The 7 Best Ice Fishing Buckets with Accessories for 2021

The best ice fishing buckets are multi-purpose. It should be able to carry your tackle, serve as a comfortable seat, and be able to hold all the fish you catch while after a day on the ice.

Here are our top picks for the best fishing buckets for your ice fishing trip.

Top Fishing Buckets

sample-table__imageBest Ice Fishing BucketYeti 5-Gallon Loadout Bucket
  • Anti-Slip Bottom
  • Large Grip
  • Food Safe
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sample-table__imageHT Hi-Tech Polar Tip-Up Bucket Kit
  • 6-Gallon
  • Ice Fishing Kit
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sample-table__imageInsulated & SeatFrabill Sit-N-Fish Bucket
  • 6-Gallon
  • Seat
  • Insulated
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sample-table__imageBait BucketClam Bait Bucket with Insulated Carrying Case
  • Insulated Bait Bucket
  • 0.6 Gallons
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sample-table__imageFrabill Insulated Bait Bucket
  • 1.3 Gallons
  • Insulated Bait
  • Aerator
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sample-table__imageCatch Cover Slush Bucket
  • Slush Bucket
  • Rectangular
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sample-table__imageBerkley Rope Handle 5 Gallon Bucket
  • Low-Cost
  • Rope Handle
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7 Best Fishing Buckets and Accessories for 2021 Reviewed

1. Yeti 5-Gallon Loadout Bucket

YETI Loadout 5-Gallon Bucket, Impact Resistant Fishing/Utility Bucket, Charcoal
  • The unsung hero of hard work deserved a little attention....
  • BEARFOOT Non-slip ring - No slipping, no sliding, and it's...
  • FOOD SAFE - just in case

If you are looking for a quality gallon bucket, the Yeti 5-Gallon Loadout Bucket will not disappoint. It can store your bait, catch, or serve as a seat while you are fishing. The non-slip material will not slide on the ice, and it is resistant to damage. 

However, as far as gallon buckets go, this one is a bit overpriced, and you have the buy the lid separately. On the other hand, we loved how sturdy the handle is. 

2. HT Hi-Tech Polar Tip-Up Bucket Kit

HT Enterprise PTB-19K Polar Tip-Up Ready to Fish Bucket Kit 19/Pc
  • Ultra Smooth Multiple-design Trip Shaft 200' Spool
  • Guaranteed not to freeze up in sub zero
  • Wind-free trip wire

This is the ultimate gift for people who know how to fish and love doing it on the ice. The HT Hi-Tech is a value gallon bucket that has everything they could ever need. The 6-gallon pail features a foam seat, a built-in gearbox, two spools of braided line, and other essential accessories. 

This is the best ice fishing bucket organizer you can get for fishing enthusiasts who prefer to keep their kit organized. You will have to supply the fishing rod yourself, though, as it doesn’t come with one. 

3. Frabill Sit-N-Fish Bucket

Frabill Sit-N-Fish | Insulated Bait Bucket with Convenient Padded Cushioned Lid for Comfortable Seating Option
  • Frabill | Trusted By Anglers Since 1938
  • Eliminate extra gear and keep your load light with the...
  • Comfortable padded foam cushion lid snaps on tightly to the...

This gallon bucket works while fishing and lets you sit comfortably. The Sit-N-Fish features an insulated foam inner liner store cold or hot items if necessary. The padded foam snap-on seat makes this a popular choice for pier, offshore and onshore ice-fishing.   

We fell in love with the beverage storage option in the container, and there is also room at the bottom for extras such as gear. But the top is quite difficult to pry open, especially with fingers that are numb from the cold. 

4. Clam Bait Bucket with Insulated Carrying Case

Clam Corporation 109045 Minnow Bait Bucket .6Gal w/Insulated Carry Case, Multi, One Size
  • Product Type: Fishing Equipment
  • Country Of Origin: China
  • Item Package Weight: 0.431 Kgs

Say goodbye to spilled minnows in the back seat of your car as you head to your ice-fishing hole. Considered to be the best minnow bucket for ice fishing, the Clam Bait Bucket comes with an insulated carry case that will keep your bait and minnows at the perfect temperature. It includes an adjustable shoulder strap for easy transport. 

