Green River Star -

By Fred Uhrich
Guest Columnist 

Gearing up for the upcoming ice fishing season


Once again, ice fishing is right around the corner, and now is the time to go through your ice fishing gear and clean off the cobwebs while there is still good weather before the first safe ice.

First, set down and make a check list, this will help you get organized, and not forget such simple things like inspecting your fishing line on each fishing pole. Then take time to think back to what went right, and wrong last season with your gear. Afterwards, set out your equipment and decide what to keep, and what to sell or give to your brother in-law.

When going through your tackle box, make a list for what jigs, spoons and whatnots need replaced.

Electronics are easy if you do a top-off charge to the batteries every three months when not in use. I make quarterly reminders in my cell phone for this.

As for my auger, I mix Sta-Bil fuel additive in addition to twocycle oil, it works and I have been using the same Strike Master auger for 16 years. I use the same gas can for my lawn mower, so I always have fresh mixed gas. Now is a good time to resharpen your auger blade or replace it, and clean or replace the spark plug. At the end of the season, give your auger blade a shot of paint to keep it from rusting over the next eight or nine months.

I’ve seen people having a heck of a time trying to get their hub shelters back into their bags, and I did too until I got a good tip to use a couple of cinch straps around the collapsed tent. I have a six-man shelter I can bag by myself.

Now is a good time to consider putting some snow ski’s on your sled or flip over shelter if you have one. With the high cost of skis, they save the bottom from damage from dragging them over rocks and the wear from ruff ice. Another plus is it will be easier to pull, especially if yours are packed down as heavily as mine. I have a Mr. Buddy heater, multiple fishing pole case, flasher, a flasher stand I built to get it up out of the water, tackle box, extra propane bottles, lunch box, tip ups, and auger. With all that gear on my single flip over, I can really troll the ice fast hunting for fish.

The last thing I do is go through my few safety equipment items. I check for rot, nicks or tears on the straps on my ice cleats, the cord on the ice picks, throw rope, and the extra pair of gloves I have.

Of course it doesn’t take much gear to get started ice fishing; I started off using my Zebco 202 fishing rod, a spud bar, and a box of worms. However, after 43 years on the ice and having a great time, I have collected a few things to help me from getting skunked most of the time. And with that, if you maintain your gear, it will last you a long time.

That’s all for now, have fun and be safe!


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