It’s important to know basic ice safety in order to maximize ice fishing safety and enjoy your winter fishing outing.
Checking The Ice
A spud bar/chisel isn’t meant to be a walking stick. You should be comfortable and familiar with what each swing means for you to determine how much ice there is. Three hard swings might mean 2″ of ice for some, however might mean 5″ for others. This all depends on which specific chisel you’re using, how hard you’re swinging it, and the quality (hard or soft) of the ice. Take your time and check the whole way out — and back — not just near the shoreline. If you’re looking for a chisel: check out the Rapala Two-Piece Chisel. Remember to be especially cautious out on early ice and always wear the appropriate floatation suits and ice picks!
Check out this video demonstrating how to use a spud bar:
The following guidelines can help you make safe choices heading out to your ice house or ice fishing adventure:
One of the most important ice fishing basics is that of following ice thickness guidelines.
2″ or less – STAY OFF ICE
4″ – Ice fishing (other activities while on foot)
5″ – Snowmobile or ATV
8″ – 12″ – Car or SUV-Truck
12″ – 15″ – Medium Truck
Note: These guidelines are for new, clear solid ice. Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe. Double the above thickness guidelines when traveling on white ice to ensure ice safety.
Content courtesy of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.