Published on December 2nd, 2017 | by The Iceman0
How to stay warm while ice fishing
Ice fishing is a great activity that can get you out of the house and into the great outdoors even on the coldest days of the year. But you have to be prepared. If you want to have a good time you really should learn how to stay warm while ice fishing.
Sure you can go out dressed in regular clothes or even something like a skiing outfit, but it’s always better to be geared up for the task at hand. You can focus on the fishing when you are not worried about wet knees, frostbitten toes or a windy draft blowing down your boxer shorts.
Dress right to stay warm!
When taking people on the ice for the first time you really want to make sure they’re dressed right and comfortable. That ensures that they will have a good time and see what ice fishing is really all about. Despite what some old timers might tell you, freezing your butt off isn’t it.
The same goes for old hands too. No matter how good you are or how used the cold weather you get, you always perform better if you are wearing the right kind of clothes. The key is to stay comfortable without getting too hot. Nowadays that can easily be done thanks to all the ice fishing apparel that is available.
After years of trial and error, I have finally found a set of clothes that keeps my dry and comfortable on the ice no matter how long I want to stay out there. I layer up not because some experts say I should but because it works. It also allows you to add or subtract clothing easily as needed so you can stay comfortable in all conditions.
The first layer may not be the most important, but it certainly does matter. You want to get a warm yet comfortable layer up against your skin that will keep you comfortable without leaving you soaked in your own sweat. For my first layer, I always wear an UnderArmor ColdGear Armour Compression Crew shirt and UnderArmor ColdGear Infrared Fitted Leggings. I haven’t found anything better, and believe me I have looked
On top of that I wear the looser Rocky Venator Thermal Pants and a Rocky Venator Fleece Shirt. These can easily be pealed off if I get too warm out on the ice. That rarely happens, but it’s nice to have the option.
On really cold days, I will also throw on my North Face Gordon Lyons 1/4 Zip. I get a lot of use out of that thing. It is great from Autumn through the early spring, and not just for ice fishing. It just so happens to work as a great extra layer if I’m going out into some really cold weather.
When I am driving to and from the ice, I usually stop here. I don’t put the other layers on until I get to where I am going to fish. That way I don’t get hot and sweaty before I get on the ice. That would be very bad. Luckily this stuff doesn’t look too crazy, although I do get some odd looks when buying coffee dressed in fleece shirts and pants in the dead of winter.
These are warm, waterproof, windproof, and they float which is nice to know just in case I ever fall through the ice. I try to be as safe as possible, but it is always best to be prepared for the worst case scenario.
Footwear is very important
When it comes to socks, I wear Fox River Outdoor Wick Dry Liner Socks covered with a pair of Carhartt Artic Wool Boot Crew Socks. I tuck my first layer UnderArmor fitted leggings into the Carhartt socks and they stay put all day long. My feel also stay warm and dry all day long thanks to the socks and of course my boots.
For the last several years I have worn the same pair of Kamik Nationplus Boots on every ice fishing outing but one. That was when I forgot my boots at home somehow. By the time I realized that I didn’t have my favorite boots we nearly at the lake and far from any store. We ended up finding a Wal Mart that would have been ten minutes away on a good day but took forty minutes to reach in the blizzard we were driving through. I bought a pair of crappy generic boots that cost almost as much as my Kamik’s yet my feet were wet and cold all day. I caught some fish but I suffered. After that I vowed to never forget my Nationplus again.
The Nationplus Boots are totally waterproof, well insulated and about the most comfortable footwear of any kind I have ever worn. It feels like you’re wearing two pillows around your feet when you have them on.
Not cheap, but effective
Now, all of these things put together cost more than a few dollars. But it is worth the expense in my opinion. It took me a few years to build up all of this gear, but I am glad I did. Now I don’t have to go out with blue jeans and a cheap jacket on only to freeze out soon after I get on the ice. I don’t have to go through all kinds of low quality crappy long johns and socks trying to put together something comfortable either.
I know what I am going to wear every time out, and I know that it will work. That’s one less thing to worry about and it lets me focus on safety and actually finding and catching some fish!