5 Ice Fishing Safety Tips

Discover Wisconsin

February 7, 2014

In Wisconsin, winter can last three to five months (some years maybe longer). Many of us tend to stay indoors and hide from the cold, wind and snow. It’s time to break that habit. Enter ice fishing in Wisconsin.
Once considered a sport only for the most rugged, warm-blooded person, ice fishing has become an increasingly popular winter activity here in Wisconsin. And why wouldn’t it be? It is one of the most easily accessible outdoor winter activities. What makes it even better is the fact that Wisconsin has some of the best northern pike, walleye and pan fishing in the country.
New to ice fishing? Below are some tips to help keep everyone safe this winter. These may seem like no-brainers, but this could be the difference between an enjoyable and unbearable experience:

  1. Don’t go alone: Bring someone with to enjoy the experience – easier said than done. Always let someone know when you are going out on the ice and what time you’ll be back.
  2. Dress in layers:  Wear layers of clothing when you go ice fishing. This will allow you to remove layers if you get too warm. You can never have enough.
  3. Protect your head, feet and hands:  Your head, feet, and hands require the most protection when out in the elements. Wear a suitable stocking hat and protect your face with a ski mask or scarf. Wear wool socks and have hand warmers… handy.  Most importantly, keep your clothes dry.
  4. Watch your surroundings:  Always be on the lookout for open water especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. Check with locals about the safety of the ice and look for postings of ice hazards. For extra safety measures bring a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) like a seat cushion, which serves a dual-purpose.
  5. Know when it’s quitting time: Have a plan on how long you are going to stay out on the ice. If you get cold or tired, it’s quitting time.

Head to the Wisconsin DNR website to learn more about ice safety. Have some ice fishing tips of your own? Leave a comment below.
Get outside and show Mother Nature who’s boss! Have fun and be safe.

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