What we loved about this fishing bucket is the screw top gasket, which creates an entirely tight seal, so you don’t have to worry about spills. However, the zipper tabs on the insulated cover could be stronger, in our opinion. 

5. Frabill Insulated Bait Bucket with Built-in Aerator

Best Ice Fishing Bait Bucket

Frabill 4825 Insulated Bait Bucket with Built in Aerator , White and Yellow, 1.3 Gallons
  • Frabill Insulated Bait bucket with included aerator
  • 1.3 gallon capacity
  • Insulated Liner allowing to your bait to stay alive longer

If you want to keep your bait fresh for hours while you are fishing, then the Frabill Insulated Bait container will not disappoint. It’s designed as the ultimate bait-friendly tote.

This gallon bucket/seat can keep your line submerged for longer and will keep the water just the right temperature for live baitfish. This is also why it’s considered to be the best ice-fishing bait bucket by most professional anglers. 

We were won over by the in-built aerator that is housed in the lid, but we had difficulty placing the batteries in, and they drain fast too. 

6. Catch Cover Slush Bucket

Catch Cover Slush Bucket
  • Catch Cover CC03-M Slush Bucket
  • Specializes in molding plastic parts for deluxe fish houses
  • Develop new fish house accessories that make your ice...

Cleaning ice holes can be a chore, but not if you have the Catch Cover Slush Bucket as part of your kit. It’s quite simple to use. After removing the ice cover, set the container in the ring before covering and augering it. 

It will catch all of the ice shavings, so you don’t have to clean up afterward, and the floor remains dry while you fish.

We would have loved an in-built drainage system, though. Once the container is full, you have to up-end it to empty it. It doesn’t come with any accessories, but as a slush container, it doesn’t need anything else to ensure your fishing trip goes well. 

7. Berkley Rope Handle 5 Gallon Bucket

Berkley Rope Handle 5 Gallon Bucket
  • Perfect for transporting your gear
  • Great for: ice fishing, surf fishing, dock or pier fishing,...
  • UV and corrosion resistant rope handle

If you want to ensure your fishing trip goes well, you need the Berkley Gallon Bucket. Considered to be the best bait bucket for ice-fishing, it is perfect for transporting multiple gear/bait and comes with a UV and corrosion-resistant rope handle that offers a slip-free grip. 

Keep one hand free for your rod and other equipment easily with this gallon container.

This container is quite versatile. We know because we used ours for saltwater, dock, and pier fishing. However, the rope handle has a habit of disconnecting at times, especially if you grab it too quickly. 

Best Fishing Bucket Accessories

1. Wild River by CLC Tackle Tek Rigger Lighted Bucket Organizer

Custom Leathercraft Wild River by CLC WT3507 Tackle Tek Rigger Lighted Bucket Organizer, Plier Holder & Two PT3500 Trays 5-Gallon
  • Handle with integrated LED light System allows for fishing...
  • Storage pockets with securing straps for two 3500 style...
  • Zipper pocket designed to hold your bait aerator and spare...

If you want to make your fishing trip truly memorable, take this bucket organizer with you. Ideal for storing and organizing soft bait, Wild River also comes with an LED light system that illuminates the interior so you can find what you are looking for even in the dark. 

It comes with a container, a retractable lanyard, a plier holder, a removable light, and a bucket seat, which make it a keeper.

We loved the additional pockets and used them to store extra reel and line. However, the light was not as powerful as we would’ve liked. You would be better off taking a flashlight with you if you are fishing in the dark. 

2. YETI LoadOut Bucket Caddy Accessory

YETI LoadOut Bucket Caddy Accessory
  • The Caddy has three compartments that are large enough to...
  • This Caddy is built YETI tough, so it’s resistant to...
  • It fits tight and stays put at the top, just below the...

The YETI LoadOut Bucket Caddy is one of the optimal gallon buckets you can get for its price point. It features three compartments that can be used to separate bait and gear. The material is resistant to cracks so that it won’t get damaged bouncing around on deck. The large grp handle is also retractable for secure storage. 

We like that the caddy is constructed well, which means the people at YETI know their target customers. But we didn’t like the fact that we had to buy the lid separately. 

