The weather is getting colder and another hunting season is in the books. So, what do you do if you’re still craving outdoor activity? Take one of our Stump ‘Ice’ blinds onto a lake or pond this winter and try your hand at reeling in some fish. Check out our list of ice fishing tips and safety precautions below and learn how you can enjoy another season from your Banks Outdoors blind.

Know the Limits

It’s important to note that water does not freeze uniformly. The ice may be 10 inches thick in one area and only 2 inches thick a few feet over. Always check the thickness of the ice before venturing out onto it. Don’t assume one area is the same as another. That said, there are a few basic guidelines you can follow to know how much weight a certain section of ice can hold.

  • 2 inches thick or less: Don’t step on it at all, stay off that section.
  • 4 inches thick: You can ice fish on foot.
  • 5 inches thick: Snowmobile or ATV.
  • 8 – 12 inches thick: Car or small pickup.
  • 12 – 15 inches thick: Medium-sized truck.

Note the Age of the Ice

It’s also important to know how old the ice is. New ice is thicker than old ice. If the ice is clear and nearly translucent, the ice has newly formed. If the ice is white or cloudy and murky, the ice is older and therefore not as strong. The weight guidelines mentioned above apply to clear, new ice. If you’re ice fishing on white, older ice, double the above numbers.

Pay Attention to the Area

Ice formed on top of currents and continuously flowing water is less stable than stagnant water. This applies to streams and outside of river bends. Ice nearest to the land or shoreline is likely weaker than ice in the middle of the water. If there is a significant amount of snow on top of the ice, that will affect the strength of the ice. The snow is putting weight on the ice, so if you add the weight of the snow to the weight of your vehicle, that section of ice may no longer be safe.

Stump ‘Ice’ and Stump ‘Scout’

If you’ve found a body of water that is thick enough to hold yourself and your Stump blind, you’re ready to set up your blind. Our Stump ‘Ice’ blinds come with ice fishing holes for easy access to the water. Our Stump 2 ‘Ice’ comes with two holes, the Stump 3 ‘Ice’ comes with three and the Stump 4 ‘Ice” comes with four. You’ll remain warm and protected from the elements even in the coldest weather conditions. The blind is made from a UV stabilized polyethylene material that won’t freeze or crack, so you can leave it outside all winter as long as it’s legal in your area and on that property.

Our Stump ‘Ice’ blinds have the same ski base and rigid hitch as our Stump ‘Scout’ blinds, so you can pull the blind onto the ice and begin fishing immediately, no setup is required beyond drilling the hole in the ice. Mount your gear to the sturdy, rigid walls so you can change rods or reels quickly. Then when you’re done, simply close the door. There’s no struggling to manage zippers, stakes, or other accessories with gloved hands. If the ice you’d like to fish isn’t strong enough to hold the blind, set up your Stump ‘Scout’ blind on land and fish from the shore through one of the blinds’ many windows.

Ice fishing from our blinds will help keep you active and help keep wild game in your freezer. Follow the guidelines above and have a safe and bountiful ice fishing season.

Do you use Banks Outdoors blinds for ice fishing? Let us know in the comments below!

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