Ice fishing danger
Folks are chomping at the bit to get out and ice fish this winter. During December last year, you may have been ice fishing your favorite places already, but mild temperatures so far this winter have kept the lakes from freezing as of yet. With the new year fast approaching, you’ll be fishing the hardwater before you know it. Here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare to fish the early season ice.
The first thing you should be familiar with is recommended ice thicknesses for safe travel. Ice must be a minimum of 4 inches thick to support a single person, and should be thicker if you’re fishing with friends. Remember that ice conditions are constantly changing and are not uniform throughout the lake. Drill test holes with your auger as you move out to different areas of the lake and make sure it is a safe thickness.
There are several pieces of safety gear that early season ice anglers can carry in the event they fall through the ice. Wearing a life jacket under your winter jacket will help you stay afloat. There are also ice fishing floatation suits available for purchase that keep you both warm and keep you afloat if you fall through. Throw ropes come in handy for rescuing others, and ice picks can be used for self-rescue.