As winter approaches, I find myself with more free time than usual. And if there’s anything that can keep me entertained for hours on end it would be catching fish! The thrill of fighting an angry trout or two has been worth every cold and lonely night during this dreary season – but what about those dangers? Ice fisherman need to know how risks catch them up in order stay safe while outsmarting some pesky winds near open water.
You know that feeling when you’re out on the ice and it starts to rain? You start to get wet, your feet are getting cold from all of these puddles forming around us. We need shelter fast so we can avoid frostbite or worse yet – hypothermia! This is where being prepared really pays off; there’s a few things everyone should carry with them just in case they find themselves at risk for any one (or more) of these dangers: warm clothes like suits as well as jackets which have been lined with waterproof material inside; an umbrella if possible but not necessary depending upon how much time I’ve got before my walk will take place be outdoors.
Here are some ice fishing safety tips to use in your next trip so you can have a fun time catching fish instead of ending up in the local hospital.
- 1. Plan Your Fishing Trip With Professionals
- 2. Fish with Friends
- 3. Ask the Tackle Shops
- 4. Bring Cellphone and Radio
- Assessing the Quality of Ice
- 5. Minimum Ice Thickness
- 6. Beware Current
- 7. Never Trust the Ice
- Driving on the Ice
- 8. Use Smallest Vehicle Possible
- 9. Drive Slow, Unbuckle, and Keep Your Eyes Open
- 10. Ensure Proper Ice Shelter Ventilation
- Use Common Sense & Proper Ice Fishing Gear
1. Plan Your Fishing Trip With Professionals
One way to make sure you don’t get into any trouble while ice fishing is by telling someone where your going. It can be difficult if there are no other fishermen around, and they might not hear or see anything happen before it’s too late!
Involve some professionals or people who would be familiar with that trip location, to ensure personal safety.
Never leave the safety of your loved ones in doubt. Inform them if you’re going out or coming back so there are no surprises for anyone involved, and help will be sent right away when needed.
The feeling we get from hearing this passage really makes me think about how important communication with friends/family members can sometimes become!
The best time for me personally was early morning when all the anglers were just waking up from last night’s sessions (or working), so coming home empty handed felt really satisfying.
2. Fish with Friends
I love to fish. You can’t beat catching those little trout with your bare hands, the water splashing around below you as you wait for that one moment of perfect timing before reeling it in.
It’s a great way to spend time with family and friends, but sometimes we all want some alone time, too – without being filmed or caught by an onlooker. Trying not reveal any secrets about your favorite fishing spots is frustrating! The next time you head out fishing make sure your camping site isn’t revealed in the process so that no one knows where exactly what’s happening if something goes wrong while trying not reveal any secrets about your favorite spots. Fishing is a great pastime for many people, but it can be quite dangerous. Fishing enthusiasts should always monitor current weather conditions before heading out. Consulting with a local tackle shop is your best option here. They are familiar with the area and can provide a reasonably accurate fishing report and give you a lead on where it is safe to fish.
3. Ask the Tackle Shops
Fishing is a great pastime for many people, but it can be quite dangerous. Fishing enthusiasts should always monitor current weather conditions before heading out. Consulting with a local tackle shop is your best option here. They are familiar with the area and can provide a reasonably accurate fishing report and give you a lead on where it is safe to fish.
4. Bring Cellphone and Radio
Cell phones are great for communication, but when you’re in the middle of nowhere or in a remote area with limited service or no service at all, it’s not always reliable. A two-way radio is the perfect backup plan.
Take one with you on your next adventure and make sure to keep it close by so that if something goes wrong, you will be able to stay connected with someone who can send help right away.
Assessing the Quality of Ice
During the winter season, it is common for people to go ice fishing. However, if you are looking to make sure that doesn’t happen, then I recommend following these tips on how to stay safe while ice fishing. The most important thing you can do is assess the quality of the ice before venturing out onto it. This may seem obvious but there are many steps involved with evaluating an area of potentially unsafe ice prior to standing on top of it. First off, what kind of surface does the lake have? Is there snow or weed growth? If so, this indicates an unstable environment and should be avoided at all costs. Secondly, look for visible cracks in your surroundings; You’ll want to steer clear from any exposed areas where they
5. Minimum Ice Thickness
The Minnesota DNR warns against venturing onto the ice without knowing its thickness. It is important to know that these are just guidelines, and not a guarantee of safety. Always be sure to look before you step out onto the surface for any visible signs of thin ice, cracks in the sheet, or other irregularities that might indicate instability. You can see your depth by using an ice spud, which will tell you how deep you are when it hits the ground below. It is recommended to go with at least three people in order to make measurements easier and more accurate.
