Here in the northern midwest, the air is starting to get cooler and deer season is hitting the rut. I still have some tags to fill, but I walk past my ice fishing gear every day and I am anticipating an exciting ice fishing season.
After I get my deer, I will pull out all the ice fishing gear, including my flashers. Taking some time before the season to prepare will help save some headaches in those first couple of fishing trips.
Here are some quick things I plan on doing to get my ice fishing gear ready, and I would suggest them for everyone:
Reels – Buy some fishing reel lubrication oil, and work it into your reels to save them from “freezing up” and squeaking. I also plan on putting some new line on my reels. I can’t begin to tell you how annoying it is to have old line coil up millions of times and then get a knot and have to re-tie your lure…again and again.
Lures – I like to make sure my hooks are rust-free and I have at least two of every lure. Part of making sure they are rust-free is taking them out of my tacklebox at the end of the ice fishing season and letting them completely dry out. If any lures are completely ruined, or I need to replace some new ones along with purchasing some of the new available models, i’ll write them on a notepad.
Ice House – I prefer some other brands of beer myself–this is usually an interesting encounter each time I open the shack for the first time in the fall. Mice are often the culprit for ice house damage, and can often leave you wondering in amazement. Piles of birdseed shells are common, and sometimes holes through the canvas can make you want to…have another beer. Lucky for us, we can get replacement canvas to patch up holes.
Auger – Ah yes! It started on the first pull!!! Just kidding. I think we all wish that. Pour in some fresh gas, and try starting as you normally would. If you are having some problems, you might want to try a new spark plug, or take it to a small engine repair shop (I ain’t no mechanic!). Besides the engine, check over your blades. Having sharp blades makes a world of difference and remember to take care of them throughout the season. It might be a good idea to get an extra set before the season too.
Flasher – I’ve been pulling out my flashers to charge the batteries about once every month or two over the summer to charge the batteries. It can be hard to tell when a battery is going to crap out on you, so having a spare is critical on that important fishing trip.
Besides some other things here and there, these are the things I will concentrate most on. Hopefully it gives you a little jolt to get prepared a little earlier this year. If there is anything else that you concentrate on preparing before the season, let me know in the comments section below.
My name is Brad Bolton, a husband and father of four. I live in Minnesota and I enjoy spending time in the outdoors and also spending time with my family. If there is water nearby, I want to fish it.