Tips for keeping safe while ice fishing

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – With more mild temperatures in the coming days, you might be tempted to try a little ice fishing.

But if you’re not careful, a bad day’s fishing might not beat a good day’s work.

Before you begin cutting holes and dropping lines, it’s important to obtain a fishing permit and layer up.

“With the conditions in the winter, you want to be prepared as far as thermally, you know, you want to make sure you have a lot of layers in terms of clothing,” said Tony Barada of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

He said ice thickness is something to consider, as some areas may be more frozen than others.

Barada suggests using a spud bar, chisel or ice pick to check conditions as you walk out.

Those tools can also help you climb out in the event you fall into the freezing water.

“Good, clear ice is the best,” Barada said. “It’s the most solid. It means it’s frozen solid through at a fast pace. So that’s one of things to look for. Cloudier, grayish, white ice typically isn’t as strong.”

Ice shelters are a great way to block out the wind or warm up during the trip. If you use a portable heater, it is important to vent the structure, as propane and natural gas can build up.

Those who fish alone will want to make sure they inform somebody of their plans and call it a day when the sun goes down.

“People can get disoriented and not figure out the ice thickness on your way back to your vehicle,” Barada said. “There is a lot of things that can happen in that dark than what is in the light.”

If you bring children, take them to a spot you have fished at before to ensure the ice is safe.

Also consider picking a close spot that doesn’t require too much walking.

Pets can be welcome addition to any trip, but keeping them safe can be a hassle. Previously drilled holes can present a safety hazard for your furry friends.

Keeping them close by and guiding them to and from your spot ensures a safe and fun trip for not only your group, but others around you.

The most important tip is bringing a charged cellphone.

A link for more tips about ice fishing can be found here.

Categories: Nebraska News, News