Ice Fishing Tips -Check your local regulations! > Ice Fishing Safety

What's your Must-Have Ice Safety Gear?

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My #1 must have safety gear is a sharp chisel. This is a proactive approach to safe ice fishing. Before you take a step, punch a hole through the ice and stick your fingers in to check the actual ice thickness. Yeah, your fingers / hands might get cold, but that's better than your body. When I go onto the ice and I am not sure of the thickness, I punch a hole before each and every step and reach down and check the ice. It's hard work and slow going but safety should be the first priority.

Ice picks are the Reactive approach. After you go in, you use them to get yourself out. Too late at that point but nice to have just in case.

I always have my chisel with me wheather the ice is 2" or 24", I still have it with me. Comes in handy for doing other things too, breaking ice off your gear, stuffing tie downs through the ice, chipping out your holes etc...
I've seen alot of guys checking the ice with a nice 38lbs auger plus all their gear in tow....I've seen a guy go through the ice by "checking the ice" that way too. Had to help him out of the lake after I warned him the ice was too thin just beyond my tip ups. He took 2 steps beyond my lines and that was it. I had to slide my sled (I have a long tow rope) out to him so he could grab on and then pulled him out of the water.

I have the 2 piece Jiffy chisel and it is one of the best ones I've tried. I actually have 2 Jiffy chisels, I got a good deal on a new one last year that I couldn't pass up.

I also have an Arctic Armor jacket but only use it during early ice and late ice. It's too hot and doesn't breathe....creating condensation.

Common sense plays a big part too in ice safety, if you dont think it's safe, stay off the ice. Look around, Dont be afraid to ask someone how thick the ice is but better yet, bring a chisel with you and check it yourself.


Fisherman 1:
A quality compass, no batteries needed, GPS for accuracy and ice picks.

All the survival gear listed is a great idea! I tend to forget about it sometimes as I just stash lighters and magnesium strikers in all my pockets, tackle and tool bags at the start of the season.

--- Quote ---My #1 must have  safety gear is a sharp chisel.
--- End quote ---
Me too, I carry the 4' JIffy spud bar, and use it to check the ice ahead of me when I'm on the early season trout ponds.

Arctic Armor and ice spikes is all I need ;D

My Arctic Armor with ice spikes in the pocket and I carry 50ft of rope with a carabiner on one end in the bottom of my bucket/sled.



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