I like most of you primarily fishing out of portable ice houses. Every once in a while though, it’s nice to just show up and fish! Over the years of renting sleeper ice houses, I always think to myself “Man I wish I would have brought…” Hopefully, I can help save you from the headache of forgetting something on your next ice fishing trip.
Must-Have Ice Fishing Items for Sleeper Houses
Well, obviously you’ll need ice fishing rods and reels. Then it gets into the necessities. I always pack an extra heater, even if it’s just a little buddy heater in case your heater goes out, it will keep you warm until your guide can get out and get you up and running again. You never know what could happen out on the ice. A good flashlight or headlamp is always tucked into my bag in case I forgot something in the pickup. I’m not really into tripping over things in the dark.
If you’re bringing kids with, make sure you bring stuff with to keep them busy so they don’t get bored. Pack some cards, coloring books, and a few games, it will help you from pulling out your hair. It might be obvious but don’t forget to pack enough food, snacks, and water. Due to some personal experiences bring a small first aid kit with as well. For example, if you set your rod down on a chair and a fish starts to take off with it and you happen to dive after it and bust your head open on the edge of the hole. Not saying that it happened to me but it happened to me.
The last thing on my must-have list is some sort of pain reliever. Sitting hunched over in a chair all day is enough to make anyone wish they had something to ease the pain.
Bonus Ice House Items
Check to see if your guide provides a generator. If not, I highly recommend bringing one. Not only does that give you the option of charging up your electronics, but you can run a coffee pot in the morning to get your day started. Bring a laptop with a few good movies ( most of you know fishing can get pretty slow at times). If you pay attention to the weather and it’s nice-looking out bring a small grill with. I’ve been bringing my Coleman road trip grill with for years. Nothing goes better with ice fishing than a brat and a drink of your choice.
Most importantly have fun! Get out and enjoy what renting a sleeper ice house has to offer. Below I have put together a full list of the things I bring with on one of these trips. It also doesn’t hurt to see our ice fishing checklist for any other ideas.
Ice Fishing List
- Tackle (plenty of flutter spoons)
- Sleeping gear(sleeping bag, extra blanket, pillow)
- Coffee pot
- Cooking supplies (pan, oil S&P, spatula)
- Paper towels, plates, TP, utensils
- A towel ( no one likes wet hands after reaching in the bait bucket)
- Chargers (Flasher, phone, laptop)
- Ziploc bags
- Fillet knives (Make sure you check your rules and regs on transport)
- First aid kit
- Laptop, movies, card games
So good luck out on the ice this winter. There are a lot of guides who offer sleeper ice house options in every state that has ice. It’s an experience you will always remember.