Winter is a slow time of year for boat owners. The water’s frozen over and at this point, you’ve already prepared your boat for the harsh weather of the winter season. So with your vessel all covered up, it’s time to break out the ice fishing supplies.
Before heading out on the lake, it’s important to keep in mind the following ice safety tips.
Check the thickness
It’s impossible to accurately gauge the thickness, strength, and age of ice just by its appearance. There are many factors that come into play, such as depth of water below the ice, size of the body of water, and the currents flowing below. However, there are a few indicators to help you get out to your fishing hut safely.
Before heading out, ask the local bait shop or corner store about the day’s ice conditions. Once there, use an ice chisel or drill to cut through the ice and then measure. According to Red Cross, ice thickness should be six inches for walking and ten inches for snowmobiles.
Evaluate the color
The color of the ice is a big indicator of strength and may save you the trip. Ice is at its strongest when it’s clear blue. White or snowy ice is half as strong and gray ice is the weakest and most dangerous. The grayness indicates that there is water present below the layer of ice and should not be tested.
Wear a floatation device
Even if you are ice fishing from the shore, it’s essential that you wear some type of protective suit. Ice is always expanding and contracting due to the changing temperature, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Bring a friend
Having a fishing buddy with you will ensure that if trouble does come about on the ice, a rescue is not out of reach. If found in a dangerous situation, call for help. If near the break, try to lie down so that your weight is distributed evenly on the ice and have the person in the water kick while the other carefully pulls them out.
Follow these safety tips and you’re sure to have a smooth ice fishing trip ahead of you! Once the ice melts, it’s time to uncover the boat and give V-Dock a call at 651-464-3902 to get you back in the water!