Much in the same way that our snowblowers never seem to run right after the first snow of the year, taking a little bit of time to put the final prep on your snowmobile and other ice fishing mechanical gear will pay big dividends and keep you from a big bill and month-long wait at the dealership.

Here are the steps I take to ensure a winter of worry-free snowmobile use:

  1. Drain/siphon out all gas if it has sat for more than 6 months
  2. Use an ethanol-free gas to fill the tank
  3. Use a fuel additive or treatment
  4. Reinstall the battery after doing a quick maintenance charge and checking to make sure it is still good

Tip: Small wheeled carts and rollers are great for moving snowmobiles around your garage or storage facility. Trying to man-handle a heavy machine is a recipe for a sore back.

Now is a great time to inspect the track, grease any fittings, and check your owner’s manual for any suggested maintenance. Be sure to check out your travel trailer as well. Remember: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of pain.

Check out the video below to see how I prep my snowmobile prior to winter.

Editor’s note: Capt. Ross Robertson of Bigwater Guide Service and his crew provide educational guide trips for monster walleyes and smallmouth bass. The Bigwater team fishes ice-out to ice-up on the Great Lakes, spending the majority of the year on Lake Erie’s western and central basins.

Image and video by Capt. Ross Robertson

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