Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Far-I

How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need?

29 posts in this topic

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.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will go out on no less than 2-1/2" when I am walking but thats because our ice season is shorter than in Minnesota so I try to get out there as soon as possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll do 3-4 inches on foot, but I always wear a life jacket till the ice is plenty thick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll fish on 4" real close to shore. 6" to go out further. 8" for the sled. All measurements of good clear ice of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3" portable fishing

5" four wheeler

6" four wheeler and 6.5 x 12' wheelhouse

11" truck

All with good clear consistant ice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 inches to walk

and 10 inches for my 91 escort! My house is heavy so that needs 10 inches too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4" for the porty and walking. I'll need 13+ for the new wheel house.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • Tomorrow we will be back at it
    • I am giving it a last hurrah tomorrow. Sorry I haven't been able to check in here much. I have hardly been able to get out this year between work, a baby at home, and a recent trip out of the country for a relative's wedding.    Last time I was out I had a real nice Tom within 20 yards after a very long standoff. I think I screwed it up by rushing myself a bit. He stood around 50 yards out literally strutting back and forth like someone had drawn a line in the mud that he wouldnt cross. He must not have wanted to fight with the strutter decoy we had out. He did that for 45 minutes to an hour and finally came our way after a hen led him towards us.    They came past us but were outside the decoys and angling slightly away from us. Then the tom turned and started angling straight at the strutter decoy. That meant he was basically quartering to me and when he was 15-17 yards or so out I drew because in the back of my mind i was thinking if he kept moving that way and past the decoy he would quickly be in a spot I would have had no shot.   In hindsight I think he had realized (once he got close enough) that he would have been able to whoop up on the decoy and he was coming in to do just that. I probably should have waited to see, but I didn't and right as I hit the backwall of my draw his head popped up on alert and he turned around and walked straight away knowing something wasn't quite right. I could have easily shot at him at 20 yards but he was facing away and I just didn't feel comfortable. I am confident I would have hit my mark but I didn't like shooting at something walking straight away when I am not experienced with bow hunting turkeys.   I know some people will say that I should have shot, but I have been bow hunting for awhile and never wounded anything because of a poor shot or poor shot selection, so I didn't want that to be a first. Hopefully I get a shot at redemption tomorrow!
    • Way to go team!! I sure took the avg score down with my jake
    • nice story, fishing has a way of easing the pains we have. even when we hurt like crazy when done for the day we are looking forward to the next outing.
    • way to go, guys yep, the toms not about to give up even though its close to closing time have seen several strutters the past couple weeks and heard gobbles yesterday while fishing
    • great job. makes it 5 for 5 for team 5 congrats on a nice tom, 57 and that willl give our team score a boost
    • One More Cast      Photo by:  Roger Abraham   If any of you out there are regular readers of my tales, you have followed my recent struggles with back and knees.  I can’t put a name to this drive I have to be on the stream as of late.  It borders on obsession. I guess in my mind if I am healthy enough to fish the world is right with me and I am not getting old and feeble.      Today I was a witness to that I am not the only one.  Lots of anglers and hunters live to go out into the outdoors. .  It is what drives them.  It makes them feel alive.  It is their passion.  I told my fishing buddy Abe today my thoughts.  I told him how I was feeling a little old.  I guess my 60th birthday coming up next month makes me feel mortal.  Abe laughed and said I was a young buck compared to him.  Abe turns 76 this year.     Abe told me tales about catching big trout in tiny streams in Wisconsin and out west.  The twinkle in his eye when he reminisced I had seen before in many trout anglers.      We fished a stretch for 2 hours.  I sat down and rested often.  Abe kept on fishing. He got hung up in a box elder branch and lost a lure.  Abe told me box elders trees were his nemesis when he fished.   He asked me which tree was my kryptonite.  I told him, "ones with branches."  We both had a chuckle and continued fishing.   I thought to myself this guy is really driven.  I hope I am like him at 76.     We got to the vehicle and Abe wanted to continue fishing.  Abe’s waders sprang a leak earlier and he fell in the water a couple times.  He was quite wet.  He wanted to change in to dry clothes before we continue.  Abe peeled off his wet shirt and there were two things stuck to his chest.  He could tell by my questioning look he needed to tell me what was up.     Abe told me he had been having heart problems lately and he was supposed to be wearing a heart monitor.  He left it in the car because he was afraid of getting the electronics wet.  Here I have been whining about being old and the guy I was fishing with left his heart monitor in his vehicle.      Abe reassured me that he was in no danger and he could continue fishing.  I started brainstorming on a place to fish where it was not so hard walking.  Now that I knew he was not as healthy as he looked I wanted an easy place to fish.  I knew the place and it was upstream 5 miles.     We arrived at the well manicured field.  It looked like a golf green.  I picked the area because the farmer kept sheep and goats on the land and the weeds and brush were gone because of the goats.  We walked and fished.     Abe told tales of the old days and of fish lost and landed.  I walked a little forward to fish and looked back to check up on Abe.  What I saw when I looked back scared me and I immediately asked Abe if he was ok.  Abe was laying flat on the ground face down.  I thought the worst and he could tell by my face.  He told me to calm down.  His back was acting up and he needed to straight it out and that was the best way to do it.   We fished a little bit more and he took a photo of me.  He liked the lighting. He told me it captured the essence of trout fishing.  He did not have a camera.  I let him use mine.  He was not camera savvy and needed an impromptu lesson on how to use it.   We drove to his car and we talked about our love of the outdoors. We shook hands and headed our separate ways and promised to fish again soon.  As I drove home I smiled and thought about how I am going to be when I am 76.  I hope I am like Abe and my eyes still twinkle when I talk of chasing trout and I am still driven to make one more cast.
    • The past week has had me having multiple close calls and missing a brute at 45 yards.  Tonight I talked my dad to give it another try and there were birds in the field when we got there.  Birds ended up leaving as we tried to sneak in.  A short 20 minutes later they were back and we watched and worked the big group of toms and hens for more than 2 hours before we got one to commit.  Dad shot him with his 20 gauge at 48 yards,(this thing shoots an awesome pattern).  The 3 year old was down and only flopped a few times.   Nice 1+ inch spurs, 10" beard and heavy.  A good evening for sure!
    • Sorry to disappoint guys, but this tom was not my first bird of the season. Apparently that's part of the rules. The score won't count towards the team. I don't have any measurements for the jake I shot so we will have a zero from me.    At least my freezer is full. 
  • Our Sponsors