7 Awesome Ice Fishing Accessories For 2017

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clam fishwell

This clever floating live well is constructed with nylon coated mesh and is almost three feet long by seven inches wide, allowing it to fit easily in one of any 8-inch you’ll be drilling throughout the day.  A foam ring at the top keeps it floating while your minnows and suckers swim happily protected from any potential hungry poachers.  The top velcros shut to take care of any leaping escape artists as well.  Also great to use as a reservoir to keep your catch of the day off the ice and as fresh as possible after your tip up alarm goes off.  Just open the durable side zipper when ready to admire and clean up those fat slabs.  With as small of a footprint as this gem will take up in your sled, it’s a great item to bring along.

zippo hand warmer

Say goodbye to those underachieving disposable hand warmers in the generic orange packaging.  Not only do these hand warmers get WARM, but they last a good 11 or 12 hours.  The best part is that they’re reusable over and over again, using lighter fluid to fuel a catalytic burner.

Very easy to get going, you just use a small plastic measuring cup which comes with the warmer to fill it with fluid.  If you only anticipate needing 6 hours-worth of heat, for example, you would just fill it half way up.  Put a flame to the catalytic element for a few seconds to get things going, replace the cap, stash it in the included cloth pouch, and you’re good to go.  Great to keep in a coat or pant pocket to thaw out your paws if you haven’t upgraded your glove game in a while.

One minute you’re living the good life, parked on top of a school of slab bluegills.  That flasher is already paying off…and then they’re gone.  Instead of picking a random direction to move and drill another hole try to find the fish again, use this genius little gadget to clue in on your next target.  Transducers for ice fishing flashers can only “see” a limited area of water straight down, but the Beam Bender lets you direct the transducer off to the side and track fish.  The Beam Bender “Arrow” attaches to the transducer cable above the water level to remind you which way it’s pointing.  Definitely a “why didn’t I think of that?” piece of cleverness.  Or maybe you have, but I guarantee this little guy does it better.

H.T. Bucket Seat Cover

If you don’t have the luxury of an ice fishing shelter with built in seats, no matter…bringing along a 5-gallon bucket in your sled is just darn right practical.  It may not be pretty, but this is one of my favorite items on the list and I won’t go ice fishing without it.  Now if the action’s hot and you’re reeling ’em in one after the other, you don’t care if you’re sitting, standing, or kneeling for that matter…but when the bite hits a lull and your rear starts aching – that’s when you’re going to want this seat cover.  Also nice to sit and relax watching for flags while you’re tip up fishing.

This bad boy is sturdy, fits snug, and feels like sitting on a cloud.  The cutaway front is nice for easy access to bucket contents too.  We also tested out the Frabill Strato Seat which is a solid alternative, especially if you prefer a bucket seat cover that snaps securely into place (trust me…it’s actually tough to get the thing off).  The Frabill seat is definitely durable as well, but we just preferred the thick padding on the H.T. Bucket Seat instead.

frabill tip up light

Do you like tip up fishing up until last light or at night?  There’s no point in staying out after dark to ice fish if you can barely see your flags.  If you’re going to invest the time to catch fish in low light conditions, I highly recommend you consider equipping each tip up with a tip up light AKA red flashing beacon of success.  If you’re skeptical, they’re cheap enough to at least get one tip up light to prove to yourself that they’re worth it before arming your entire tip-up fleet.

They have an easy to operate on-off toggle switch, a universal mount that will hook on to any tip up you may have, and they come with batteries included.  The orange color is a nice feature in itself to make them easy to find in the snow if ever misplaced.  Frabill also makes another version that’s a bit cheaper which runs on a single AAA battery.  This version of tip up light works well but can be a bit more finicky to get flashing at first.

Blue Tipz tip up alarm

Too lazy to stand up in your cushy ice fishing house to look out the window and see if a flag is up?  I suppose you’re in luck.  The Blue Tipz tip up alarm alerts you right on your cell phone when that chunky walleye takes the bait.  Nice range of up to 200 yards too. Just download the free app and you’re good to go.  As a bonus, the tip up alarm also has an indicator light to clue you in if standing in plain sight, or otherwise, to make it easier to find them in the dark.

Also offered in a two-pack which is usually a better deal.  They claim you can catch 600 fish before needing to change the battery…I’m not sure if it’s a reflection on my fishing skills or the product, but I haven’t had to change the battery yet.

frabill ice picks

This is going to sound a bit like a public service announcement, but it’s important.  I honestly hope you already have and bring along a set of ice picks with you whenever out on hardwater, especially if ice fishing by yourself.  In case you don’t already have a set, please take the opportunity to exercise some necessary caution.  Set an example for your kid, get an extra set for friends to carry, educate someone who asks what they are – they really can mean the difference.  It’s not falling/breaking through the ice that’s the issue.  Rather, it’s getting out, and getting out quickly.

So what makes Frabill Delux ice picks so great?  The bottom line is that they facilitate you actually being able to use them, and use them safely.  The long cord is meant to be strung through each arm of your jacket on the inside, leaving the picks dangling at the ready of each hand.  The clever retractable covers prevent any accidental injuries as well.

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