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Ice fishing intrigues me because it ends my fishing here!!!! Michael has already been out on the ice, so how do you determine the thickness!!!! Who is the first one to go out and check, the smallest of the group??? What precaution do you take as you venture out on the ice?????

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Dick , Do you not use a spud??? How do you haul your auger, and how much weight does that add????

Use to use a spud. Now it is strictly gas auger. To hall I have a ice shanty with a sled when we have new ice I don't have to pull it out to far because I like to fish the outside of the weed bed. The weed bed won't be there long so I'll have to go out in deeper water. At that time I can pull everything with the ATV, ice permitting.

There is some truth to that.

Thank you 2lbgill, I was hoping for YOUR WISDOM on this subject!!!! You came thru in SHINING FORM!!!! I will stay off the ice!!!

First and foremost, don't go alone.....No fish is worth your life...or even simply worth going through.

You would think that 5" would be safe right?????......not necessarily. The spud bar check method is the safest way, although certain ice surface conditions can create dangerous irregularities in ice thickness. Back in the early 90's, two friends and I were ice-fishing a local preserve pond in Northern Illinois....26 acres..mid 30 air temps, cloudy, 5" of mostly glare ice with occasional patches of drifted snow, less than an inch deep.....I left my partners on the productive weed edge, and packed up to head home.....traveling light, I hooked my 5 gal bucket with my hand auger, slung it over my shoulder, and headed off.... About half way across, I happened to cross one of those patches of snow.....8 ft of water...all of a sudden things got soft...real soft.

I didn't panic....I got the bucket and auger off my shoulder, slid the bucket away from the hole, and flung the auger in the same direction.....I then leaned my back against the hole, lifted my right boot up and against the opposite side of the hole, arched my back, and completely rolled out, and away from the hole.....I was lucky......my friends watched in fear, from quite a distance...This whole process happened so fast, my cigs didn't even get wet. Once out of the hole, and fully drenched from the nipples down, a person can gain 5-10 lbs of water weight, and can easily be subjected to hypothermia after the event.....I was OK....but my buddies experienced a very scary walk off I can assure you.

Ok  the snow created an insulation effect drawing heat from below the ice.. Now with the amount of snow Yall have up there is it a limited time of ice fishing!!!!  If I would have been one of your buddies I would have been crawling out of there on my BELLY!!!!!!

12 weeks of ice-fishing on average.....typically mid Dec. to mid March....but we are behind....might not be safe until Jan....Farmers Almanac said we would have a colder winter....go figure.                                                                                 

Greg, do you have any buddies who icefish? It can be a fun, and extremely productive way to catch fish, but it has it's own hazards, even for seasoned anglers, as Bill has pointed out. I would like to see you hook up with someone who has some hardwater experience  for your first few times, at least until you get a feel for what's going on, and what things you need to watch for.

Do not go out without the following, I don't care how many people you're with.

Ice cleats on your boots.

A set of  floating "picks", around your neck, or somewhere instantly obtainable. Not buttoned up in a pocket.

A flotation suit, or PFD.

Carry 50-100' of rope in your gear at all times. It might save your live, or someone else's. Tie a large knot in each end. Frozen fingers don't grip well.

Keep a cell phone in a dry location. Some guys seal em' up in a ziplock and put them in a pocket, I'm not sure I could get it out and use it with frozen hands... I keep mine in my vehicle, back on shore.

Keep a spare set of clothes in your vehicle.

I'm sure I'll think of a few other commandments shortly.

Tony, In Oklahoma ice fishing is not really an option!!!! once or maybe twice in a decade the ice is thick enough!!!!! Years ago a guy from Canada who I computered with said I ought to try it!!!!! I explained you just don't do that here!!!! The next day at work I went by a pond, with snow on the ice and there were a dozen cows standing on the ice!!!! I thought you know it would support my weight. The cattle were 400 to 500 lbs!!!! Three days later six of them had fell thru the ice!!!!! Now at times it is possible here but after falling thru the ice myself when I was about 10, my Mother in a  covincing and loving way taught me not to go on the ice, EVER!!!!!! Some lessons stay with you along time!!!!!

  If I ever head to the north country, might have to give it a try!!!!! It does intrigue me!!!!

How many cows?.....lol

This is one of my local lakes....Paddock lake, Wi.

LOL, Thats great, that is the difference looks like a party!!!! Was everyone Fishing??????? You know I might consider something like that!!!!! Are all of them parked on the lake itself!!!!!

So, how thick does the ice have to be too drive an SUV or pickup onto it?

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