Ice Fishing Safety Facts
Learn these ice fishing safety facts before you go on a fishing expedition. In many cold winter regions ice fishing is a normal activity. Preparation and knowing the conditions are important for safety when ice fishing. Many accidents can be avoided by knowing some of these ice fishing safety facts.
- Physical condition. A person that goes ice fishing should be in good physical shape. They should be able to swim and stay afloat in the water if they fall through the ice. Ice fishing requires using equipment, drilling holes and walking distances to find the right spot.
- Clothing. Lightweight clothing keeps you warm should be worn for ice fishing. A flotation device should be used in event the ice breaks unexpectedly. Don't wear anything that will restrict movement if you fall through the ice.
- Bring equipment to test ice thickness. You should bring equipment designed to test the ice thickness. Instruments to measure ice thickness are ice chisels, drills and measuring tape. Ice rescue picks thread through sleeves of jackets and gloves to pull you out of the water in a emergency.
- Get a printout of temperature for several days before you plan to go. Several days or weeks of freezing temperatures guarantees thick ice cover that will not break on you. Know the conditions before you venture out on the ice.
- Vehicles on ice. Snow mobiles and ATV need at least five inches of ice thickness to hold them properly. Cars and trucks need eight to twelve inches of thick ice to stay on top. Never go alone on the ice; go with friends and know the basics before you fish. Don't drive vehicles on the ice; leave them on shore.
- Ice chisel. You need a good ice chisel to cut a hole in the ice to see how thick it is. This is important for safety and ice fishing as a sport.
- Ice cleats and compass. Ice cleats give fisherman more traction on ice, especially without snow. Walking on ice can be hard and dangerous. A compass tell you the direction you are going, so take note so you can return in an emergency.
- Portable ice fishing shelter. If you plan to stay on the ice, use a portable ice fishing shelter. It is a good investment when ice fishing.
- Ice fishing sled. Consider using a ice fishing sled instead of driving a snow mobile. Sleds are more lightweight and less likely to break through the ice.
- More equipment needed. Don't forget to bring a fishing pole, bait, reels, lines and bobbers. Carry your fishing license with you. Bring an ice scoop for removing slush and a bucket to sit on. If staying a while, a propane heater and cell phone are a good investment.
- If new to the sport don't go alone but go with experience ice fisherman and learn as much about the sport before you plunge in and try it.