- Less than 3″ – Don’t do it! Never venture onto ice that is three inches or less in thickness. It isn’t strong enough to support an average person’s weight. There is a considerable risk of breaking through on foot.
- 4″ – If ice is at least four inches thick, and not otherwise cracked, it is generally safe for walking.
- 5″ – Generally safe for riding on the ice with an ATV or snowmobile.
- 8″ to 12″ – Can generally support the weight of a small car.
- 12″ to 15″ – Typically strong enough to support the weight of a small pickup truck.
6. Beware Current
Beware of the currents, especially the ones you cannot see. They are lurking beneath your feet waiting to pull you under. The current is strong and unpredictable, but if you know where it runs then it becomes less dangerous to navigate through. If you are not careful though, it will sweep under your ice and carry all that’s left up into the air for everyone else to watch as they pass by on their boats or sleds.
7. Never Trust the Ice
Never trust the depth of ice even if it is able to support your weight. Always check your surroundings and avoid any areas where cracked ice is visible or currents underneath may be present.
Driving on the Ice
When driving on the ice, safety is a must. To make sure your vehicle and you stay safe, there are a few things you should do. First, try to drive as slowly as possible – if the car starts sliding or spinning, it could go through the weakest part of the ice and sink below surface level. Next, avoid any objects that can throw off your vehicle’s balance such as rocks or even chunks of snow that may cover the ice surface. The last thing to remember when driving on ices is to be aware of visibility conditions because this will determine whether you should continue driving at all; if you cannot see more than 50 feet ahead due to foggy conditions or other obstruction then don’t risk it!
See also: How to catch a Bass?
8. Use Smallest Vehicle Possible
“Light vehicles like an ATV and a snowmobile put much less stress on the ice than a car or truck. They can be easily pulled out of trouble if they get stuck, and it is easier for them to maneuver in tight spaces. That’s why we recommend light vehicles when driving on ice.”
9. Drive Slow, Unbuckle, and Keep Your Eyes Open
Be safe while driving on ice. Slow down and keep a safe distance between vehicles, Unbuckle your seat belt so you can escape quickly if need, also roll down windows too for easy escape.
When driving on frozen lakes or rivers, be especially aware of the dangers that are present at night. Even with our brightest headlights we might not see a thin spot until it’s too late and you have driven past your turn off point!
In areas where slush can be found, stay away from roads that have heavy Post-Slip Overlain (PSO) ice. That’s a clear sign of deteriorating conditions and poses danger because the ice won’t properly support your weight or vehicle’s weight.
10. Ensure Proper Ice Shelter Ventilation
Portable propane heaters are a great way to keep your ice fishing spot looking like new, but they should be ventilated. The lack of odor and color makes them hard for people outside the shelter or tent area detect if there is carbon monoxide present inside- which could potentially lead to death due missteps in judgement while going about daily tasks as well!
A portable carbon monoxide detector is a cheap insurance policy against becoming another victim of the deadly gas. On overnight trips in enclosed ice houses, this lifesaver has saved many lives!
Use Common Sense & Proper Ice Fishing Gear
When you think about the things that need to be packed for an ice fishing trip, what comes to mind? Most people would say their favorite rod and reel. But don’t forget about bringing First Aid supplies or even warm clothes! The right gear can make all of those hours spent out on the frozen water worth it–just ask any fisherman who has been there before us.
What else should I bring with me if my whole life savings hinges upon catching this one fish?”
Wearing the right clothes is important when going out in winter. You should wear thick coats, insulated pants and socks as well as gloves that will protect from frostbite or hypothermia respectively; a protective cap to cover your ears if you’re not wearing one then make sure there’s an ear protection piece of equipment on hand at all times! Especially for people who haven’t experienced these things before they might find it hard keeping their balance so having footwear suitable like hiking boots with deep treads helps prevent slip-and fall accidents while walking across icy surfaces.