Ice fishing is a very popular leisure activity during winter time. It can also be one of the most dangerous if you aren’t careful. Here are some tips to keep you safe when ice fishing this winter.
Before you leave to drive to your fishing spot, be sure to tell someone. That way, someone else not only knows where you’re going to be, but knows where to look for you in case you don’t come home. While situations can change on the water – especially if you get a tip on good fishing – letting someone else know where you’ll be and when you expect to return is a key part of being safe while ice fishing, says World Fishing Network.
When you leave the house, make sure you have the proper clothing on that ensure you will stay warm during the entire time you’re fishing. Dressing in layers is a smart idea as you can always remove layers to cool off if you’re overdressed. You should also have a floatation device with you while you are out on the ice just in case something happens. Last, bring a change of clothes in a waterproof bag. This will come in handy if you fall in and your clothes get soaked.
Whether a familiar fishing spot or a new location to you, the locals often know the ice levels better than you. Ask around in a local store or diner and get the opinion of residents before you head out for the first time. They will be able to tell you if at this point the ice is any good to fish on. They might also even be able to tell you what areas of the ice you should stay away from or which parts would be the best to fish on.
Observe the Ice
Once you arrive at your destination, take a look at the ice. Look at how it’s colored and try to see if there are any cracks or hollow-looking areas. A visual assessment can give you a better idea of how good or bad the ice is and may prevent you from running into trouble out on the ice. If the ice doesn’t look good when you arrive, it might be best to stay away that day.
Use a Sled
When you head out onto safe ice, carry all of your supplies in a sled. Carrying them in a bag that hangs over your shoulder makes you heavier and increases your chances or breaking the ice and falling in. A sled more evenly distributes the weight and puts less pressure on the ice.
Although Watson’s Kaby Lodge is closed during the winter months, we know many of our angler friends head out on the ice during the winter months. When the ice melts, though, book your trip for some incredible fishing at our fly-in lodge in Northern Ontario.
Be safe out on the ice this winter, and happy fishing from Tom and Michel!