Millions of people go out ice fishing each year and for many they find it an enjoyable experience. However, ice fishing can be quite risky. You are walking around on ice and you never know what can happen yet many don’t know how they can reduce the risk of being hurt when out on the ice. So, how can you stay safe when ice fishing?
Watch Out For Weak Spots
Ice is dangerous at the best of times and you don’t just have to be worried about slipping and hurting an ankle, you also have to be wary of falling straight through it. Weak spots are particularly treacherous and are often hidden in plain sight. When the ice is particularly thin or weak it can be extremely dangerous because it’s already at breaking point and when additional pressure is placed on it, it can break.
If you want to stay safe, you must avoid them entirely. Keep a sharp eye over the entire ice at all times, no matter if it appears safe. Before stepping onto the ice, look over the area and see whether or not there are signs of weak or thin ice and do the same even when you have been out on the ice for hours. Things can change quickly and ice can become extremely weak so you must have a wary eye at all times to remain safe.
Go With a Friend
When you want to remain safe whilst ice fishing, you are best to buddy up. Now, sometimes, heading out with a friend mightn’t always be possible however, you should try to go out with someone. It can be extremely dangerous to go out alone because if you get hurt, there is no one around to help you so when you want to go ice fishing, try to get someone to accompany you. You might be surprised and find a few people would like to go ice fishing.
Check Weather Conditions Before Leaving
When a storm is about to hit the local area you do not want to be stuck out in the middle of the ice. It’s extremely dangerous because during the stormy conditions, you could get hurt or the ice could become unstable so you don’t want to take the risk. Going out to ice fish when a storm is approaching is mad because you are putting yourself in the firing line needlessly.
Instead, before you step a toe out of the front door, check on the local weather forecast for the upcoming hours. This will give you an idea of what the weather should be like within the next day or so and you can decide whether or not it’s safe to go ice fishing. Checking the weather conditions is important because it can keep you safe from harm.
Keep an Eye on the Changing Weather Conditions
If the weather holds up until you make it out onto the ice, you still have to be extremely aware of it. Usually, the signs are there when things are about to turn bad and you need to remain alert for the signs the weather is going to get worse. It may be clouds overhead or a drop in wind or temperature; but no matter what the signs are, take note of them. Before things get bad, get out of the area.
Wear a Life Jacket at All Times
No one wants to think about the worst situation however we all have to be realistic. When you go ice fishing there is a strong possibility you are going to end up in the water. Should someone end up falling through ice the first thing they do is panic and that can often lead to disaster. You must remain calm and to help keep you safe, you should wear a life preserver. Life jackets are useful and you’d be surprised how many ice fishermen actually wear these because more are now using these.
Don’t Take Any Unnecessary Vehicles Out Onto the Ice
A lot of people make the mistake of believing ice is strong and that it can hold thousands of pounds in weight. Unfortunately, ice is weak and a little added pressure can easily cause it to break away and when you make the mistake of taking a heavy vehicle out onto the ice, you are asking for trouble. Yes, there are thousands of anglers who take their vehicles out each year but they are putting themselves at risk.
Vehicles aren’t meant for ice simply because they are way too heavy, even when they aren’t overloaded. If you want to stay safe when ice fishing you must keep your vehicle away from the ice; otherwise you risk having a nasty accident. Don’t take the risk.
Use Your Best Judgment
Trusting your gut instincts might appear to be a little foolish at times especially when nothing goes wrong but sometimes, the risk is not worth it. If you ever feel a little worried about the ice conditions or the weather then trust what your head and heart are telling you – they might save your life.
Closed Off Areas Are There For a Reason
There aren’t too many areas which are closed off but when you do come across these places, you must avoid them. Now, if the local authorities have chosen to pitch signs informing you the area is closed off, it’s for a good reason and you need to heed the warning. Never cross into an area which is out-of-bounds because the ice in the area may be unsafe. Keep away from any closed off areas no matter how safe they look to you.
Safety Is Important
Too many people go out on the ice and find themselves in deep trouble. It is just so easy to get into trouble on the ice and sometimes, it can be avoided. That is why you need to know how to stay safe when you are going ice fishing. Knowing a few basic things could end up saving you or the life of another.