This little bait container has a genius design to make grabbing shiners to re-rig your tip-ups or rods a breeze. No chasing minnows with a scoop or your hand in a cold bucket required. Perfect for the ice fisherman on the move, the Bait Up can either be a supplement or replacement for a traditional bait bucket. It comes with a lanyard for easy carrying. We recommend the more versatile, larger version, the Bait Up 35 (holds 35oz of water). Just flip the jar over and unscrew the lid and the floating basket inside rises up out of the water allowing you to easily grab a minnow.
Although you are freed from having to use an aerator, this bait container does require you to change the water periodically to keep bait alive. This is easy to do – just unscrew the jar from the other side and dunk underwater. No lost minnows. In our experience, the water should be changed about once an hour to keep a dozen minnows lively. Alternatively, you can keep it submerged in a cut hole. This jar can hold over 2 dozen minnows easily.
Can be used in the off-season as well if you fish out of a kayak, wading streams, or anywhere. If it doesn’t quite make sense, check out this video to see the Bait Up in action.
I know what you’re thinking…a 5-gallon bucket? Here me out. I got one of these for Christmas this year and thought it was a bit overkill at first, but now I absolutely love this thing. And I’m not the only one. The Yeti LoadOut Bucket took home the ‘Best Boating Accessory’ award recently at ICAST 2017. Find the highlights here.
This is a “buy it for life” bucket. If you have other Yeti products, you know that the quality is top notch. This bucket has a 300lb capacity. Handle is comfortable to carry with foam padding. It has a rubber grip on the bottom to prevent it from slipping or moving. Slots on the sides allow you to easily use straps to tie down in the back of your four-wheeler or truck. Yeti even sells a kit for this. It is available in different colors as well. And if you have multiple Yeti buckets, they don’t vaporlock when you try to pull apart stacked buckets. It’s a minor thing, but that suction effect when trying to separate 5-gallon buckets is just annoying.
If you’ve ever used an underwater camera, you know that cord management can be a real pain. Your hands get cold…you get inpatient and frustrated trying to untangle and rewrap the camera cord. Although the Aqua-Vu camera is a gem in itself, the reason we’re including it in this list is because of the new camera reel system that it includes. This nifty little addition barely adds any bulk to the camera at all, but makes a HUGE difference for camera deployment and retrieval. Again, a seemingly minor thing, but it is such a game changer. As far as the camera goes, we like the Pro version for the ability to record video and view water temperature.
Once your clothes get wet out in the cold, its game over. That’s why we recommend investing in some quality ice fishing boots and gloves that will help keep you dry, but sometimes gear inevitably gets wet. If you have a power source in your ice fishing shanty or if you need to get your gear dried out quickly back at home in preparation for the next day, the DryGuy DX is an awesome tool to have at your disposal.
This model lets you dry up to four garments at once. It gets hot enough to dry out your gear in 1 or 2 hours at the most, but not hot enough to burn or ruin glove/boot liners. The extension tubes are great for tall boots that many anglers wear. For a more in depth testing/review, I found this YouTube video review to be helpful. My experience has been that for damp or slightly wet gear, it only takes about 30-45 minutes to dry out.