What is the Highest Priority

  • haywood04
    Winona, Minnesota
    Posts: 1073

    If you were going to dive into hard water fishing what would be your list of needs from Highest priority to lowest?
    I have the basics like rods, bucket, and hand auger BUT I am thinking about getting a shack, power auger, flasher. Not sure if I can afford all of them.
    what would be your list?

    Posts: 129

    To me it matter’s where you fish most, since you got the basics, I would get the shack first … cause you can alway’s use that hand auger for awhile and there light to carry out with the sled. I would also get the flasher , I myself don’t use the flasher on the river ,since I fish such shallow water,but if you like the deeper water , they are fun even if the fish are not biting ha . Tim

    NW Ia
    Posts: 1548

    Haywood,if it were me I would get a good quality shack first.You will stay on the ice longer if your out of the wind and other elements.Next on my list would be a flasher if you fish deeper water.
    Ryan Hale

    Posts: 6259

    I have been doing this exact same thing the last year and here is my conclusion. Flasher would be first buy, because it will increase your actual fishing pleasure and bring more fish to the crappie flop, then the power auger. I hate hand drilling holes so maybe this more personal preference than actual need, last would be the shack. Comfort could be put ahead muscle (shack verses auger) so I think its easy to flipflop these two……thats my two cents…good luck and if you search hard you can find deals on slightly used augers and shacks and flashers that are of the highest quality and stretch your budget, it just takes more work!

    Posts: 4179

    The one single item that has improved my ice fishing the most is my Vexilar. Works great for jigging up eyes, finding suspended crappies, catching rainbows in the national forest trout lakes, or setting tip-ups for pike. Map + vexilar = finding the “spots on spots” that hold more of the fish. In the depths of the winter I can drive out and use the truck for shelter or a windbreak, and maybe I’m sick, but I enjoy cutting holes by hand (unless it’s February and there’s 3ft of ice, like there was last year ).

    On the water- Minnesota
    Posts: 5022

    Hands down, a flasher like the Vexilar is a must have. I would rather fish outside and dress warm than go without a flasher.

    Bob Carlson
    Mille Lacs Lake (eastside), Mn.
    Posts: 2936

    Fishing without my Vexilar FL-18, would be like fishing blind.

    Here is my list in priority:

    Flasher Vexilar, Otter portable, good ice jigs, gas auger, and heater.

    South Metro
    Posts: 6057


    If your on a tight budget, as I was in the beginning….
    If your handy a little bit with wood and what-not….Go to Cabela’s and purchase their portable that you have to construct. I bought this years back for $100 and it still is the same price. All you need is a sheet of plywood, some hinges, and some wood screws. When all was said and done, I was in a folding shack, that is 5’x6’x6′ for a mere $125. You can also purchase cheaper depthfinders than the FL-18. I bought a Eagle Ultra Classic with the portable box for Fly-ins into Canada. I place that in the shack with me and even though it is a LCD screen, it doesn’t freeze up. I use that same locator on my short aluminum fishing boat for the river.

    House: $125
    There was a portable locator on this web-site for I think $40.
    Hand Auger: $35.

    For $200, your in a shack with electronics???

    Posts: 255

    I would say the main basics are a good quality hand auger, I have a 7inch lazer, cuts a hole big enough for tipups, and is easy to drill, I’m finally going to break down and buy a power auger after 25 years of fishing, mainly for lake of the woods (I’m going to try the Strikemaster dual power rechargeable electric), you would appreciate a sled to pull your gear with, a frabill sit and fish bucket (or two), if you plan on fishing with tipups, the only one I would recommend would be the Frabill Pro thermal, and if you plan on jigging and can spare the cash, a flasher is the best $279 to $439 you could spend. I personally don’t use a shack, I’ve fished my whole life without one, but I also agree they are nice, just not a priority for me.

    La Crescent, MN
    Posts: 2792

    If you are fishing generally in water 5 feet or less is a flasher that important?

    Devils Lake ND area
    Posts: 330

    Auger, FL-18, rods, lures, bait and on lake transportation are essentials for me on Devils Lake.

    You can get by without a shack, GPS, camera or an ice scoop.

    I will not fish without my FL-18. If you don’t have one you are not fishing. Your’re just killing time. I fish 30 foot plus water for very touchy perch and the FL-18 is essential. Of course you do not need one if you fish 8 foot of water for pike.

    Posts: 272

    flasher, #1 by far

    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts: 1451

    #1 Ice cleats for boots-too many bumps and bruises

    #2 Vexilar-I don’t even put my line in the water if I don’t mark fish.

    #3 Otter-Buy the best once and your good to go.

    #4 Gas auger-makes things easier, improves mobility

    Minocqua, Wisconsin
    Posts: 3842


    I don’t think that a flasher is that necessary in shallow water, however while I lived on the river in Iowa and icefished the backwaters for gills, I would cut several holes to check by hand and use a set rod that stayed in the hole with the flasher. The Vexilar has an alarm that can be set within inches of the bottom and any time the alarm would go off I would watch the rod’s spring bobber. Ah the good old days. In agreeance with the others, the flasher will give you the most feedback and add pleasure to your experience the fastest. The first time I used it, I labeled it my “nintendo on ice”!!!

    The first time I drilled through 3 feet of ice with a hand auger, I knew I was a candidate for a power auger. If you are strong and in good shape, don’t scrimp on the power!!! Also to help you carry the bloody thing, get one of those styrofoam cartop canoe carriers. They come four to a bag and insert the shaft of the auger blade next to the motor on the styrofoam where the gunnel of the canoe would go. Keep the flat side on your shoulder and carry away!!!

    You will probabaly spend between $600-$700 for the two items.

    If you have to deal with wind, you need a shelter of some kind. I have stood my otter sled up on the towing brace and tucked myself out of the wind that way. All lot of times here in the northwoods its primetime for a couple of hours and off to dinner. You stand with your back to the wind and dress warm!!! Good luck and be safe as hopefully good ice is just about here again.


    Posts: 9

    if want to get a shack cheap a 2 man flip i saw one yesterday at menards 149.00 looked pretty decent for the price

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