Is it dangerous to ice fish?

While ice fishing is a fun outdoor activity, it needs to be enjoyed safely – with caution and preparation top of mind. The first thing to know about ice fishing is that no ice is “truly” safe. … Ice formed over moving water is never safe as the current can eat away at the ice underneath.

Is it safe to go ice fishing now?

Share: Ice is never completely safe. That said, many people successfully venture out on frozen lakes, streams and rivers each winter without breaking through the ice. While ice should never be considered completely safe, there are ‘acceptable’ thickness when the risk is lower.

How do you know if it’s safe to ice fish?

About 4-6 inches of good clear or blue/black ice is good, but if you are with more than one person, it’d be a good idea to wait until the ice is 6+ inches and solid. How long does it take ice to freeze to 5 inches? It all depends on the outside temperature and lake water temperature.

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How do you ice fish safely?

Thirteen ice fishing safety tips you need to know

  1. Share your fishing plans. …
  2. Bring a friend. …
  3. Talk to the locals. …
  4. Follow these ice thickness guidelines. …
  5. Purchase a flotation suit. …
  6. Carry a pair of ice picks/rescue claws. …
  7. Carry a throw rope. …
  8. Leave the lake before dark.


What is the most dangerous part of ice fishing?

Many people mistakenly believe that the biggest risk while ice fishing is the possibility of falling through the ice and drowning.

What are the biggest dangers of ice fishing?

Type of injury Percentage of cases
Bruises, sprains & broken bones 46%
Minor trauma (small cuts, etc.) 37%

What color ice is the safest to walk on?

Blue to clear ice is strongest; it is the most dense and safe to be on, if thick enough ( at least 4 inches or 10 cm thick).

Is ice thicker in the middle of a lake?

Ice on the edge is limited to the depth of the water at the edge. So it is always thicker towards the middle.

Can you walk on 2 inches of ice?

General Ice Thickness Guidelines

2 inches thick The ice is very susceptible to breakage and is not safe to walk on. 4 inches thick It should be ok to stand, skate, and ice fish on the surface.

How thick should ice be to ice fish?

Once you have the proper tools and safety gear for fishing on the ice, consider these general safe ice fishing, or safe ice thickness guidelines. Stay off of any ice that is 3 inches or less thick. Remember that a minimum of 4 inches of clear, solid ice is a requirement to support an average person’s weight.

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What should you do if you fall through ice?

  1. Stay calm. Don’t let the shock of falling into the ice-cold water take over. …
  2. Let your winter clothes act as a buoy. Keep your winter clothes on. …
  3. Turn back toward the direction you came from and use the solid ice to pull yourself out of the water. …
  4. Stay horizontal on the ice. …
  5. Warm up, quickly and carefully.


How much weight can 7 inches of ice hold?

Safe loads for clear and solid ice

Thickness of Ice Load or Activity
in cm
4 7.5 Snowmobile or smaller ATV, groups of people walking in a single line
7 17.5 A small car
8 20 A 2 1/2 tons truck

How much ice can a lake make overnight?

Based on studies, once a thin layer of ice film forms on a lake, it will add 1 inch of ice for every 15 freezing degree days in a 24 hour period.

When should I stop ice fishing?

If the ice is mushy or soft at the edges, stay off it.

Can you fall through 4 inches of ice?

At least 4 inches (10.2 cm) of ice thickness is needed for ice fishing, walking, or cross country skiing, whereas at least 5 – 6 inches is needed to support a snowmobile or ATV.

How thick does the ice need to be to drive on?

According to the Department of Natural Resources, 12-15 inches of solid ice is needed to safely drive a truck onto a lake or pond. 8-12 inches is needed for normal passenger vehicles.

Where do crappies go late ice?

Late ice crappies are also notorious for suspending, and one of the most common places they suspend is on or around the river channel in a reservoir system. Creek or river channels are natural fish highways, and crappies move to them in late winter to start their migration toward their spawning grounds.

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