How to get Your Ice Auger Ready for Fishing

How to get your ice auger ready for ice fishing can be completed in a few easy steps. 

Don’t let your fishing trip get ruined simply because of simple maintenance.  There are specific issues that you need to pay attention to which will ensure your ice fishing auger works like a dream.   

Guarantee yourself a hassle free ice fishing season with these 11 tips below. 

how to get your ice auger ready for fishing season
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Ready Your Ice Auger for Fishing Quick Checklist

How to Get Your Ice Auger Ready for Fishing: top 11 things you should do before heading out for an ice fishing trip listed below!
  1. Fuel: stabilized and bring extra
  2. Oil: use recommended ratios and bring extra
  3. Spark Plugs: inspected and bring extra
  4. Tools: always bring
  5. Blades: sharp, spare set, right diameter bit for the fish you are planning on catching
  6. Fuel lines: inspect for wear and tear
  7. Nuts/Bolts: tighten them all
  8. Starter cord/rope/button: inspect for wear and tear
  9. Air filter: clean or replace
  10. Blades: Sharpen and have extra set handy
  11. Batteries: holding a charge?  Bring extra

A Beginners Guide to Ice Fishing Prep 

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a complete beginner, every ice fisher has to follow the same procedures to get their ice auger ready for fishing.  This ensures you’ll have a successful ice fishing season. 

Your ice auger wasn’t cheap.  Neither was the rest of your fishing gear.  And your time is priceless.  By properly preparing your gear for ice fishing season, you can rest easy knowing you won’t hit the ice with a dud.   

11 Tips to Get Your Ice Auger Ready for Fishing: Prep Matters!

If you’re hot on the fish and something simple goes wrong (that could have been fixed before heading out) you will feel like a donkey. 

Auger repair shops will become super busy as the season gets closer.  Get ahead of the curve and get your machine ready sooner.  

Our detailed how to get your ice auger ready for winter checklist below will get you ready for drilling.  

#1. Fuel 

What happens if you’re chasing fish and need to drill a ton of holes?  Gas and propane ice fishing augers will need extra fuel.  Make sure to be prepared. 

Make sure you’ve got fresh fuel in your auger. 

Some recommend using fuel stabilizer at all times due to the cold temps when ice fishing.  That’s up to you.  If you plan on using stabilizer, bring some with you. 

#2. Oil 

Bring extra oil.  If you’re using a gas auger, always follow the manufacturers ratio and brand they recommend.  

Too much oil in the engine can actually harm it and reduce its performance.  Don’t be that guy (or gal)!  Blend your fuel and oil before filling your auger. 

#3. Spark Plugs 

If your auger is running rough, or backfiring, the first thing to do is check the spark plug.  Even if it’s not running rough, annual maintenance procedures say to check that bad boy for any issues before heading out. 

Bring a spare one with you and the tools to replace it if necessary. 

#4. Tools 

On top of your tackle box, bring your tool box.  Anything can happen on the ice from needing replace your blades, to your spark plug, to tightening nuts and bolts that have suddenly come loose.   

#5. Right Blade for your Fish Goals 

Make sure you bring the right diameter drill for the type of fish you plan on catching.  If you have more than one size, bring it!  You can never catch enough fish right?!?! 

#6.  Fuel Lines 

Check your fuel lines for wear and tear.  Make sure they are in good shape before heading out.  When in doubt, replace them. 

#7.  Nuts and Bolts 

Do a once over on your auger.  Check all the nuts and bolts and tighten them up if needed. 

#8. Starter Cord/Rope/Button 

Check this way before the start of the season so you can order in parts if required.  Make sure the wear and tear on the pull starter isn’t going to result in a broken cord/rope.  Replace it if necessary. 

For an auger that using a button or switch start, make sure the connection is still good and not rusty. 

#9. Air Filter 

Check and clean the air filter.  You might need to replace it.  Your auger won’t run properly if it’s not getting enough air.  Bring a spare if you’re in doubt. 

#10. Blades 

Always make sure that your blades are sharp before heading out.  We always bring an extra set of blades and tools to replace them in case anything happens.  If you have your doubts about the cutting ability of your blades, replace them before heading out. 

#11. Batteries 

If you have an electric ice auger, you should test your batteries to make sure they hold a charge before going out.  Also, if you’re planning an overnighter, bring an extra battery.  Nothing worse than running out of juice while you sit and watch your buddies catch a ton of fish.  

Different Types of Ice Augers Available

There are 4 different types of ice augers you can choose from and all have been included in this list. Here is a quick breakdown of the types.

  • Gas Ice augers: run on gas and oil mixture, emissions, heavy, powerful
  • Electric Ice Augers: run on lithium batteries, no emissions, powerful, batteries need to kept warm
  • Propane Ice Augers: run on propane canisters, heavy, louder than most
  • Manual Ice Augers: hand operated, can be tiring to use, can attach drills to make them powered, less maintenance

What Are the Most Important Features to Look For when buying an ice auger? 

The most obvious advantage of having an ice fishing auger is that it is specifically designed to make your job easier. 

Features to Look for in an Ice Fishing Auger
-Long battery life
-Good cold start
-Fuel efficient
-Metal Parts
-Easy to find and replace parts yourself

What Size Ice Auger Should I Buy?

Big fish will require a large hole and therefore a large auger diameter. Larger fish you should aim for minimum 8 inch auger, maybe even 10 inch. Smaller fish, you can get away with a 6 inch to 8 inch in most cases like Perch, Bluegrill and Crappie. We recommend an 8 inch auger because it covers the most types of fish you’d be chasing. That would cover, Northern Pike, Bass, Whitefish, Lake Trout and Walleye.


Getting your ice auger ready for upcoming ice fishing season is easier when you’ve got this handy checklist to follow.  

If you’re in the market for a new ice auger this season, we’ve got your covered.  We tested and review a ton in best ice augers post.  Check it out by clicking the button below.


What types of ice augers are there on the market?

You can buy manual/hand augers, propane, electric or gas. Electric ice augers are quickly becoming a favorite among ice fishers.