Safety Guide for Ice Fishing

When you decide to go ice fishing, it is better to first learn fundamental knowledge, especially about safety. After all, this sport is relatively risky since it is carried out on icy water.

First, you must comprehensively understand your environment and physical condition without overlooking risks. For example, you may be exposed to an environment where ice fishermen can hardly move and quickly get exhausted. Your hands may become numb touching the cold ice. In addition, the ice is unlike the usual shore as it is a changeable fishing landscape.

It is suggested to follow these safety guidelines:

  • Do not go fishing alone.
    Make sure at least two people know where you go ice fishing, and tell them when you will return.
  • Try to leave the lake before sunset, especially when it is your first time going there.
  • Pay attention to ventilation.
     
    Check your choice of sheds, and ensure that the sheds you set have sufficient air circulation.
  • Use your equipment skillfully.
    The auger and other tools you need may be new to you. You must be familiar with their operation before ice fishing.
  • Buy quality warm clothing and floating clothing.
    More than a simple life raft is necessary. When your body suddenly dips into the cold water, your muscles will be frozen. A floating suit and thermal clothing may rescue your life.
  • In addition to the conditions you can prepare beforehand, you should also pay attention to the lake conditions during ice fishing. The most important thing is to inspect whether the ice you choose is thick. You first drill holes in the ice with a long handle or auger. Also, always pay attention to whether there is rotten ice. You can identify it by discoloration, holes, and water flow.

    Here is some vital knowledge about ice to bear in mind to keep you safe in ice fishing:

  • New ice cubes are usually stronger than old ones.
    For example, four-inch thick, newly formed transparent ice can support a person’s walking, while one foot or more of old ice may not do so due to partial thawing.
  • Ice rarely thaws evenly.
    It may be a foot thick at one location but only an inch or two farther away. In addition, ice blocks formed on flowing water are usually dangerous, so you should avoid ice fishing in such places.
  • The insulation effect of snow slows down the freezing process of ice.
    The extra burden of snow also reduces the weight the ice sheet can support. Moreover, ice near the coast may be weaker than ice farther away.
  • Rumbling and cracked ice is not necessarily dangerous.
    This only means that ice expands and contracts with temperature changes.
  • Schools of fish or waterfowl will also adversely affect the relative safety of ice.
    The movement of fish may bring warm water from the bottom of the lake’s surface, which may lead to holes in snowmobiles and cars.

Keep in mind some of the safety rules mentioned above. Then, in the next section, we will introduce tips for having the best ice-fishing adventure.