How to Prepare for Your First Ice Fishing Trip in Minnesota

Set The Hook Guide Services - Minnesota

The time has finally come. You have scheduled a weekend getaway to go ice fishing on Lake Minnetonka, and you are beyond excited to get on the lake and start fishing through the ice, just as thousands of content creators do on social media.

But… are you prepared? Do you have everything you need? Do you have the right equipment, and can you get it there if you don’t? At Set The Hook Guide Services, we have compiled a list of suggested preparations before you arrive so you can maximize your comfort and enjoyment as you go ice fishing on Lake Minnetonka.

Know the Land

Do your research about Lake Minnetonka before arriving. While there are many helpful services here to assist you in navigating a foreign place, the time you spend worrying about where to go and how to get there is taken from the minutes that matter as you sit back and drop your line before getting comfortable.

What should you research? Well, it will be complicated given the immense database that is on the internet. You could inquire where the best fishing spots are at Lake Minnetonka, but that is subject to change based on who is writing about it–or worse, you get an outside source who has never even seen Lake Minnetonka trying to be a Minnesota ice fishing guide.

We can alleviate much of that burden, giving you plenty of free time to spend on why you came to Minnesota. Our Minnesota ice fishing guides are experts who know the land. They are natives who know where to fish and can navigate the lake with the experience you won’t find anywhere else.

Dress Appropriately

If you are from the west coast or further south, you may not be accustomed to or even know what to expect from Minnesota’s cool, chilly weather. While our Minnesota ice fishing guides can guide you through the frozen lake and beyond with their experience, we cannot provide accurate sportswear for winter weather. There are many shops and boutiques in Minnesota that can provide them for you, but that is wasted time that could be spent ice fishing.

What types of clothing do we recommend? Anything that can keep you warm and insulate heat, like a parka, pants, gloves, and boots. These cannot (usually) be provided by our Minnesota ice fishing guides.


What do you need to ice fish? That depends on your skill level and comfort. You will need rods, bait, a license to fish for Minnesota, an ice house, and so much more. It can be a lot if you are not an avid ice angler, and expensive if you purchase it for a one-time weekend. Set The Hook Guide Services removes the cost and replaces it with a straightforward rental with rods, bait, an ice house, and Minnesota ice fishing guides who can ensure your equipment is working correctly and the best option for your intended fishing goals.

We also recommend bringing a pillow and sleeping bags, so if you spend the night, you can rest comfortably and snugly in something made just for you.

Bring Entertainment and Food

Ice fishing is a lot like camping and can be a lengthy adventure. Sometimes it can take a good amount of daylight to snag even a tiny amount of fish, and other days there just isn’t enough fish to go around. With an ice house, however, the fun doesn’t stop when the fish stop biting. You can retreat into the ice house with board games, books, television, and more. You can even play on the ice and in the snow, which is excellent for children and pets. This makes ice fishing on Lake Minnetonka perfect for large and small groups looking to spend a weekend together.

We recommend bringing food. While you can catch fish and cook them (if you desire), the fun of ice fishing is catching the fish and letting them go. It is an experience and one that is complemented by food. Several ice houses come with a stove and oven, perfect for making delicious meals you can share around the fishing hole. Snacks are always appreciated.

Plus, not everyone likes fish. Diversity is the key to a successful meal!

Use the Tools Provided

We give you a lot of awesome tools during your trip, like our underwater camera. This captures the fish below the surface, allowing you to always keep your eye on them. It also ensures you have an easier time catching more fish, which is never a bad thing!

If you have questions not answered in this guide, feel free to contact us, and we will handle any concerns or anxieties you may have about ice fishing in Minnesota!