When do you know that ice is safe? That’s the big question this time of year. One thing that we do know for sure, it’s not when you see that first person venturing out there. Every year, we see people who pushing the limits on early ice and getting themselves killed. Just because people are out there, doesn’t mean that the conditions are safe.
You are the one that ultimately needs to make the decision of whether or not the ice is safe. Here are a few things Jeff “Jiggy” Andersen does to help keep him dry this time of year:
Jeff’s Early Ice Precautions
1. He always caries a spud bar with him. It’s a fabulous safety tool that will allow you to walk slowly out onto the ice, testing the conditions along as you venture out.
2. Wearing a life jacket or winter clothing with flotation built-in can help save your life if you do end up breaking through the ice. There are many different options available, but Jeff prefers the IceArmor Lift Suit. In many cases, it can be impossible to get back on the ice without being hoisted up by some form of flotation.
3. Make sure to gear up with other ice safety items as well, including ice spikes to help you climb out of the water if you fall through. It’s also advised to bring a throwable rope along, as well as a fishing buddy. Nothing is dumber than going out on early ice alone.
We’re all excited for ice fishing this time of year, but don’t let that excitement cloud your judgement. Stay safe out there!