It is that time of the year where we can put all of our ice fishing gear away for the season! As much as I love ice fishing there is something so exciting about getting ready for open water season! I am going to share with you some of my tips and tricks that I like to use when storing my gear for the summer.
Ice shelters are essential for a comfortable time out on the ice especially on those extremely cold days. I like to set my shelter up in the yard on a non windy day of course and check for any damaged parts such as rips, bent poles, or those tiny little holes from the heater. If it is all good, spray it down and let it air dry properly, you do not want to put your shelter away if it is wet or damp. Once dry pack it away in its original bag, and store in a mouse free area if possible. You definitely don’t want to go and open it up next season and find any extra unwanted ventilation due to a little critter chewing through the fabric.
Ice Rods And Reels
Clean the handle of the rods and reels with some fresh water. I personally like to use a spray bottle and lightly mist it and then wipe it down with a clean dry rag and then just air dry to get off any extra moisture. Make sure to remove any tension from the rod tip by loosening the line, otherwise you might create a permanent bend in the rod tip. Remember to store them in a cool dry place and out of the reach of kids and pets, you don’t want them accidently getting into them as those cork handles look like a wonderful thing to chew on for our furry four legged friends. Try to avoid hot storage places as the summer heat can destroy lines, glues, varnishes etc.
If you are like me I like to keep all my tackle organized into their own boxes if they are not in use. I really like the clear plastic ones from Plano for organizing my stuff, they come in a variety of sizes, they are clear so you can see exactly what is in them, and I have found them to be quite sturdy and hold up to being packed around in my back pack. Put all your ice tackle that you will not be using over the summer months into one of these and store away. I like to cut off any extra line/ knots that you may of left on a lure (I often quickly cut off a lure still leaving the knot attached…….I know bad habit). It will make it that much easier not having to do it out in the cold next season and freezing your fingers while you do it. Make sure your tackles boxes are free from moisture to avoid any rusting of the lures.
* I do like to leave my tungsten ice jigs out year round as they are great for catching panfish!
Wipe all your electronics down that you have used over the ice fishing season with warm soapy water and dry thoroughly. You can clean your LCD screens with a vinegar solution to remove any water spots. I like using 1:1 parts of white vinegar and distilled water and then allowing the screen to air dry. Charge your batteries and make sure you store them in an area that wont get too hot over the summer as heat can actually kill the battery more then the cold.
* Tip: It is a good idea to charge your batteries every few months to extend the battery life.
Don’t forget to save all your spots, you never know if the unit will fail while in storage and then you could loose all of your honey hole spots. I know the chances of this happening is low but its better to be safe than sorry.
For electric augers simply charge the battery and maintain the charge through out the summer. Make sure you store in a cool dry place as heat can kill the battery.
* Tip: Sharpen the blades now and then it beats having to do it in the fall. This way it is just ready to go!
Disconnect propane cylinders from the heater and then store with the rest of your gear.
Wash all of your ice fishing clothing to remove all of the fish slime you may of wiped on yourself during the hard water season. All clothing is made differently so make sure you carefully follow the manufactures labels so you don’t damage your gear. Make sure your gear is completely dry before storing away for the season. I like to pack mine away in the big rubbermaid bins with a dryer sheet, they smell nice and fresh then when I take them out next season.
Just remember the most important things are to remove any moisture and store all your gear in a cool dry mouse free space. I hope this article provided you with some tips or tricks you maybe didn’t know about, or maybe you knew them all already so in that case thank you for reading it! Until next week my friends, tight lines everyone!