Kids Ice Fishing Gear: 10 Items You Need NOW!

Susie Busta // May 10

When we had our son, we (probably like many parents) thought, how are we going to make this work with everything we do outdoors? One of our biggest challenges is the elements that come with living in Minnesota. The sometimes hot, humid summers and the bitter cold of winter. But you don't have to be afraid to go ice fishing with kids if you have the right ice fishing gear for kids!

Kids Ice Fishing Gear

In the last few years, we have really gotten into ice fishing and we wanted to incorporate that into our son’s life. Here are a few items we have found helpful when taking him out.

Read More: An Introduction to Ice Fishing

Kids Ice Fishing Gear

I want to stress that you should remember that NO ice is safe ice. Always keep that in the back of your mind and have a plan for what you are going to do if a situation arises. I did not include ice safety items on this list, but those are essential when traveling out.


Gosh, how essential are these not only for your kids but yourself? Make sure you pack some of their favorites. Our son loves gummies (worms, bears), so I throw some in our pack in case I need to bribe him during our trips.


Before he turned one, we dressed him in a bunting suit. This is a one-piece suit that can come with built-in mitts and a hood. It's easier to get on and off of a squirming little one. Now that he is older, we dress him in a good pair of snow boots, snow pants, winter coat, and gloves – I recommend a glove, like Head or N’Ice Caps, and placing the gloves on the hands before you put the coat on. We have found this the easiest way to make sure they stay on, and a hat. We also bring out sunglasses if the sun is out.

A sled

This came in so handy before he could walk. We chose one with a back on it and pulled him around the lake. Now that he is older and walking, he still likes to go for rides from time to time so we continue to bring it on the lake with us.

Pop-up house

Depending on the weather and the time he will be out, we bring a pop-up house out to keep him out of the elements. These can take some time to set up. So, make sure to take that into account before you plan your trip. One of us will sometimes go out and get everything ready. Then, the other will come out with our son. It helps to have everything set up, ready to go before your kid gets there.

Portable heater

Buddy heaters make great additions to your fish house not only for you, but to help keep your kids warm. Be mindful of proper ventilation and the fact that they get hot.

Fish hole covers

Getting wet can end any trip rather quickly. A good idea to prevent kids from falling in a hole or dropping items down a hole is to bring a fish hole cover along. When you are not fishing, you place the cover over the hole. While you can buy these, you could also bring along a homemade cover (think a large piece of plastic or plywood).

Kid's fishing rod

They make these great rods that float (comes in extremely handy during open water as well). Our son does not fully understand the concept of a fishing pole yet. But, he likes to hold it and pretend. It is a great way to teach and keep a kid occupied.

Hide a Hook Bobber

These are a lifesaver during hard and open water. A bobber that goes over your fishing hook to hide it from tiny hands.

Extra set of keys

When I was pregnant, we locked ourselves out of our truck on a fishing trip. Luckily, we were saved by a good friend who came to our rescue. If you do not bring them with you, make sure you have a friend who has access to them if you are close to home. If you do bring them, keep them in a place (usually in your ice suit pocket) that is away from your vehicle.

Extra set of clothes

Finally, bring along some extra clothes if something happens, i.e. falling in the water. A blanket is also a good idea to carry along. It may be easier just to pack a bag and keep this in your vehicle. It also comes in handy in a snowstorm!

What kids ice fishing gear do you bring along when ice fishing with kids?

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About the Author

Susie Busta

To sum it up - Wife, Mom, Hunter, Fisher, all-around outdoorsy woman!
I am a new Mom and I love involving our son in everything we do outdoors, watching him experience things for the first time is truly better than any trophy fish or animal. I also enjoy sharing my experiences with other outdoors mothers, in hopes we can learn from each other. Continuing your outdoor activities is not easy with a little one, tips and tricks come in handy! I try to be real with my experiences, all the ups and downs since we all have them and they make us human. I hope that by sharing my passion and stories of the outdoors it may spark another woman or mother to pursue something they didn’t think they could do.