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Greg Clusiau

First Ice Equipment

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Took a pic of my first-ice equipment, after yesterday's outing, where I found some sketchy ice. After falling through near shore, up and over one of my knee-boots, I continued on about 50 yards before chickening out (wising up grin) and returned back to the truck.

In the pic, my trusty spud bar, 6" hand auger, ice picks, and gaff. The gaff has measurments on it and is used to stick under the ice for a quick measure. I was getting consistent 4" of ice for a while but then it started thinning out. That's when I retreated.

What else is missing? 1) a partner, for sure. 2) rope, but doesn't do any good without a partner. 3) ice cleats. I had them in the truck and knew they weren't needed. 4) throw cushion?

Any suggestions?full-130-3734-dscf3450.jpg

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People should think how much thier family will suffer when they drown.

I will never understand what people do on ice so early.

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Greg, you be carefull yourself out there. It seems the ice is getting better every day but it is iffy under the snow 4 to 5 inches with no snow and only 2 to 3 under the snow. Wont be long now, I did see some dumb @@@ took a snowmobile out on one lake already, dont know what his thinking is.

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If I was crazy enough to hit first-ice, I'd definitely be adding a life-jacket to my gear.

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I was out on the lake checking ice and found two younger kids in a spear house about 20 yards out---4-5inches of ice. they had 2 northern

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There will be no attempted fishing for me today. I think the little lake I checked out yesterday should be good for next weekend. Fired up the snowmobile instead and drove it a bit. Gassed up and all ready to go now!

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We went out yesterday which is a record for me. I generally only trust walking on ice after I see a military convoy drive over it first but we stayed close to shore and the crowd was thin. Caught a bunch of small eyes that all went back in the hole.

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Push yourself across the ice in a 10 foot john boat! drill holes and fish over the boat edge. (No i have not done this) but it beats drowning!!

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What else is missing? Any suggestions?
If you fell through near shore, and then thought that it was a good idea to venture 50 yards further out, then I suggest that you trade in that moby d!ck sized gaff for some common sense. I also suggest that you store a copy of your last will and testament in a warm, dry location so that your loved ones know who to give that nice Otter house to.

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This is a great post!!! I like the part where your asking for suggestions and then all your idea's are things that will save you from falling threw the ice...W.T.F!!!

I'm thinking the fish will still be there when the ice is a little thicker.

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Here's the problem. If you're out on 2" of ice or less and fall through, all the ice picks, life jackets, etc. will not help you much and in fact will be more likely to make things more difficult.

When you fall through with all your winter clothing on and it soaks up water, you will suddenly gain quite a few pounds. Can't swim with boots on and you will get very little if any thrust by kicking your feet. Couple this with the added weight and resistance from the water and you have to work many times harder to get yourself pulled back up onto the ice.

But there's another problem. The ice can't support your weight and so as you try to pull yourself back on it'll just crumble. Now that you're immersed in 32 degree water or less your body core temperature is dropping rapidly. You've got roughly 2 to 3 minutes to get yourself out of the water before you begin to lose function. All the extra weight and water resistance will wear you down even faster.

If by chance you get lucky and manage to somehow find ice that does support you and pull yourself on top, now you've got the task of gettting to a warm place before hypothermia grips you completely and you decide to walk back out on the ice or wonder aimlessly until you freeze to death.

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Here's the problem. If you're out on 2" of ice or less and fall through, all the ice picks, life jackets, etc. will not help you much and in fact will be more likely to make things more difficult.

When you fall through with all your winter clothing on and it soaks up water, you will suddenly gain quite a few pounds. Can't swim with boots on and you will get very little if any thrust by kicking your feet. Couple this with the added weight and resistance from the water and you have to work many times harder to get yourself pulled back up onto the ice.

But there's another problem. The ice can't support your weight and so as you try to pull yourself back on it'll just crumble. Now that you're immersed in 32 degree water or less your body core temperature is dropping rapidly. You've got roughly 2 to 3 minutes to get yourself out of the water before you begin to lose function. All the extra weight and water resistance will wear you down even faster.

If by chance you get lucky and manage to somehow find ice that does support you and pull yourself on top, now you've got the task of gettting to a warm place before hypothermia grips you completely and you decide to walk back out on the ice or wonder aimlessly until you freeze to death.

Bingo. We have a winner.

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It wasn't first ice but it does appky. I fell through one time. Ice was 10 to 12 inches thick until we hit a spring out in the middle of the lake. I went under the water and had to look up to find the hole. Once I got to the edge of the opened hole, I tried to pull myself up onto the ice, but it broke through. This went on for about ten feet before I finally got to good ice. Even then it was very difficult to get the thrust needed to get my body on top of the ice. We were lucky our clam fish house floated so we didn't lose any gear. It happended so fast I didn't have time to think about what was happening. One moment I looked at my buddy wondering why the ice was so slushy and the next we were both swimming in 20 FOW.

I realize you're looking for tips on being the first on the ice. The best one given if you have to go out is bring a life jacket and wear it. Just be careful because humans are not designed to be cold and our bodies shut down fast.

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A whistle

Water Activated Rescue Strobe Light

SPOT Personal Tracker •Alert 9-1-1 – Dispatch emergency responders to your exact location.

Even though you did not have a partner, a rope is still good to have, could save time for the person trying to rescue you.

Two of these items are hi-tech items but they could be a life saver.

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Maybe those that are simply writing to ridicule him could find something else to do with their time.

A PFD seems like a good idea.

I would also consider dragging a rope (50-100ft) if your going to have one. It doesn't do you much good when both ends are in the water with you.

Make sure people know where you're going.

Check the ice often, be smart, have fun, catch some fish.

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Quote:
Maybe those that are simply writing to ridicule him could find something else to do with their time.

A PFD seems like a good idea.

I would also consider dragging a rope (50-100ft) if your going to have one. It doesn't do you much good when both ends are in the water with you.

I would consider staying off the ice if you think it is so iffy that you have to carry all this extra equipment along "just in case."

Not trying to ridicule anyone. I just think it is just plain stupid to take such risks for a fish. Not to mention the risks to anyone that happens to be there when you go down. I'm sure I wouldn't be able to actually go through with this but my first reaction to witnessing someone being dumb enough to venture out on 2" of ice and fall through would be to just let them drown.

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I would consider staying off the ice if you think it is so iffy that you have to carry all this extra equipment along "just in case."

Does that mean all safety equipment is moot, because if you need it, you shouldn't be doing the given activity?

If nobody ever goes out, how are we going to know if its safe for the rest of us?

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No ridicule here, not only can it happen to the guys who travel out for first ice, it has also happened to many people on 15 inches, it is ice and it is never safe. People go from walking to driving big trucks and it could happen to anyone, even the ones that wait for what they think is safe ice, who rarely ever check it themselfs.

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Put it this way. I knew a guy once that carried an inner tube with him because he knew the ice was questionable. In other words he knew there was a greater chance of walking onto thin ice so he made it a point to carry the inner tube along. My opinion is that if you are that concerned that the ice is that questionable, then you probably don't belong venturing out.

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