Ice Fishing Apparel to Keep You Comfortable in the Cold

It's winter season! Now is the time to enjoy ice fishing. But you can't enjoy fishing if you don't keep yourself warm and dry by wearing the right clothes. You could easily become cold or even get frostbite if you are not properly protected. Here are some clothing items you need for ice fishing.

Ice Cleats

You don't want to lose your balance on slippery ice, do you? Ice cleats are ideal for maintaining traction and keeping your balance on ice. These traction devices will make it easy to maneuver the terrain, especially if you are dragging a sled with you.

Insulated Boots

©Can Stock Photo | photomim ©Can Stock Photo | photomim

A good pair of boots is perfect for keeping your feet warm. Add some warm socks with liner socks underneath for extra comfort. The boot needs to be waterproof or features membrane technology to protect your feet from slush, lake water and snow. Wool socks are great for insulation against the cold, while moisture-wicking liner socks are necessary for keeping your feet dry.

Safety Picks

Bring along some ice safety picks and wear them around your neck. Safety picks are two plastic rods, each about the size of a small flashlight, that have metal picks at the end and are connected by a cord. If you fall into the water, you can grab the picks and use them to grip the ice and pull yourself to safety. Those with hardened steel spikes are great for grabbing the toughest ice.

Clothing in Layers

ice fishing Photo courtesy of Michigan Department of Natural Resources

It is essential for you to keep warm when ice fishing, and wearing layers of clothing is incredibly effective. The layers that are important are an outer shell that is protective, a base layer that breathes well and wicks moisture, and an insulated middle layer to keep you warm.  Avoid silk or cotton undergarments; they absorb and hold onto moisture, which can make your body temperature drop fast. Polyester or wool works best. The outer layer should be a waterproof  shell or down jacket.

Gloves, Hats and Scarves

You need to keep your neck, ears and hands warm. Sometimes one of these might get wet, so it's best if you bring extra supplies. You can get a pair of Neoprene gloves to protect your hands when you stick your hands into ice holes to retrieve fish. Fleece-lined caps are great for preventing heat loss through the head. A knit beanie and mittens also work well.

To stay warm and ensure that you have a good catch as an ice fisherman, you have to wear proper clothing. You need to protect your limbs and all other parts of your body from the cold. The clothing items also need to be waterproof, as well. Protective layered clothing, gloves, ice picks, insulated boots, hats and other items have to be worn. With all these clothing items, you are good to go.

To learn more about ice fishing, ice fishing gear, ice fishing techniques, and how to get a fishing license, visit

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posted by
Johana Reyes
Johana Reyes is the Digital Content Manager at Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF), a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating, and thereby improve public awareness and appreciation of the need to protect, conserve and restore this nation's aquatic natural resources. She maintains the digital assets in English and Spanish for and
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