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Far-I

How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need?

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Are you a "life-jacket-wearing-john-boat-pushing" hardwater enthusiast out there right away?

Do you have a wife and kids that make you wait longer?

How many inches before you go out on foot? In truck?

How many inches before the permanant shantys go out? (An answer to the shanty question is particularily useful for me.)

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I will go out on 4" with a life jacket, and sometimes less with a rope connected to me and the four wheeler on shore. Not vey smart, but fun when the fish are biting. I don't bring my kids out until there is good ice, and even then I am very careful. I like about 12" before I drive my truck, and will pull the permanant out before that with the four wheeler. Ice will be here soon.

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I went out last year on 2 inches of ice where the max depth was 5ft or so, and very close to shore as well. As far as a vehicle, 12" plus. I have had people drive next to me on the lake with a full-size truck with 7" of ice. That makes me a bit nervous for all of us eek

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I don't think I'm going to go out till I see 7" this year. My wife and I went early (3-4) last year and it was really unnerving.

The slush outside a marina being like 4" deep wasn't fun to walk through. :P

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I typically won't walk out until there's at least 6" measured at a few different places. It may be 6" here but 3" just 20 feet away.

I won't drive an ATV out until I measure a consistant 8" or more and a car, I have to have a foot minimum.

Maybe I'm not as daring as some but I'd rather think there is no fish worth the risk.

Bob

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I will walk on three, if it is nice and clear. If the ice formed up and it got windy and broke things up and piled up on one side of the lake, I will wait longer, maybe 5. If there is snow on the ice and it is clear I want 5, ice that isn't clear I want at least 6. It is different every year.

Last year we got about 4.5 and then 6" of snow and it sucked. It wrecked early ice for a lot of folks last year as the slush made it near impossible to get around.

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somewhere between 4" and 6" to walk, 6" plus for the ATV, and 12" plus for a vehicle. I love fishing, but its not worth my life.

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icethic.jpg

4 inches, except for a little walleye slough that I know I could touch bottom, and when I start there I won't go alone or without ice picks and a staff (or without my ARCTIC ARMOR!) . I usually wait for 3 inches there. 3" can happen in two stiff cold nights, so it's not like it will take forever to get there.

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I typically won't walk out until there's at least 6" measured at a few different places. It may be 6" here but 3" just 20 feet away.

I won't drive an ATV out until I measure a consistant 8" or more and a car, I have to have a foot minimum.

Maybe I'm not as daring as some but I'd rather think there is no fish worth the risk.

Bob

That's pretty much where I stand too. I'll venture out on 4-5" as long as it's good, clear, ice. Watching how a lake freezes up can tell you how good the ice is too. Sometimes we get this early freeze and then a thaw, and all the ice chunks get pushed to one shore by the wind and then refreeze. This isn't good ice at all and something I keep in mind early on.

It gets tougher when there is an early snow and you can't read the ice so I carry a ice chisel with me and check early and often as I walk. I also stay fairly close in and won't venture out to mid-lake until a few more inches are put on. Last year we had some lakes that froze over early but had big open spots in the middle where the wind kept it open. These were open for quite a while and you had to believe the ice wasn't real good for quite some time.

I rarely drive out since I use an ATV, but it'll be February with 16"+ if I do take my truck. As Bob said, not worth it.

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I usually go out in about 2.5 to three but I also fish in about less that 6 feet and a buddy is with me, the best is to just fallow the dnr standard. besides the difference between 2 inches to 4 inches is mabey 3 or 4 days most years, so if you just wait another weekend you should be golden

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3" portable fishing

5" four wheeler

6" four wheeler and 6.5 x 12' wheelhouse

11" truck

All with good clear consistant ice.

All go with that except for the 6" for the wheel house, I'll wait for a little more for that since I don't have a 4 wheeler.

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I'll head out on 4" but be checking the ice constantly as I go. The truck goes out about 2 weeks after I see other trucks out. There's always some crazy that needs to be the first one to drive out there with the hopes they don't drop through. Not me.

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3 solid, clear inches of ice is enough for me to walk on. I wait until 4 - 4.5 inches of solid clear ice to bring the portable out. 6 inches of solid ice for the fourwheeler. And then probably 12 inches for the truck.

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I'll walk out on 2 1/2" of good clear ice, but prefer a solid 3-3.5".

If I have been out and personally checked every inch of my driving path I will drive my Jeep out on 10-12", but I will not stray from that path and drive very slowly and with an open door. If I had a 4-wheeler I would wait till 12-14" but I can only walk out a 1+ miles so many times....

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jjz    0

DNR standards make are plenty safe. I have fished on less than 2" over deeper water, but I wouldn't recommend it...

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I prefer right around 6 when I walk out. HAve fished on 3-4 a couple of times but won't do it on a regular basis. Generally don't drive my truck on the ice to much, just the wheeler after 8-10 inches.

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I have done 2" but feel safer on 3" and if I have 4" to walk on I leave the spud bar in the truck. This is after I have fished the area a few times previous. I also make sure to have my arctic armor on and at times a life vest. I also will have rope and a throwable to toss to someone if needed.

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Yeah, I always make sure to have my throwable rope bag with me early ice. It something I always have within reach. You never know when you will need it. If you do end up needing a throwable rope, someone's life is likely on the line.

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DNR standards make are plenty safe. I have fished on less than 2" over deeper water, but I wouldn't recommend it...

Been there done and done that. Couple years ago i went out on twi inches of ice and found a spot that the geese had been keeping open that froze the night before. Lets just say it was long cold walk back to the truck! but theres just something about early ice fishing that gets me going!

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