3. Bucket Boss The Bucketeer Bucket Tool Organizer

Bucket Boss The Bucketeer Bucket Tool Organizer in Brown, 10030
  • Bucket Boss The Bucketeer Bucket Tool Organizer in Brown,...
  • 3 interior loops for hammers, drills, pry bars and other...
  • Fits most 5 gallon buckets

The Bucket Boss can fit any 5-gallon bucket and comes with an impressive 30 pockets which can adjust all of your gear, tools, and accessories. This includes three interior tools that can fit hammers and pry bars and which don’t reduce the amount of storage. 

Made from rip-resistant 600-denier poly ripstop fabric, the Bucket Boss will make your fishing trip without stress.

We weren’t sure how sturdy the pockets were, but not after we gave the product a try. But it will naturally grow quite heavy if you use all of them to store items. Make smart choices for the gear you need. An overstuffed bucket will mess up your trip. 

4. Big Bear Silent Spin Bucket Seat

Big Bear Silent Spin Bucket Seat, Brown Camo
  • Fits On Five Gallon Bucket
  • Silently Spins
  • Features Stylish Camo Pattern

Sitting on a hard rock or standing for hours trying to catch fish can take a toll on you. Take a load off with the Big Bear Silent Spin Bucket Seat for a well-deserved rest. Designed to fit a range of gallon buckets, the seat moves silently, so it doesn’t spook the fish. 

Plus, it has a convenient opening so you can reach down into the bucket and get what you need without getting up. 

This is quite a versatile, great storage/seat option and super comfortable to boot. However, it cannot fit all types of buckets. 

5. Frabill Strato Bucket Seat

Frabill Strato Seat | Comfortable Snap on Lid with Foam Padding for Storage Bucket Seat Option
  • Frabill | Trusted By Anglers Since 1938
  • Unique shape allows bucket access without having to get up...
  • Cushion foam seat for added comfort

The optimal way to make a gallon bucket comfortable is by adding a seat such as the Frabill Strato Bucket Seat. It also features an opening that allows anglers to reach into the bucket to get the items they need. 

The foam is comfortable, and it is designed to withstand a lot of weight. 

We like the way it easily snaps on the seat and can be removed easily as well. But it wasn’t as comfortable as advertised, so don’t expect hours of comfy sitting if you get this. 

Best ice fishing bucket carrying rods
Use your bucket for carrying your rods to free up your hands. Source: Bugeater

Why Do You Need One of the Best Ice Fishing Buckets?

Ice-fishing buckets are gallon buckets that are used to keep bait, gear, and fishing additions within easy reach. These are especially useful if you use live bait that needs to be kept fresh. These buckets can also be used as makeshift seats if you get the proper one. 

Insulated vs. Non-Insulated

An insulated gallon bucket will keep fish and live bait fresh/alive longer for days compared to the non-insulated variety. 

Live Bait Storage

Live bait can die and go bad quickly if the bucket you use does not have an aerator or is not insulated from the elements correctly. 

Ice Bucket Seats

5gallon bucket seats are sold separately, and they can be snapped on quickly on the rim, so you don’t have to take a chair with you.  

Ice-Fishing Gear Organizer

A gear organizer is a 5 gallon bucket jacket that is designed with multiple pockets that can accommodate all of your fishing knickknacks and accessories. 

Ice fishing rod on a bucket
What a unique way to rest your rod! Source: Reese Lloyd

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does every ice fisherman need?

A: A well-rested ice fisherman is a good fisherman, so a top cushion should be part of their 5-gallon bucket setup. 

Q: How do ice-fishing tip-ups work?

A: A tip-up is a mechanism that is used to suspend the bait at a set depth through a hole in the ice. When the fish bites it brings the device up, notifying the angler that they have a fish on.

Q: What should I bring on an ice-fishing trip?

A: Proper winter wear, buckets, an ice auger, ice-fishing rods, line, a fish finder, your fishing license, safety gear, shelter, and a gas heater. If you like, you can also bring a sled, especially if you have to trek through the snow to get to your fishing spot. 

The Anglers Behind This Article:

Jon Stenstrom

Johanes Godoy

Sushmita Lo

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