Thursday, December 29, 2011

Catch-M-All's guide to Ice Safety!

We're all anxious to get out on the ice and catch some fish, but before you head out please make sure you're safe!
We borrowed some of this language from NH Fish and Game's Ice Safety website.

Never assume ice is safe, always test it for yourself!
Yesterday we were out on Pequawket pond in Conway fishing on six solid inches of ice.
Zoe looks deflated in her over-sized  winter clothes

Last night it was warm and rainy and we didn't want to take any chances.
Here's how to check the ice for safety.

 Dave decided to stay off the ice (the safest move) with his cell phone handy.
Clay increased his life insurance policy and headed out.

1. Wear a Personal Floatation Device
2. Tie a rope around yourself (not your neck!).

Clay wore a PFD under his jacket and tied a long rope around his body.

3. Drill or chip a hole every few feet, ice thickness can vary a great deal from one spot to the other.

Clay carried an auger on the ice and drilled a hole every few feet.
At first everything seemed cool, 4 inches, 5 inches.

Drill a hole every three to four feet.
Clay is measuring the ice, not guessing.

Then Disaster, the ice was crispy soft and only two inches thick!

4. If the ice is less than six inches, fish somewhere else.  The fish aren't worth dying for.

* If you do break through the ice, don't panic.  Move or swim back to where you fell in, where you know the ice was solid.  Lay both arms on the unbroken ice and kick hard.  This will help lift your body onto the ice.  A set of ice picks can aid you in a self-rescue (wear them around your neck or put them in an easily accessible pocket).  Once out of the water, roll away from the hole until you reach solid ice.

Without panicking Clay came off the ice going exactly the way he walked out.
Please be careful, always have a back up plan and don't head out alone!

If the ice is a solid six inches have a great time.
If the ice is crispy and soft be extremely careful. It is not safe ice!

We traveled to a smaller pond and did the same test.  The ice was six solid inches so we had a safe afternoon of fishing!


  1. This is great advice. Funny too. OK to link from

  2. Hey Joy, please feel free to link to this, and share it however you'd like.
    Dave and Clay