Ice Fishing Tips and Safety Gear for Beginners

ice fishing equipment

If you like cold weather, then maybe ice fishing is the sport for you. But if you do want to try it, remember that ice fishing has its own set of challenges and hazards. Beginners should always go with friends who have lots of experience judging the ice and the weather.

Ice Fishing Tips & Where to Go

You can go fishing on the Great Lakes, at least in sheltered bays where the ice freezes reliably. But judging the quality of the ice and the wind are crucial. Every year it seems like dozens of ice fishermen have to be rescued by the Coast Guard after they become stranded on a patch of ice floating “out to sea.”

ice fishing tipsInland lakes present their own challenges. Larger lakes make weaker ice. Anywhere there is moving water, the ice will be thinner. Get a map of your lake. Look for springs, aquifers and river channels. Vegetation along the shore weakens ice. The best ice forms during cold, calm nights. Rain and snow storms make the worst ice. Four to six inches of good ice is probably the minimum safe thickness. You can download charts showing the weight bearing capacity of good ice. But just because there are news reports that the ice on your favorite lake is five inches thick, never assume that the ice is safe.

Ice Fishing Safety Gear

ice fishing safety gearNever out go alone. With help, the chances of surviving an accident are much better. Take some gear that will help you escape from the water. Use an ice spud to check the condition of the ice in front of you. Wear ice creepers on your feet for traction, and carry ice spikes on a chord around your neck that you can use to help drag yourself out of a hole. Take a radio, so that you can call for help. Wear a life vest to improve your buoyancy, and carry a long rope so that someone can haul you out. Finally, have a change of dry clothes in your vehicle. Even after you make it back to shore, wet clothes and freezing temperatures can still kill you. If you do get into trouble, remember that the ice behind you, where you have already been is probably safer than the untried ice in front of you. So, go backwards. What ever you do, try not to panic.

Recommended Online Shopping Links:

1. My ice Fishing Tips

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2. Frabill 2 Piece Chisel

Frabill 2 Piece Chisel, ice fishing equipment
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3. Stabilicers Lite Duty Serious Traction Cleat

Stabilicers Lite Duty Serious Traction Cleat, ice fishing equipment
Price: $12.94 – $30.98




4. X20 Universal Adult Life Jacket Vest

X20 Universal Adult Life Jacket Vest, ice fishing equipment

Price: $23.80

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