Managing and modifying your gear appropriately will show you how to discover and catch extra fish.

I’m satisfied that ice fisherman wish to “tinker” extra than simply about every other fishing group. A few of this can be a results of restricted choices available on the market, and others seemingly are simply because we wish to trick out our gear. Listed here are 4 gear modifications to contemplate earlier than you drill your first gap this winter.

1. Battery Swap

As we speak’s ATV, UTV and snowmobiles have as many add-on equipment as Swiss cheese has holes. The addition of things akin to additional lights, charging shops or GPS to call a couple of could make for an elevated mess of wires, fuses, and issues down the street.

Snowmobile power switch
A grasp energy swap will reduce energy to all add-on equipment when the machine just isn’t in use, thus saving battery life.

Once we add a lot of these things, it’s straightforward to neglect that these equipment have an influence draw that may draw down your battery throughout not solely the off season but additionally throughout their wintertime use. Merely including a high quality battery swap that lets you fully shut off all the ability to the machine will do wonders at lowering the prospect of a useless battery.

Snowmobile Distribution panel
Including a distribution panel will add reasonable energy when equipment are in use and when not.

Whereas many machines have a panel to energy equipment, I want so as to add a distribution panel to maintain all of my gadgets separate. When points happen, this isolation makes it a lot simpler to analysis issues. Whereas this step just isn’t fully needed in all instances, in the event you add greater than a pair addition gadgets you typically will end up with a full fuse panel and the necessity for an extra distribution panel.


Spend a couple of additional {dollars} and time when wiring any equipment and use tinned copper wire to be able to forestall corrosion and warmth shrink connectors to maintain moisture out. My compartment just isn’t rigged as neatly as I’d like as a result of I’ve discovered leaving wires longer than they have to be may be very useful if a problem arises or restore is required.

2. Connect Your Gear

A whole lot of gear is damaged whereas ice fishing and I’ve discovered if it doesn’t have a selected place or technique to be secured, you’ll doubtless be changing it earlier than you understand it. In some instances, it may be as straightforward as getting a case to retailer precisely what you might be utilizing. A great instance of this is able to be the Vault by Lakewood Merchandise. This case is designed to retailer and defend Jigging Raps, and comparable type baits.

Snowmobile Distribution panel
Including units to carry and carry gear will remove the dangers of breaking your gear.

In different circumstances, it’s so simple as getting some stainless-steel {hardware} in an effort to bungee down buckets or different instances. These cheap little brackets could be bolted screwed or riveted in very tight areas and permit you a significantly better technique to safe your gear. I take advantage of them with a mix of wire and carabiner to safe massive gadgets like my Lakewood Buck rod and lure storage case. This makes it very straightforward to make use of whereas fishing but additionally take away it for journey or within the off season.

Lakewood Greenback on snowmobile
A rod case permits for save transport in your precise fishing gear.
Secured Lakewood Greenback
Securing your rod case and different transportation units is crucial to attending to your spots with all of your gear.

3. Flooring Anchor

That is one that you simply may not have considered, and I can’t even take credit score for it. One among my fishing buddies had a machine break down and it was then he realized there isn’t a great way to winch your machine up into an enclosed trailer. Apart from the trailer body there isn’t wherever you can anchor to and never create catastrophic harm to your trailer. For a lot of, this may occasionally appear to be a serious challenge, however it may be completed by merely making a plate that can sit on the trailer ground inside and have a technique to connect a eye so a clevis could be added.

Snowmobile trailer floor tie-down hook
Including a hook to the ground of your ice trailer that ties into the body of the trailer affords an incredible worth, one that you simply’ll be glad you added when it’s wanted.

An off-road car provide retailer sells these with fashions that may be bolted or welded on simply. Subsequent, both make a hat-style backing plate in case you are useful or just buy grade 8 bolts which can be lengthy sufficient to cross by means of the ground and under the trailer body. One other plate or items of angle iron can be utilized to safe it under. Over drill the opening on the decrease plate or angle iron to make lining up and putting in the underside piece a lot simpler.

Snowmobile trailer floor hook underside view
Be sure the ground hook is secured to the body of the trailer.

One other added advantage of this anchor level, or winch spot, is that if utilizing the trailer within the low season, transferring gadgets turns into a lot simpler!

4. Gentle It Up

Nearly everybody provides lights to a trailer. Virtually all trailers appear to solely include one tiny little dome gentle regardless of the dimensions. Personally, I’ve added sufficient additional lights inside my enclosed trailer to learn a e-book from any location. The addition of a giant gentle bracket on the skin of the trailer makes it very good when prepping within the morning or wrapping issues up after darkish. Whereas extra gentle is sort of all the time factor, in an ice fishing trailer the problem is sort of all the time energy.

Trailer energy is usually run by means of your car and the truck must be operating for the lights to operate. To be able to get round this, all you’ll want to do is add a small battery like those used in your ice electronics with a momentary on/off/on swap.

Snowmobile trailer floor hook underside view
A 10Ah Dakota Lithium battery will service inside trailer LEDs for a very long time.

Don’t be overwhelmed by this because it’s a quite simple modification. On the again of the swap there are three terminals. Connect the trailers constructive to at least one. The opposite is connected by way of a brief jumper you will have to make from the battery you added. The third and remaining known as the load wire and mainly the lengthy lead that connects the ability from all of the lights. The swap will probably be labeled or have a diagram to point which one is the load, however it’s normally the middle prong.

A small bracket just like the one I used from Clam is supposed for ice shanties however works very nicely for securing the battery inside the trailer. The ten-amp-hour Dakota Lithium is sufficient energy to run the LED trailer lights for an prolonged time frame.

I’ve definitely completed extra than simply 4 modifications to my ice gear through the years, however these 4 particularly have gotten me out of a pinch greater than as soon as.

Capt. Ross Robertson

Bigwater Fishing

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