, or panfish this year.
As ice fishing in the North Woods goes, much of the locations, tackle, and gear has been passed down through generations of knowledgeable family fisherman. You might have your grandads’ spoons, your uncles old sled, and box of retired tip-ups that still do the job, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your hands on a few new or updated items and give them a try.
Livingston Lures has come full circle from their bass series, now to a more Northwoods relatable Predator series featuring a full line of musky lures, but some aren’t aware of they carry a few great additions to your tackle box for ice fishing as well. Livingston makes a few new additions that might add a little flare to your ice fishing style. Livingston Ice Caller is a unique suspension sound system that can be lowered into your ice hole, producing bait fish sounds to bring in larger fish toward your live bait rig. They also make a mini version called the bullet, that can be attached above your leader for a similar affect. Sound emitting lures are always a bonus to call in fish from further away.
There are several lipless style cranks that also make great ice fishing jigs. Look for the Livingston Pro Ripper Magnum and Rapala Rippin’ Rap if you like to try jigging some cranks. For a lively jig that drives the larger predators wild, try rigging up your favorite color of 3.5” Gitzit Tube with a VMC Tube Jig head. These smaller tubes deliver a lot of movement in the water to get the fish stirred up. Every time it dives and jigs up, the skirt opens and creates quite a commotion, but just be ready for a big hookset.
Most people have them already, but if you are new to ice fishing, throw a few extra spoons in your tackle box this season and don’t be scared to add a tracer tail. Spoons add great flash and variation to your box when sometimes nothing else seems to work. They come in all sizes and shapes for all types of targets and really deliver in a pinch. Williams Whitefish Spoons are currently a favorite, but there are so many brands to choose from and fish won’t know the difference. Give a little side to side tick to your spoon to peak a predator’s interest.
Of course, as normal, there are a multitude of baits to get your hands on this year, but it never hurts to try some favorites to see if they work for you. The best part of ice fishing is the lures are a little easier on your wallet than muskie lures, so try a few and see what works in your neck of the woods. Reach out to us with any great success stories.