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Hello, my name is Allen. I just recently joined Big BG. My wife actually found this great site. I learned to fish with my grandfather. He showed me everything I know about fishing. But , my grandmother showed me how to clean fish and also how to cook them, but most of the time we catch and release. I love to fish and the best thing is that I found the perfect mate that loves to fish too. What else can a man ask for?

I have one question. How do you ice fish, because I can't get over the fear of being on the ice. We lived in Grand Rapids, MI for a while and I was invited to go but I turned down the chance out of fear.

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Welcome aboard Allen (and Kiana). I'm kind of new around here myself, so you're in good company. Lots of great information. On the ice deal, I'm like you - I rarely do it. And that is perfectly OK, especially if you live further south where ice is a fleeting thing. The few times I've gone though, I just erred on the side of caution. I went with someone who

1-knew what they were doing
2-was cautious and not crazy either
3-drilled holes starting right off the shoreline as we went out to test for thickness
4-only went after weeks of cold weather when we had heard of thicknesses of 6" plus
5-and studied a bit of science about how much weight ice can hold to reassure myself

After that it was a piece of cake. I know several diehards who test the limits every year going out on 2" or so to get an ice bite, and it pays off for them in nice catches, but to me my life isn't worth catching a few extra fish during the winter, so I wait for more reassuring conditions.

Check out this link for lots of great ice info: Ohio State Univ. Ice Data
Thanks for the great info, makes it seem a lot safer than I pictured.
you live in the ice fishing capital of the world, get out and ice fish
welcome to the site, i too am a newbie
be safe check the ice every 5-10 feet as you move out further onto the ice look for signs of danger dark and light patches of ice that dont match the rest , slushy spots on top of the ice
never go alone, get some safety picks and keep them around your neck or hook them to your coveralls
god forbid you ever fall thru but if it happens swim to the dark spot
wear a life jacket , i like the ones you wear around your waist like a fanny pack that only inflates if it contacts the water
im sure there will be others with helpful tips

get out and ice fish

ive seen pictures of lake michigan in the winter it looks like a big city of ice shacks and trucks and cars i would bet the ice gets pretty thick there

i personally wont go out on the ice unless there are at least four inches, and i fish in lakes that are 195 feet deep!!!!
I'm with ya on this Allen, also have a great lady. She loves to fish mostly when kids are involved, which is often. I've never been able to talk her in to huntin, though she is great at cooking fish and game. Myself I've never been on any kinda ice other than a frozen parking lot. Just lately have become curious of ice-fishin and would give it a go, but would also need some good advise and leadership. Our main problem is the temperature here in Tenn. but I would far better go to where it was frozen than to wish freezin around here, Brrrrrrrr....
update from garton pond, ice fishn trip caught 40-50 fish, only 2 avg size gills
thought that was odd. the crappie bite was good
we had a blast!!
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Allen-You can get over the fear by watching heavier guys walking on the ice and catching fish.Hell if they don't sink neither will you!
I would have to agree with you on the fear of going out on the Ice. It's really tough because I have a access to a private pond right across the street from my house and it APPEARS to be frozen solid. The pond is about 16-17feet deep in it's center and is just over 1 acre in size. NO ONE has ever tried to ice fish it before. People have walked out on it in the past but I can't get myself out on the ice. I'm not sure if it can hold my 250 lbs. There is just no way of measureing the thickness of the ice. This is pure torture because this pond is a bluegill and white crappie machine the rest of the year- so I wonder what it could be like right now? This pond has produced a two pound bluegill that I witnessed last summer that a friend caught. So I know the big gills are most likely sitting almost on the bottom in the middle where the deepest water is I would assume. Another problem is I do not have any fishing buddies that are ice fisherman. If I had someone else who was a expert on it I may be a little more brave-I think. Lucky for me though here in Northern Kentucky this Iced over period last no longer than a week or two and some years there is no ice at all. Our winters here go from one extreme to the next in a matter of days. I guess I will just have to wait untill this ice melts. Hopefully very soon. So this makes two of us afraid to go out on the ice. Happy Fishing!

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