Ice Fishing Basics and Safety


Ice fishing is a method of fishing where an angler catches fish through a hole in the ice of a frozen body of water. The frozen body of water can be a pond, lake and in some instances a river. Some ice fishermen will have elaborate setups that include heated cabins while others will simply sit out on the open ice and fish. Ice fishing has changed a lot over the past 25 years. With modern equipment and augers with 2 to 3 times more power the days of drilling a single hole and praying for a fish to come by have faded. Most states designate specific public ponds and lakes where you can ice fish. One of the key things to remember when ice fishing is that safety should always be your number one priority.


Ice fishing is one of the most dangerous methods of fishing and it’s important to follow the safety steps to ensure that make it back home in one piece. The recommend depth for walking on frozen water is 4″. While many fishermen will risk walking on 2 1/2″ ice, we don’t recommend it. Situations can occur on the great lakes where mile wide spans of ice can break off due to offshore winds. Always make sure you have a charged cell phone and tell someone where you’re fishing, when you’re leaving and when they should expect you back. Beware of ice rot in the late-winter warm-ups, even if ice is at the required depth it cannot support the standard weight.