End of Season Ice Fishing Equipment Tips

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Ice Fishing Equipment Tips








With the end of the ice fishing season nearing an end across the province of Ontario it is important to take a few minutes to check your gear not only before storing away for the summer but also to ensure it will in top shape for the next winter ice fishing season opener . There are some simple measures should be followed to protect your investments and expensive gear.

The first thing I like to do is to bring my tackle box in the house. Give them a once over and clean the interior of any cases. Checking hooks is also a good idea and you might as well sharpen those popular lures now.  Replace rings, hooks and even give them a shot of specially formulated anti rusting agents before you store them away for the 6 month hiatus. Remove any bit of moisture inside your tackle box and the lures themselves. Condensation will eventually build up over the summer months if they are not wiped dry and rust will form. I hate scrambling to get all of my gear ready when the season opens and doing little things like this goes a long way saving you time and money.
As most anglers have quite a few dollars invested in their gear special attention is given to my rods and reels. Again ensure that all moisture is removed. Read your reels user manual and it will let you know what measures are involved in making sure your reel will stay in top shape. Removing the side cover of reels and lubing the gears is a practice that should be done a couple of time a year. Inspect your ice fishing rod to make certain there are no weak spots. Inspect every eyelet for nicks and wear.  A small nick in an eyelet can play havoc on your line. When storing your gear find a spot that is dry and protected from anything getting thrown atop of them. I prefer to switch my line out at the beginning of the season, no sense in having new line sitting on the shelf for a year.

For those with power augers storage is quite an easy task to complete. You need to decide whether you want to store your gas tank full or empty. If you are storing your auger indoors you must empty the tank. To do this drain the tank as best you can then run the engine until it stalls. This will empty all fuel from the lines and carburetor. If you store your tank full you must add a fuel stabilizer (follow the manufacturer’s directions for mix ratio). After the stabilizer is added run your auger for ten minutes as this allows the stabilizer/fuel mixture to clear the lines and enter the carb. Pull the start cord slowly until you feel resistance, slowly allow the cord to retract. What this does is it closes both the intake and exhaust ports in your motor. This will eliminate any moisture contamination. I remove the spark plug and add a drop of engine oil into the cylinder bore this also prevents moisture from damaging the bore. Lube all pivot joints and your throttle cable. It only takes a few minutes to prevent you from being frustrated on the ice next year.

If you use a portable hut one suggestion is that you set it up and make sure it is clean and dry. A hut stored wet will definitely promote mold growth. Be sure to store your hut in a critter free zone. A buddy of mine found out on the ice mice had eaten their way through the material as they nested in it. Many portable ice hut poles are rust resistant but extra care should be taken to wipe them down with an oily rag just to be of the safe side.

Any electronic such as Vexilars and other depth/fish finders should be brought inside and kept in a dry place. Now is the time to check all knobs, dials and switches and a blast of compressed air to them will remove any moisture or dirt that has lodged in there.
Doing a few preventative maintenance tips with your gear will not only protect your investment but will have you ready to go at a moments’ notice when the lakes and rivers ice over for the next ice fishing season.

  This article was written by the
contributing staff of OFT and its
group of amateur and pro Ontario anglers.

Copyright 2008. Ontario Fish Trips .

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