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Ice Fishing Apparel: What To Wear Ice Fishing

To state the obvious: ice fishing is a cold weather sport. Ice fishermen know how cold a frozen lake can be, so it’s important to wear the right clothes for ice fishing. It’s essential to stay warm out on the ice to keep comfortable, prevent injuries, and to enjoy your day of winter fishing! 

Generally speaking, you should bundle up while ice fishing. An important part of ice fishing safety is staying warm to prevent frostbite or hypothermia. Check out some important ice fishing apparel you should wear to stay warm on your next ice fishing trip. 

Ice Fishing Clothing To Stay Warm

Check out the best ice fishing apparel to stay warm. Check this list to ensure you have everything you need to stay bundled up and cozy on your next outing. 

Bib or Snow Pants

While you could just wear layers of pants like sweatpants and jeans, your best bet is to invest in an ice fishing bib or a good pair of snow pants. The best ice fishing bibs are insulated, waterproof, and some even float. The suspenders and extra coverage give bibs an advantage over basic snow pants, but both can work well to keep your legs warm and dry. 

Winter Jacket

winter jacket

Anytime you’re outside in the cold winter, you should be wearing a warm winter coat. The same is true for ice fishing. There are ice fishing jackets made with special features and added protection, so if you’re serious about the sport you may want to invest in one of those. 

You can also buy a full ice fishing suit consisting of a bib or snow pants and a matching jacket, so your full body is protected and matching in style. 

Ice Fishing Boots

Ice fishing boots are an absolute necessity out on the ice. You can use a standard pair of fishing boots as well, but cold weather boots will help to better keep your feet warm and dry. 

The best ice fishing boots are waterproof, insulated, and have great traction. Ice anglers should also be sure to add a pair of ice cleats to their boots to keep them from slipping on the ice. 

Layer up on socks if your boots aren’t warm enough on their own, and pack extra dry socks in case your feet get wet! 


A pair of ice fishing gloves is another essential to keep your hands warm and your fingers safe from frostbite. Gloves will keep your hands warm, so they don’t get stiff in the cold and lose dexterity. Some ice fishing gloves have removable fingers so that you can better use your hands to tie knots and attach baits. 


Humans tend to lose the most heat through their heads, which is why a hat is important to keep your body temperature regulated. Some fishing brands make ice fishing hats, but they aren’t much different than any warm winter hat. Pick your favorite winter hat, and make sure it covers your ears if they tend to get cold! If it’s particularly frigid out, a fishing face mask can also go a long way towards keeping you warm. 


Even the best winter coat can leave you chilly if you don’t have some layers on underneath. Like with any cold weather sport, you should bundle up with multiple layers when you go ice fishing. 

How To Stay Warm While Ice Fishing

Winter temperatures can become dangerously cold, especially in states like Minnesota, Alaska, Montana, and other far northern states known for ice fishing. It’s important to stay relatively warm, even on frigid days, to avoid issues like frostbite, hypothermia, or other cold-related illnesses. Aside from dressing for the temperature, there are other tips to stay warm out on the ice. 

Packing an ice fishing shelter like a tent or a shanty can help you stay warm, especially if it’s safe to bring along and use your heater as well. This also cancels out the issue of wind, which can be particularly chilling.

Many anglers like to enjoy a cold beer while they fish, but we don’t recommend this while ice fishing. It’s a popular myth that you feel warmer while drinking alcohol; alcohol actually lowers your body temperature. Drinking can also cause impairment that could result in accidents or injuries. 

You should be wearing gloves, but you’ll likely have to remove them for tedious work like knot tying or rigging bait. Pack a towel to dry your hands after such activities. That way, when you put your gloves back on, your hands will be dry and easy to warm back up. 

While you should bundle up to stay warm, be sure to wear some layers that you can remove. When you’re active, you may find that you overdid it on layers. Overheating isn’t ideal, and if you become sweaty and then cool back down, you will feel even colder and more uncomfortable. Your first layer should be moisture wicking to eliminate sweat.

Give yourself the option to remove layers out on the ice when you’re doing something physical, like drilling a hole with an ice auger. Once you’re resting again, you can put the layers back on to stay warm. 

ice fishing shelter


Bundle Up This Ice Fishing Season

Find the best ice fishing apparel along with other ice fishing gear and stay warm out on the ice! Always remember to put your safety first, and be mindful of your temperature throughout the day.

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