There are many reasons that you should take kids ice fishing. But, if you are looking for some reasons, read below.

Make memories:. Kids grow up very fast. Spending time with them, teaching them something that not every other kid has done, is what some memories are made of. When the kids grow up, they will remember the time that you spent on-the-lake. It isn’t really about catching the fish, although that is certainly a BONUS. It is about spending time together.

Something to do in the winter: Some may think that it is much easier coming up with “things to do with the kids” in the summer. And that may be true. But, ice fishing with your kids is a winter activity that could certainly be on your list of “winter activities.” You can go out for a couple hours. Or, if you have the time, think about making it a full weekend get-away. Rent a cabin by the lake. (Click here for our owner-operated resorts that are open in the winter)

It doesn’t have to be expensive: You don’t really need much equipment. You may not be able to use all your summer fishing equipment, but you certainly don’t have to invest in a lot of supplies and equipment. If you pick a warm day you don’t even need an ice house.

Jigging rod and reel
Tip ups
Bait container (and bait)
Ice auger
Bucket or chair to sit on


Oh yeah, don’t forget the fishing license.  Click here for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Fishing license information.

Optional: electronics. If you aren’t going to be doing a lot of ice fishing, you may not want to invest in electronics. But, if you find that you and the kids enjoy it, then think about making the investment!

Optional: Ice house/shanty. It’s OK to buy an ice house. They come from easy portable ones to ones with plenty of amenities. Or, think about renting one from a resort.

Time to talk with the kids: When you are out on the ice, whether in an ice house or just sitting on the ice, it is a perfect time to strike up a conversation with your kids. There aren’t a lot of distractions. While looking at the tip-up waiting for it to pop up, chat about anything that comes up with the kids. What is nice about ice fishing with kids is that if there is a lull in the conversation it is just fine watching nature, listening to the ice creaking and noticing how clean and crisp the air smells.

Get out into nature: It can be like camping on the ice. Getting outside is like a breath of fresh air. Why? Because it is fresh air!! If you live in the beautiful state of Minnesota, you know that we have a lot of winter. That’s OK. We just need to make sure that we get outside in the winter. It seems that people think that summer goes by so fast. October rolls around that you think…. Well… there goes another summer that we didn’t go camping. Spending time on the lake with the kids can be like camping. Bring a picnic basket. Don’t forget hot chocolate! You can get a camping-like experience in the winter t00.

Sometimes you may be on the lake by yourself and sometimes you may be sharing the lake with other people. Even if you see other people on the ice, when you are on any frozen water it is always important to read up about safety while on ice.  The Minnesota DNR offers some great tips.

Stay safe, get outside, take a kid ice fishing. You won’t regret it!

Submitted by: Karen Senger
Owner of a northern Minnesota resort for 17 years, now retired

Photo Credit: Wildwood Resort

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