Many are out on the water this time of year to ice fish but with the temperatures up and down, ice safety should be your main priority. S & W Bait and Tackle in Brainerd has a few tips you should know before heading out on the lake.
According to the DNR, no ice is safe ice and the first thing you should take into consideration, is how thick should the ice be before walking onto it. If you were to fall through the ice, it is recommended to have walking that can help pull yourself out.
It is suggested there be a minimum of 4 inches of ice before exploring the ice to walk on. The farther you make your way out, a spud bar is used to check thickness and how deep they ice could be for safety measures.
For those wanting to take a four-wheeler or a snowmobile, it is recommended to have at least 4 to 6 inches, but anything bigger like a vehicle, you might want to double that to be safe.
14 to 16 inches is recommended to feel comfortable because the ice has been known to very. It can be deceiving with the shore at one height and the farther you get to the middle, it could be another height.
You will also want to be well layered with multiple clothes just in case of frigid temperatures. If you wear gloves, your fingers are separated and tend to get cold fast. Nate likes to recommend mittens with heat packs in them. He also says, a couple layers of socks and foam pads can be helpful to keeping you warm.
With the Minnesota Winters long and bitterly cold at times, if you were to fall into the water, a new ice fishing flotation device has been made available.
The overalls and coat made with a flotation device inside the lining of them, is made to keep you upright until you can use your spikes to pull your self out.
There can be a variation in price for the coat and bibs but Nate says to save your live, it is money well spent.
Both the coat and the overalls can cost $400 but one can also spend as mush as $800 for a more top of the line brand.