Properly store your ice fishing electronics, shelters, clothing, augers and more…
Our ice fishing season ended about as quickly as it started, and many of us already are thinking about open water. First, however, it’s time to store your ice fishing gear. A little attention to your shelters, clothing, rods, reels, tackle, electronics and augers now will save you time and money next ice season.
Make sure to clean your shelters. Spray them down and remove all the fish slime, road salt, and other crud off that has accumulated over the ice season. Pull it out in the driveway and give it a good spray and let it completely dry. Repair any damaged parts such as ripped canvas, bent poles, or those accidental burn holes from heaters. You can find some replacement parts in stores, but a better bet would be to check out your manufacturer’s website. It’s also the perfect time to lubricate the poles on your flip-over fish houses with either a silicone spray or a lubricant like WD-40.
Store your shelter in a mouse free area. Lots of different things have been tried to keep mice from chewing on fish house canvas, but the only sure fire solution is to keep it away from mice. Try dryer sheets, moth balls, or Cab Fresh if you want to chance it, but it’s very frustrating in early winter to pull out your fish house and see that a rodent has created extra unwanted ventilation.
Clean and properly store your electronics, too. Wash them with warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly. Clean LCD screens with a vinegar solution to remove water spots. Charge your batteries and store them in an area that doesn’t get too hot over the summer. It is also a good idea to charge your batteries a couple times over the summer to extend their life.
Now is also a perfect time to run your ice fishing clothing through the wash to remove all the fish slime that you have wiped on your pant legs or sleeves over the winter. Carefully follow the manufacturer’s suggestions to avoid damaging your ice gear.
Pay some attention to your rods, reels, and tackle. Wipe down your ice fishing rods and store them so they remain straight. Make sure to remove any tension from the rod tip by loosening the line, or you might create a permanent bend in the rod tip.
Clean your reels and oil them to make sure they are ready to go when the ice returns.
Make sure that all your tackle boxes are free from moisture to avoid a pile of rusty lures.
Don’t forget about your ice augers. From hand augers, electric augers, to gas powered augers; a little maintenance now can save you on some costly repairs in the future. Finally, here’s a LINK to some tips for storing and maintaining all your augers.