Ice fishing is a great way to continue providing wild game for your dinner table even after deer season closes. It’s also an activity that requires safety knowledge before you venture out. You need to know when the ice is OK to fish on and when you should find a different location. Below is a general ice fishing safety guide to help you have a safe and successful experience on the ice this winter. Please keep in mind these are just guidelines and you should always proceed with caution. Even if the ice “checks all the boxes” it’s never a 100% guarantee.
Pay Attention to How Clear the Ice Is
Clear ice is generally better than cloudy ice. Cloudy ice indicates impurities and irregularities in the ice which means it’s likely to be weaker. According to Take Me Fishing, “four inches of clear, newly formed ice may support one person on foot, while a foot or more of old, partially thawed ice may not.” Make sure you have a tool with you that can measure the ice. Take Me Fishing recommends that the ice be at least five inches thick to hold an ATV.
Ice Doesn’t Freeze Equally
Ice doesn’t freeze the same way all the way across the body of water. Once section of ice could be a foot thick, but another section nearby could only be a matter of inches thick. Don’t assume that the entire body of water is safe, even if you’re only moving feet away.
Avoid Piles of Snow
Ice that is buried underneath piles of snow will be weak. The extra weight of the snow will diminish the amount of extra weight it can handle, meaning it won’t be able to handle both the snow and your Stump Ice blind. The snow will also keep the ice too insulated to freeze properly.
Avoid Active Water
Bodies of water that are normally active and following with strong currents are more dangerous than a stagnant body of water. Moving water circulates warmer water to the top, which won’t allow the water to freeze. The same principal applies to schools of fish. While an ice fisher hopes for fish activity under the water, a large school of fish moving in the same area will stir warmer water to the top, weakening the ice.
Use Our Stump Ice Blinds
Ice fishing from our Stump Ice blinds will create a smooth transition from hunting season to ice fishing season. Our Ice blinds double as hunting blinds so you can take it straight from the woods to the pond. The ski base makes it easy to move across the ice. The Stump 4 Ice comes equipped with four ice fishing holes and covers. The wood floor will keep your feet off the ice and the insulation will keep you warm. If you need extra warmth, you can mount a heater to the rigid walls.
When you make the transition to ice fishing this winter, make sure you are staying vigilant. Ice is never 100% safe, so do as much as you can to make informed decisions. Check the thickness of the ice before taking your blind onto the ice. Don’t take any chances. If you’re questioning it, change to another location. If you follow the guidelines, you can extend your outdoor season and enjoy more wild game on your table this winter.
How do you make sure you stay safe when you’re ice fishing? Let us know in the comments below!