As winter’s Deep Freeze hits, ice anglers must drill deeper to keep on the bite. But when is the right time to reach for an auger extension?
“Although not all lakes form ice at the same rate, and more yet have variable ice from one location to the next, the simple solution is to always bring an extension after January,” says Ice Force Pro-Staffer Joel Nelson. “Especially for those folks in the northern half of the Ice Belt.”
An auger extension is probably the least sexy piece of equipment the ice angler’s arsenal, over shadowed by more glamorous tools like GPS units, the newest whiz-bang electronics and high-end custom rods. That is, of course, until your drill fails to reach the water below. At that point, nothing else matters – if you can’t reach the fish, you can’t catch the fish!
“At some point in the coldest months of winter, the distance from the top of the ice to the water below will exceed the length of your auger bit,” says Ice Force Pro-Staffer James Holst, host of TV’s “In-Depth Outdoors. “Particularly in winters like we’re experiencing this year, in which there’s been very little snowfall to insulate the ice and slow ice formation.”
The solution is neither glamorous nor high tech, but it is effective.
“The unassuming auger extension is simply a tube that performs a wonderfully desirable task – to make the auger bit longer and offer the ice angler just enough added reach to punch through any ice pack south of the North Pole,” Holst says.
StrikeMaster power auger extensions, available in 12- and 20-inch models, allow anglers to drill through even the thickest ice. They also help prevent fatigue by reducing the distance you have to bend down while drilling – especially if you drill a lot of holes, keeping on the move.
“Sometimes it’s just a matter of comfort,” Nelson explains. “Being able to drill holes without having to bend down so far each time that the powerhead is touching the ice keeps me drilling more holes longer. And that keeps me on the fish.”
StrikeMaster’s power auger extension fits all its power auger models. Easy to install, it bolts directly to the power head and auger for security and seamless power transfer.
“Never fear, my mechanically un-inclined friends, attaching an auger extension is as easy as attaching an auger bit to a power head,” Holst says, noting that extensions use the same connecting hardware as does the regular bit.
“The allen wrench that comes with your StrikeMaster is all you need to get the job done,” Nelson adds.
Holst explains the steps to attach an extension:
“Simply remove the bolt holding the auger bit to the power head, and then use that bolt to attach the male end of the extension to the top of the auger bit.
“Finish up by using the bolt provided with the extension to attach the now ‘stretched’ auger bit and extension assembly to the power head.”
Total install time is about a minute.
Hand auger extension
For anglers that fish in locations that don’t allow gas-powered augers, StrikeMaster makes a 12-inch hand auger extension, which fits both the Mora and Lazer models. It features a wing bolt connection on the top and a tapered bottom for connection with the wing bolt included with the hand auger.