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Equipping your "Ice Machine"

Using an ATV, side by side, or snowmobile has become the norm for a lot of ice anglers as of late. People have made the investment for the machines and attempt to get their monies worth using it as much as possible.

Alie and I began tournament fishing on the ice back in 2013. It was an educational experience for us. Being efficient and mobile on the ice during the tournament determined our success. Of course, with time and experience, we have perfected most aspects of our new side by side.

While Alie continues to fish in the Ultimate Panfish League this season, we took the opportunity to modify our new side by side. First, we added an extended receiver with a ball on it. This will decrease the aspect of laying or kneeling on the snow or ice to hook up.

Next, we ordered a piece of 8" PVC pipe and fabricated an auger tube for our CLAM drill plate and K-DRILL auger set up. Safety is always a key factor. Auger blades are extremely sharp. In most tournaments an auger blade cover is mandatory to use while moving. Having the tube is more secure than an auger rack, and a cover is not needed.

Next, we took 3 of the CLAM milk crates and fastened them together with zip ties, and then attached 2 of the 4-way rod holders by clam to the milk crates. We ratchet strapped this to the bed of our UTV for storing our Vexilars, batteries, 8 rods, and any other miscellaneous gear. This modification is by far my favorite. It is so valuable to have gear secured.

We also fabricated 2 racks to hold 5-gallon buckets on the side of the UTV. Whether the buckets hold fish, or a Vexilar, or extra apparel to keep dry. Inside the cab of the UTV we installed a pipe mount ram mount for a GPS unit. We use our helix 9 from our boat. We also installed extra lights, and USB outlets to charge phones etc.

Making these few simple modifications will increase your comfort level and should make you more successful while continuing to keep you mobile.

Best of luck.

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