Ahh the early ice time of year. The first crisp days out on the lake before the weather gets absolutely brutal and miserable. Ideally, there’s little to no snow on the lake and 3 inches minimum under your feet.

But we’re not there yet. It’s still October. There’s no ice. You may even still have your boat out. You’re watching all the new ice ads come out, waiting to go scoop up deals at the shows this fall, and then hit the ice the first chance you get.

Or you live in Florida and have no idea what we’re talking about. If that is the case, don’t worry there is still non-ice content below…Just keep scrolling.

Below are some best ways to prepare for success so that when opportunity knocks, whether you’re walking out or waiting for safe drivable ice, you will be ready.

Ice Prep Tip 1 – Check-in on Your Auger Situation
No matter what type of auger you have, make sure the blades are sharp and effective. If it does have some sort of motor (not getting into the which motor is the best debate here) just make sure it’s functioning properly.

Ice Prep Tip 2 – Make Sure Your Old Bait Pucks are Empty
Nothing is more disappointing than opening up a fresh batch of flies that have hatched inside last year’s waxy containers. Air those things outdoors and get them ready to rock.

Ice Prep Tip 3 – Check Your Shack
Be on the lookout for tears or holes from the last season, or potential damage from varmints. Once you found the tears, it’s time to patch them up.

Ice Prep Tip 4 – Get Your Licensing in Order
Nothing is worse than the moment of panic as the wildlife enforcement officer roles up on you and you’re not certain about the “legality” of your fishing situation. Don’t be that angler. Get it together now and fish with ease of mind for the rest of the season. It’s a leisure sport after all.

Ice Prep Tip 5 – Organize Your Bait and Check Your Equipment
A lot can happen sitting in the garage over the summer. Make sure to check your line and reorganize the tackle. This is especially true if kids have access to it and may have cannibalized the gear over the summer. Do yourself a favor and make sure it’s all in order now so that you’re not missing out on valuable ice time waiting for replacements.

Ice Prep Tip 6 – Scout Out New Places to Fish
Check some maps. Check the forums. Check with your friends. Check with your Mom (even if it is just to say hi). Everyone’s going to want to be talking ice season anyway. They may not be willing to give you the secret juice, but maybe you can team up to get way back in the woods or start in different areas on a massive body of water.

If you are looking at getting some new gear for the upcoming ice season, be sure to check out all the amazing new 13 Fishing ice products that will be hitting shelves at your local stores in the upcoming weeks!

And since we’re not really ice fishing this month, all of this is guaranteed to work so you can’t blame me if it doesn’t.

~ Written by Reid Miller 13 Fishing Marketing Coordinator