Anglers tend to do things their own way, but one thing that every ice angler must do is drill a hole. Anyone that has ever drilled a hole has ended up with feet that were either covered in slush or, even worse, soaked to the bone. Putting together a simple and very inexpensive “slush board” can make sure that this never happens again.
- Choose a piece of scrap wood that is approximately one foot high by two feet long. Cut another equally-sized piece. The thicker the ice you’re drilling through, the taller you will want the board to be. The thinner the wood, the less durable it will be, but with thinner wood you’ll obviously have less weight to haul around. In most cases quarter-inch-thick plywood makes a good all-around choice if it’s available. Synthetic material such as high-density polyethylene will last much longer and be more durable, but also cost considerably more.
- Attach a hinge on the two equally-sized pieces of wood. With thinner materials, it is best to use a bolt and locking nut. Small screws quickly become loose or stripped as the board is beat around.
- If wood is used, it is best to paint the board to help seal it. This will keep it from absorbing as much water, reducing weight when in use and making the tool last longer.
Aside from keeping your feet and legs dry from the slush and shavings as you drill the hole, the board does a good job of acting as a push broom to move the pile away from the hole when you have finished drilling. I often place my slush board on the wind side of the hole when fishing outside to keep drifting snow from filling the hole.
This post was written by Captain Ross Roberston of Bigwater Guide Service and Promotions.
Image courtesy Ross Robertson/Ice Team