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As I mentioned when we first decided to go to Alaska, ice fishing is definitely on the must do list for us. It’s all part of our Outdoor Education Unit for our homeschool. Here we are in December and with the sun gone and the winter chill coming, it’s time to bundle up and hit the ice! The first step is to decide on ice fishing gear– what we need and where to get it. We turned to our affiliate Cabela’s to find the best gear for us.

For those just visiting Alaska please contact and we can set you up with an Alaska ice fishing guide and all the equipment you need.

As the World’s Foremost Outfitter of outdoor gear, Cabela’s has an awesome reputation for offering a wide selection of high-quality outdoor apparel and supplies. They also have helpful buying guides, exceptional customer service, and collections to get you out on the water with the right gear in the harshest weather.

Ice fishing is a great activity to enjoy with your family.

Choosing an Auger

Getting through the ice to the fish under the ice is the first challenge in ice fishing. While some people might be able to do it with a pick axe or other basic tool an ice auger is infinitesimally easier.

For the best route take the hard work out of it and use a powered ice auger like the Jiffy E6 Lightning Electric Ice Auger. Operating on a powerful, rechargeable 40 Volt, 6 Amp battery that cuts through the ice with ease, this drill allows you to drill through ice without the worry of smoke or gas fumes. Or, grab the Clam Drill Auger Conversion Kit With Hand Auger and turn your own high-torque, 18V lithium battery-powered drill into a mobile, high-powered ice auger.

An auger is at the top of the list of required ice fishing gear.  Using a power auger to drill through the ice makes ice fishing a breeze!
You will need an auger as part of your ice fishing gear to get through the ice.

For our part we decided to go basic and simple with a hand auger. While more labor intensive hand augers are smaller and less expensive. Yet, they still are a very effective way to get to the fish. (or so I am told– I’ll let you know how it goes…..)

Ice Fishing Rod Options

Cabela’s offers a variety of reels, rods, and combos that were made for ice fishing. One customer favorite is the well-balanced Abu Garcia® Veritas™ Ice Rod and Reel Spinning Combo. The spinning reel boasts a smooth 3+1 bearing system. It also has a machined aluminum spool with Everlast™ Bail System to keep the weight down. Furthermore its extended reel stem means you can keep your gloves on if you wish.

There are a wide variety of rods and reels from which to choose when getting ice fishing gear.

We decided to keep it simple and just go for a couple of hours on local ice. If you are looking for a full day affair though an ice shelter is a must. I think it’s so cool the way people here in Alaska shelter on the ice and stay out there all day. I’m not sure if we will ever get to that point, but here are Cabela’s suggestions for staying warm while out there all day!

Staying Warm: Ice Shelter

Built out of durable 600-denier black and grey polyester fabric, the Cabela’s® 3-Person Hub Ice Shelter  is easy to set up. You be ready to go in just a few seconds so you can start fishing faster. Double-zipper doors and reinforced stitching at the stress points ensure you’ll stay warm on the ice. Packing snow on the large snow skirt also prevents drafts and improves insulation. .

An ice shelter is totally optional, but a great way to stay warm while ice fishing.

Best Ice Fishing Coats

Whether you do have a shelter or not, you’ll still want to bundle up with a quality jacket. The men’s Striker Ice Climate Series Jacket System or the Strike Master Allie Jacket for the ladies are both good options. The men’s jacket includes waterproof/breathable Hydrapore 5000 technology, low-loft Thermadex insulation, a removable softshell fleece liner jacket. As for the women’s jacket, it features a Stay On Surface Flotation Technology that provides a measure of on-ice safety. Also it’s 3-in-1 design specifically for ice anglers and fleece-lined handwarmer pockets with interior zippered pockets will keep you warm.

For more ice fishing gear and accessories, head over to Cabela’s today and start planning your winter fishing trip. Also, don’t forget your lures!

And to follow our ice fishing adventures check back frequently or subscribe to our blog below.

Shop Cabela’s Ice Fishing Collection

Just visiting Alaska and want to try ice fishing? Contact and we can set you up with an ice fishing guide and all the equipment you need!

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About Mary

Mary Stephens holds a degree in international affairs from Georgetown University and a Masters in Teaching from the American University. Mary spent almost twenty years homeschooling her four children and is now navigating post homeschool life in Alaska. She offers personal insights, recipes, homeschooling tips and tricks and travel advice on her website Mary also owns Christopher Travel, a luxury travel company specializing in exquisite vacations around the globe.

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