Author Topic: Learning to Spud. Increase knowledge and chance of going through???  (Read 715 times)

Offline Noon

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Still being new to ice fishing, I am taking in as much information as I can get. I was told, use a spud bar to check ice. I got one, I now use it all the time, even when there are people all over the place and the ice is plenty thick (8"+).

The other day I was out on some ice that formed at the inlet to a reservoir. There was a solid 4 inches of clear hard ice. But on top of that was about 3-4inches of frozen snow/white ice, then a thin layer of water with another 3-4 inches of frozen snow/white ice on top of that. When I would hit my spud bar, the top layer would sometimes crack and I could feel, hear, and see that layer shift and settle. Sometimes it was just around where I struck, other times it it would go from where I struck and run a crack for some 40-50ft. Was incredibly unsettling, but having taken a few big heavy, foot-pounding jumps (close to a shore where i knew it was only about 1-2' deep) I was fairly confident that it was only the top layer moving and I wasnt at immediate risk of going through with each step.

My reason for this post, is to gain some more information after my experience as well as another post I recently saw where a guy said he hit with his spud bar and he and the spud went right through the ice.

So aside from the unique ice condition scenario that I posted, does using a spud bar increase the chances of the ice breaking and having you go through? It is a pretty gnarly impact when I smack that step chisel into the ice and I went from loving the spud to now questioning if it is a double edged sword.
"How was your weekend?" "It was great!" "What did you do?" "I stared into a hole for 8 hours a day.

Online missoulafish

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Does not increase the chance of you going through. If you can poke through all the way in one poke, odds or you shouldnt be out there.  The benefits far outweigh anything else.

Offline Noon

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Thanks. I haven't ever fallen through the ice and plan to keep it that way. I love having the spud but after hearing that someone went through while spudding and having my experience of the ice shifting with hits of the spud, I became a little less confident in spudding due to my limited knowledge. I'd rather have the spud than be walking blind.
"How was your weekend?" "It was great!" "What did you do?" "I stared into a hole for 8 hours a day.

Offline fishinator

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Thanks. I haven't ever fallen through the ice and plan to keep it that way. I love having the spud but after hearing that someone went through while spudding and having my experience of the ice shifting with hits of the spud, I became a little less confident in spudding due to my limited knowledge. I'd rather have the spud than be walking blind.
its possible the person that went through with the spud wasn't checking often enough while walking. Just a guess though. I check every step of the way and have been saved multiple times.
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Offline Kobey

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A spud is just another tool to help keep you safe.  If you are in a place where you have to spud every step, you're taking a chance just by being there.  Some people are bigger risk takers than others.  For me, I use the spud on unfamiliar waters where there could be spring holes or other weak spots that are unknown to me.  A spud can save your life but it can't make up for taking unnecessary risks on the ice.

Offline Noon

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A spud is just another tool to help keep you safe.  If you are in a place where you have to spud every step, you're taking a chance just by being there.  Some people are bigger risk takers than others.  For me, I use the spud on unfamiliar waters where there could be spring holes or other weak spots that are unknown to me.  A spud can save your life but it can't make up for taking unnecessary risks on the ice.

Wouldnt unfamiliar waters warrant the need to spud every step? I haven't been on ice yet where the spud goes through or even shows water without more than 4 good hits in the same spot.  I am trying to minimize risk while on the ice. I was asking if spudding increases the risk of ice cracking under you. In addition, any other tips or suggestions you have for minimizing "unnecessary risks on the ice"?
"How was your weekend?" "It was great!" "What did you do?" "I stared into a hole for 8 hours a day.

Offline Kobey

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Wouldnt unfamiliar waters warrant the need to spud every step? I haven't been on ice yet where the spud goes through or even shows water without more than 4 good hits in the same spot.  I am trying to minimize risk while on the ice. I was asking if spudding increases the risk of ice cracking under you. In addition, any other tips or suggestions you have for minimizing "unnecessary risks on the ice"?

I was in a hurry posting that so I may not have been as precise as I should have been.  I'm not one to take a lot of chances and I tend to fish places that have good ice.  I won't go out on 2", and to me it sounds crazy when I read about all the people that do.  So I would never recommend a novice going to a place where spudding every step is a must instead of a precaution.  By just going out on any ice we are taking a risk, so it's up to each person to determine what's an acceptable risk for them.   

Offline icecube

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  I always have my spud with me when on the ice. As I have, and lots of others have seen ice go from a foot of ice to 1" to 2" of ice. Yes it is,
 on different lakes, rare.  But it only takes once with out the spud. And yes nothing is 100 percent preventative on ice. But I like my chances a whole lot better with the spud.  Depends how much you enjoy the polar plunge. I personally don't want to find out if I enjoy it!  Especially since others that have tried it.  Said they didn't enjoy it all that much!   :o   So enjoy the ice.  Stay on top!
A spud is just another tool to help keep you safe.  If you are in a place where you have to spud every step, you're taking a chance just by being there.  Some people are bigger risk takers than others.  For me, I use the spud on unfamiliar waters where there could be spring holes or other weak spots that are unknown to me.  A spud can save your life but it can't make up for taking unnecessary risks on the ice.

Offline Noon

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I have never been the type of person to take big risks, definitely not when it comes to physical safety. I also am not a big fan of frigid water. So, I definitely will not be on ice that is less than 4" of solid black. From what everyone has shared (thank you all) I will continue to keep smacking that spud into the ice because even if the ice seems to be uniform and plenty thick, I'd rather get an arm workout than go for a swim.
"How was your weekend?" "It was great!" "What did you do?" "I stared into a hole for 8 hours a day.

Offline Unclegillhunter

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No I dont believe using a spud increases your risk of going into the water. The scenario you posted is pretty self explanatory. You had poor surface stuff and it sounds like you had good ice as a base. Bottom line I use a spud bar every time I go out dont care if there are folks out on the ice or not. If your slam goes through stop and retreat! Does not mean you cant get on good ice just not on that track. Also I use the spud on the way back off the ice. Depending on the weather a track that was good going out may have deteriorated after 6 or 7 hours. As you get used to the way your hand feels when you hit the ice you will be able to tell that something is off.
Keep it safe! JDL

 



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