6 Ice fishing accessories you need to pack

by Bob McGary | February 17, 2017

ice fishing accessories

Bigger isn’t better when it comes to ice fishing gear and accessories. A small container packed with these select items will help improve your success on the ice.

Dropper lure
Finicky fish will hit this teaser offering when normal jigging spoons don’t produce. Attach a short 12- to 16-inch lead of mono line to the split ring of a spoon. The treble on the spoon can be removed or left on.

The mono trailer should be about 12-pound test fluorocarbon. To the end of the dropper line attach a small 1/16 oz. jig, pearl, or bug. Panfish, trout, and whitefish will zero in on the attractor spoon and inhale the tiny trailing lure.

Ice floats
It can be challenging to detect a light bite when using live bait or dead sticking a small plastic jig. Wind and ice build-up on the line, combined with rod sensitivity, can be a negating factor.

Try using a small slip float with enough split shot to keep the float barely buoyant. Light hits will trigger the float, causing it to move under the surface. The teardrop style is a favourite. Always remember to keep ice from accumulating in the hole and on the float.

ice fishing accessories
LED glow lure chargers
It’s dark under the ice, which is likely why glow lures are a favourite of many winter anglers. Although sunlight can be used to recharge these lures, overcast days, sunset, and after-dark conditions can make that impossible. That’s when a small UV, LED charger such as the rod mounted Rapala Charge’n Glow is ideal.

Drop-shot hooks
Open water anglers effectively use these hooks for plastics and live bait. On ice, position the drop-shot hook a couple of feet above the main hook. This facilitates the use of two artificial or live-bait combos.

The drop-shot hook can also be used for deadsticking. All major hook manufacturers, including V.M.C., Gamakatsu, Owner, Mustard, Daiichi and others market these hooks.

Bite indicators
Many lakes in Ontario allow the use of two lines for each angler, but the secondary line, which may be positioned a few feet away, can be difficult to monitor. Attach a bite indicator to the end of the main rod tip so that even the slightest bite can be detected when using live bait or deadsticking. The indicator doesn’t interfere with fighting a fish since the main rod absorbs the impact. Manufacturers include the Rapala Titanium Spring Bobber and the HT LED Bobber.

ice fishing accessories
Stinger rig
When trout, walleye, or panfish strike a jigging lure fish often miss the hook. To improve hook-up, add a stinger to the split ring of the main hook.

The stinger rig consists of a fine wire line which has a treble hook at the terminal end. The wire prevents the stinger hook from tangling in the main hook. Manufacturers include Northland Tackle and Rapala.

Impale a minnow by the head on the treble hook of a jigging spoon and attach the stinger hook through the lower back. Some days all the short-hitting fish will be hooked on the stinger.

These six accessories are light and compact to carry. Mix and match these proven ice fishing techniques and the result will be greater success on even the most challenging days on the ice.

Get the pros and cons of pop-up & flip-style ice-fishing shelters in this video.

Sign up for our mailing list

indicates required
Email format


  1. Paddle Partner wrote: I use a Stinger rig when i go kayak camping. I love using my Kayaking app to when fishing