Preparing Ice Fishing Gear For Off-Season Storage

Spring is in the air – flowers are blooming, birds are singing and the ice is melting away. For ice-fishers, there will be no need for all of the gear that is used during the winter. Instead of trying to cram all of that equipment into your closet or shove it up into your attic, you can use a storage unit to neatly and safely store it until fall comes to an end. Below, you will find out how to prepare the ice fishing gear for storage and store it to protect the condition of it all until next winter comes.

Before the gear is all put away for the next several months, it must be cleaned. Failure to clean each piece could result in terrible odors, corrosion and ruined materials.

Poles and Reels – Clean the poles and reels with a damp cloth. Use a dry brush to remove any dirt that might be trapped around the reel. Set everything in the sun to dry before moving it into storage.

Tackle – Empty the tackle box entirely. Clean each lure, hook and weight to make sure that there isn't any bait or fish parts left on them. Clean the tackle box with a bleach and water mixture and set everything out to dry. Once dry, restock the tackle box leaving out the things that you don't need or are no longer in working condition.

Gutting Equipment – This equipment can get pretty stinky and introduce tons of bacteria into your storage space if you don't clean it thoroughly. Get a bucket of water and mix a cup or two of bleach into it. Let the equipment soak for 20 minutes or so, scrub it clean, rinse it well and set it out in the sun to dry.

Shelter Tent – Set the tent up in your yard on a nice sunny day. Wipe down the tent with a damp cloth and let it sun dry for a few hours. Make sure that it is fully dry before you take it down to prevent mold and mildew growth while it is being stored.

Boots – If you have boots that are only worn while you are out ice-fishing, now is the time to clean them up and put them away. Clean them with a stiff brush to remove the dried mud. Wipe them with a damp cloth and follow up with a leather conditioning and water-proofing product.

Gadgets – Wipe down the flashlights and portable electronics that you take with you on your fishing trips. Remove all of the batteries and store them in a plastic bag. This will protect each gadget from destruction if the batteries should begin to leak.

Augers – Your gas powered auger must be maintained prior to putting it in storage. Change the oil, clean the spark plug and add some stabilizing fluid to the fuel. Wipe down the machine entirely and let it dry.

Store your items in a climate-controlled self storage unit over the spring, summer and fall months and everything will be in good working order when you return to reclaim it for another season of ice fishing.