Getting Ready for Ice Season


In preparation for the ice fishing season, I took my ice auger blades in for sharpening recently. On the last trip of the ice season last year I hit bottom and banged up the blades badly.

Veteran ice anglers will tell you that when not drilling holes you should always have your blade guard on.  It might also save you the embarrassment of looking for holes someone else had fished just so you can wet a line!

That happened on my last trip and luckily there were plenty of anglers that had left open holes everywhere. If you can, buy a spare set of blades.


Getting that out of the way, I moved on to charging all my batteries that I use on the ice. This now includes a lithium battery that I bought to use with my Helix 5. They are a hot item these days but well worth it. They are considerably lighter than a regular lead acid, making them much easier to drag around all day. I also charged up the lithium battery for my ION ice auger. One of the keys to battery life is maintenance. This means disconnecting them from any source that causes a constant power drain. This applies to all your fishing electronics and electric ice auger.


Next on the list are my ice fishing rods and reels. I want to make sure all the line is fresh and ready to go. I also want to clean my ice fishing reels and use a light lubricating oil to smooth operation in cold temperatures. If using salted shiners like we do in this part of the world, it doesn’t take long to get salt and scales everywhere!


For those with portable shelters you might be in for a rude surprise if you didn’t rid them of moisture before storing for the summer. At the end of ice season, it pays to set them up in the sun to make sure they are dry. Then add a couple of air fresheners inside to make sure they are good to go come the new ice fishing season. Store up off the ground  to keep unwanted creatures out. Check out your tent right now before your first trip.


For those who are gearing up their snowmobiles and All Terrain vehicles, a little Sea Foam fuel stabilizer and fuel booster will get those ready for a little test start. Make sure you try them out before leaving home.

While all this seems like common sense stuff, after forty years of adventures, I try and cut down on the surprises.



For those who are inexperienced ice fishing and want to know the basics, friend Jay Siemens and Travel Manitoba have teamed up to produce a 10 part series on You Tube that outlines all the things you might need to get started. This includes gear and even tips on where to look for fish.

Here is the first in the series, ice safety.


About Author

Don Lamont - The Complete Angler Don Lamont has been a full time professional angler for 34 years, hosting and producing the award winning “The Complete Angler” television series for fifteen of those. Don has received several awards for his commitment to public education and the future of recreational fishing in Canada. Those include a 2000 Canadian Recreational Fisheries Award for his work with Manitoba’s Urban Angling Partnership. In 2003 he received a Manitoba Tourism Award for his promotion of Manitoba and western Canada. In 2004 he was a finalist at the Tourism Industry Association of Canada National Award for Tourism Excellence, presented by The Globe and Mail. Don has been a regular fishing columnist in the Winnipeg Free Press since 1992 and is currently editor of Hooked Magazine.

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