Bring Extra Ice Auger Blades!!!!
Tim and I were recently out ice fishing on Lake Simcoe off of Inisfil beach. The weather was perfect, the reports positive and after nearly two hours of driving we were ready to head out on the ice. We loaded up the sleds with a portable hut, minnows, rods, auger, and everything we needed for a great day. We were originally going to go out for a day of Perch but after talking to the guy at the local bait shop we decided to make the longer trek out to deeper water and fish for Whitefish and Lake Trout.
We got out to where we thought it was deep enough and with the hand auger we drilled a few holes to check the depth. It was about 80 feet deep which was deep enough to try. After 45 minutes with no action we decided to move on. We packed up and walked out even further.
Permanent ice huts are often a good indicator that an area produces fish, so we stopped and started to drill a hole, but nothing was happening, we weren’t drilling. It turned out that one of the screws that hold the auger blades in place had come out. We looked all over, in the sleds and buckets but couldn’t find the screw. We thought we would have to march all the way back out to the car and drive to the store to get a new blade kit or at least a new screw, but luckily Tim was thinking like MacGyver. He managed to attach the loose blade by bending a pivot rod from a tip-up through the screw hole and around the blade. This worked well for the rest of the day, but a spare auger blade kit would have been better.
So now we always carry a spare set of blades with us, they take up very little room and can save you a long walk. 6” hand auger blades can be purchased for as little as $15 depending on the size and make. Because you need to replace blades eventually, you might as well just keep a spare set on hand. It could save you a day of fishing.