Ice Fishing Gear Preparation

November 14, 2011 by  

by Bob Jensen

If you live in a region of the world where cold weather is part of the lifestyle, one of these days soon you’re going to wake up to a skim of ice on the pond.  If it stays cold and the wind doesn’t blow, the larger ponds and small lakes will get a covering of ice a couple of days later.  People who enjoy ice fishing start to get the itch to get on the ice and pop some holes.  The first thing to remember is this:  You do not have to be the first person out there. The first person on the ice is usually the first person to fall through:  Been there. Very cold. Not that much fun. Falling through usually cuts the first ice fishing trip short.  Let someone else be the first person out there.

Ice fishing gearBut, when you’re sure the ice is safe, it’s time to go ice-fishing.  You’re not going to want to be getting your stuff ready to go when everyone else is on the ice and catching fish.  Now is the time to get your ice-fishing gear ready for action.  Following are some of the things you should be doing.

Make sure the battery on your depth-finder is charged.  A depth-finder is such an important part of your equipment: You want to make sure it’s ready to go.  Depth-finders will put fish on the ice for you.

You’ve gotta’ get through the ice.  Start your auger now to make sure it will start when you’re on the ice.  Also, check the blades on the auger to make sure they’re sharp.  Start the season with sharp blades.

Open up your ice fishing shelter.  Clean it out.  Although early season ice-fishing is often warm enough so you don’t need the shelter for warmth, many veteran ice anglers still like to take a shelter on the ice with them.  The shelter provides a comfortable platform to fish from, and if you pull the top over you, it will camouflage your movements from the fish.  The Frabill Commando is perfect early in the season, or whenever you want the ultimate in mobility.

Open your box of ice lures.  Make sure there are no rusty hooks.  Do a quick inventory of your lures.  If there is anything you need, get it now.  Make sure you have Buck-Shot Rattle Spoons.  They have become a staple in an ice-anglers arsenal.

Make sure you’ve got fresh line.  You don’t need to completely re-spool.  Just pull some of the old line off and tie on maybe fifty feet of new stuff.  If you fish in clear water for spooky fish, you might want to consider the new NanoFil line.  It’s extremely thin:  One pound test NanoFil is the same diameter as a human hair.  I’m not going to use one pound test, but I will use three or four pound test below the ice for spooky bluegills and the like.  I’ve only used NanoFil in open water so far and have liked its characteristics.  Be sure to tie the knot suggested on the package.

Ice-fishing is getting closer every day.  If you make the above preparations now, you’ll be ready to safely get in on the fantastic action early ice offers.

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