As the ice fishing season ramps up, it’s essential to have the right gear ready. When it comes to ice fishing, there are a lot of advantages to having a ice fishing shovel.
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Benefits Of Having An Ice Fishing Shovel
First and foremost, it can help you clear a path to your ice hole if the area around it is snow-covered. It can also be handy for digging out ice chips and clearing any slush that might build up around your spot.
A shovel makes it easier for you to maneuver around thin slabs of ice or to quickly create a bigger hole for your line, which helps you catch more fish as you can break through the ice and retrieve your catch easily. In addition, by breaking through the ice, you create more visibility for your fishing rod and bait, which attracts more fish.
Another significant advantage of having an ice fishing shovel is that it can be used as a makeshift seat. If you get tired of standing or kneeling while you fish, you can always scoop out a little spot in the snow and sit down on the shovel blade. Just be sure to bring along a small cushion or something to sit on so you don’t end up with a cold backside!
Finally, an ice fishing shovel can also be used as an emergency signal device. For example, if you find yourself in a situation where you need to attract attention, you can use the shovel to create a loud noise by banging it on the ice, or you can also use it to spell out words or phrases in the snow so that people can see them from a distance.
Different Styles And Shapes Of Ice Fishing Shovels
There are a variety of ice fishing shovels, each with unique advantages – from the handle and blade to the accessories that come with it. Some shovels are explicitly designed for deep water ice fishing, while others are better suited for shallow water. Some have extendable handles, while others have collapsible blades.
The size is one of the most important things to consider when choosing an ice fishing shovel. You’ll want to ensure it’s big enough to serve its purpose but not so large that it’s cumbersome to carry around. A good guideline is to choose a shovel about 18 inches long and 6 inches wide.
The shape of the blade is another aspect to keep in mind. For example, some ice fishing shovels have a pointed blade, which can help break through ice or dig into packed snow, whereas others have a more rounded edge, which is better for scooping and general use.
Finally, you’ll also want to think about the quality of the shovel. If you’re planning on using it a lot, investing in a higher-quality option built to last is worth it. However, if you are learning about ice fishing or only plan on ice fishing occasionally, opting for a basic model will save you some money.
Some of the best shovels have thick blades made from high-quality steel, making them robust and efficient. They also come in heavy-duty and lightweight versions, so you can choose the one that is right for you. The best ice fishing shovels have sharp edges that make it easy to cut through the ice, and if you are looking for a foldable shovel, that’s also an available option.
The Many Ways An Ice Fishing Shovel Can Be Used
An ice fishing shovel is essential for anyone who wants to ice fish and can be helpful for various purposes.
- Clearing ice and snow from your fishing area
- Making ice holes
- Helping to set ice anchors
- Chipping ice off of your line
- Breaking up slushy ice
- Removing ice from your boots and clothing
- Scraping ice off of your shelter
- Packing snow to insulate your bait
- Dislodging ice chunks that have fallen into your shelter
- Creating a path to safety if you fall through the ice
- Hitting emergency signals if you become lost or stranded on the ice
- Serving as a makeshift stool or chair
- Propping open doors or windows in your shelter
- Keeping your hands and clothing dry while ice fishing
- Packing ice for emergency cooling
- Clearing a space for emergency landings if you are ice fishing from a floatplane or helicopter
- Building an emergency fire
- Digging a latrine if stranded for an extended period
- Making a sled to haul gear or ice fish
- Use the handle as a walking stick for stability on slippery ice or as a mount to hold your camera
Alternatives To An Ice Fishing Shovel
If you’re looking for an alternative to an ice fishing shovel, a variety of tools, such as an auger, are available. An ice auger is a power drill used to create ice holes. It is an excellent tool if you plan on doing a lot of ice fishing, but it’s not as versatile as a shovel.
Another alternative is an ice pick. You can use an ice pick for breaking up ice, making ice holes, and dislodging ice chunks; however, it’s not as effective as a shovel for clearing snow or packing ice. On the other hand, it’s lightweight and easy to use, making it great for those who are short on time.
Finally, you could also use a saw to cut through the ice, which is a good option if you need to make a large ice hole or clear a path through thick ice.
Tips For Using An Ice Fishing Shovel Effectively
When shovelling snow from an ice fishing hole or moving ice, there are a few tips that will assist you in getting the job done and reaching the catch quicker:
- Make sure the end of the shovel is sharp so it can scoop up smaller pieces of ice.
- When breaking through the ice, use the backside of the shovel to push and move larger chunks away.
- Always wear gloves when shovelling snow, as it will protect your hands from getting frostbite.
- Use your knees and not your back to push snow away.
- Use the shovel to clear a path around ice fishing holes so that people can walk without slipping.
- When ice fishing with a partner, take turns shovelling so both can have a break.
- Make sure to clean off and dry the shovel, so it doesn’t rust.
Choice Of Ice Fishing Shovel
The first on our list is the trusty old kitchen spoon. That’s right; an ordinary kitchen spoon can be pretty practical for clearing small areas of the ice. The advantage of using a spoon is that it’s lightweight and easy to carry, making it a good option if you plan hiking to your fishing spot.
For larger areas, you will need something with more heft, and that’s where the snow shovel comes in, as it will clear space quickly and efficiently. Just be sure to choose one made of durable materials like steel or aluminum so it will stand up to the rigours of cold weather and ice fishing.
Historically and even today you can find augers that have an attached shovel end. These augers were designed specifically for drilling holes in the ice, and you could use the shovel attachment to clear snow and debris from the area around your spot.
There’s the sled-and-shovel combo for those who want to prepare for anything. This combination is perfect for those who want to haul gear across large expanses of snow-covered terrain. The sled will make it easier to transport your equipment, and you can use the shovel to clear a path ahead of you as you go.
If you’re looking for an ice fishing shovel that is lightweight, and easy to use, then we recommend the Snow Shovel. It’s made of plastic and aluminum and has an ice edge to scrape through the ice. The large, angled blade will effortlessly scoop up snow. The handle is easy to hold and has a grip that won’t slip, even when your hands are cold and wet. The shovel compacts down into three components for easy storage. They’re also reasonably priced, making them an excellent option for those on a budget.
Another choice is the ice fishing spud bar from THUNDERBAY. It’s made of durable steel and has a serrated edge that is perfect for breaking through ice. The handle is easy to hold and has a grip that won’t slip, even when your hands are cold and wet.
If you’re looking for a more versatile ice fishing shovel, we recommend the multi-tool from IUNIO. It’s made from high carbon steel and premium aluminum alloy. Its features include: a shovel, hatchet, pick axe and ice pick. The ice pick is excellent for breaking through the ice, and you can use the saw to cut through thick ice. In addition, the IUNIO multi-tool comes with a sheath for easy carrying and storage and is reasonably priced.
An ice fishing shovel is an essential tool for anyone interested in ice fishing. Not only does it make fishing on ice much easier, shovels also come in various shapes and sizes to suit everyone’s needs. In addition to being used for fishing, you can also use an ice fishing shovel for other purposes, such as clearing snow or ice from sidewalks or driveways or keeping it in your vehicle for emergency use.