While a certain lack of sanity might be common to many ice anglers, for sure they share a total commitment to their art. Anything that helps an ice-fishing dad find fish, reach them quickly, and stay warm is sure to be a welcome gift, and might even encourage him to bring the kids! The old days of spudding a hole in a foot of ice and huddling and freezing over it for hours on an upturned five-gallon pail are just that—the old days. A well-equipped ice-fishing dad needs a good fish finder, a power auger and a portable ice shelter. Here are some factors to look for when choosing these as gifts for your ice-fishing guy.

Portable Sonar Fish Finder


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Flasher-type depth finders have been around for years and are still preferred by some ice anglers. But here’s a great new product that combines the sensitivity of old-style flashers with space-age technology that not only pinpoints the bottom and any fish suspended but also has a GPS function enabling you to return to that honey hole every time. Some fish finders are small enough to fit in your pocket, display info on your smart phone, and operate on a rechargeable battery that easily lasts a whole day of fishing.

Power Auger


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By far the biggest limiting factor in catching fish through the ice is the inability to move quickly. When the ice is thicker than four to five inches, nobody wants to keep spudding or drilling new holes every time the fish move on. Power augers eliminate that problem. Among the options are gas or propane-powered models, and electric ones that run off a battery or even adapt to your hand drill.

Portable Ice Shelter


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A good shelter makes all the difference for avid ice anglers. They make all-day excursions the norm. They make it possible to bring the kids. The best shelters are light-weight and easy to both transport, set up and take down. Choose one that’s roomy enough for your dad and any anticipated guests.