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

Float gear vs non float gear. First hand experience

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A couple weeks ago a buddy an I decided to give the ice a go at a spot thats not real popular for ice fishing as its sort of an alkali slough of sorts.  We did check the ice all the way out to where we found a sufficient depth and fished there for awhile with not real great luck.  I had brought my rifle as it was deer hunting season as well at the time so we decided to walk into shore and go after a deer that we had seen through our binos while siting at our ice holes.  We couldnt get close enough to the deer before it took off so we headed back to our fishing holes.  The mistake we made was this......instead of walking back along the shore to the exact track we had tested the ice and walked out with our gear, we cut straight across from the point on shore we were, towards our holes.  We really only cut off a few hundred yards and we actually had gotten almost to our holes when i felt the ice crack and dropped in rifle and all.  We would have been in roughly 18 feet of water at that point.  As my friend was behind me 6 feet or so, he hadnt hit the thin spot quite yet but when he saw me go in he moved forward, bent down to reach for me and he then came crashing in behind me.  So there we are, two of us panicking and flailing about trying to get out. Every time I grabbed the edge of the ice to try and get up, it would break away which added more to my mental state and panic.  I felt that we both may not make it out of that hole.  We eventually managed to pull ourself up and onto the ice and get back to a warm place to warm up and slightly dry off.  I was wearing my Striker bibs and an FXR coat with the FAST float tech so when I took my coat off later I could see the wet line on my shirt only went up to my chest.  This was a huge advantage as my head did not get wet and I wasnt fighting to stay afloat.  My buddy on the other hand had no float gear on and he went under 3 or 4 times and had a way bigger fight to get himself up and onto the ice.  Had he not been in really great condition I dont know how it might had gone for him.  Even with the advantage I had, I was still completely exhausted by the time I got safely away from the hole.  Needless to say my buddy ordered himself a Striker suit the next day.  I went home and hugged my kids extra long that night. 

What a scary, scary story!  Glad you two were able to work your way out!  I might still be hugging my family if that had happened to me.

This is why I ordered a suit this year.  I have never fallen in but want to ensure that I have given my self the best chance if the worst happens

Fish Butcher:

--- Quote from: bigbucky1 on Dec 07, 2020, 07:24 PM ---This is why I ordered a suit this year.  I have never fallen in but want to ensure that I have given my self the best chance if the worst happens

--- End quote ---

I picked up an FXR Adrenaline suit to snowmobile in this year with F.A.S.T. built in. It's bulky but really nice and I am happy to have some floatation when snowmobiling and fishing.


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