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Iron Cowboy

Safe Lakes this weekend or wait a while?

28 posts in this topic

Hey guys, My first year with a place up here and I want to get out fishing real bad but dont want to get wet. I am on Amelia and was thinking Villard might be a good bet being smaller and sheltered. I know however even the small lakes can have current and springs in spots making it thin all winter. Any local knowledge of the area lakes for first ice good spots and danger areas would be greatly appreciated. With the forecast what it is for temps and maybe finding a spot more shallow I am guessing it might work? If you want you can e-mail me at iron_cowboy_69@yahoo.com with what you think, Thanks

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I guess it would all depend on what you consider safe! shocked.gif

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While I'm not a local... I have fished that area a bit... I wouldn't go out this weekend without:

1. A partner

2. A Rope

3. Picks

4. Life Jacket

If you can't make those 4 things happen... Then it's wiser to stay at home.

Otherwise... I'd just wait until next week...

I'm dieing inside myself... But unless I know that an ice is safe from experience... I'm not going to push it... 7 Days and a couple of fish is not worth my life.

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No ice is ever technically safe! Each and every time you venture out you are taking a risk.

With no snow cover, the sun can do a lot in any given day regardless of temperature and even more so in shallow areas.

I remember a vehicle going through LOW in February through 3 feet of ice. The lake ice heaved during the night causing about a 6 foot wide crack. It refroze and a light dusting of snow hid it from view. The next day a vehicle went through the crack into 25 feet of water. Only one survivor.

Never trust the ice.

Bob

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I have seen plenty of open water in the area so if you dont want to know what hypothermia feels like stay home, just go to the ice fishing show in st paul.

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I understand there were some out on Reno today. I also understand that it was open yesterday. Some of these guys are purely nuts! What's worse is that if they do happen to go through, which although I know how harsh it sounds I personally think they would deserve, they risk the lives of those that would try to save their sorry butts!

I work with one of them and he claimed there was 6" of ice. I don't recall ever hearing of a lake making 6" of ice in less than 24 hours. That wouldn't happen even if the temperature dropped to -60 degrees during that time frame. That massive body of water just couldn't cool enough that fast.

Bob

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Does anybody know what the ice situation is on Miltona? I'd imagine the wind is preventing the ice from forming as fast as it otherwise would.

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Quote:

I work with one of them and he claimed there was 6" of ice. I don't recall ever hearing of a lake making 6" of ice in less than 24 hours.


My guess would be that the east bay of Reno froze up early on (as it usually does) and had 6 inches of ice while other parts of the lake just froze over. About 5 years ago I was out on the east bay (early ice) and there were 4 wheelers buzzing around, looking out to the western part of the lake you could see a boat out there in open water. Not justifying their actions, just stating that it does happen.

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I have seen guys out on Reno since Tuesdaynight. I just don't need fish that bad. I also saw a couple guys testing the ice on Maple in the bay off 29. Nuts...........

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I don’t know about you guys but I’d fish on 3 inches of good clear ice now before I’d fish on 2 feet of ice in the spring months. We’ve made more ice in a day and a half than we usually make in a week on an average year. Believe me or not there’s 4.5” – 5” of ice on quite a few lakes around here. If they didn’t freeze completely over on Tuesday I’d be very careful, but if you know the whole lake froze over then you will be able to get out just about anywhere. I wouldn’t do it but they’ll be permanent houses out this weekend.

Four things that get people into trouble on early ice.

1) Not knowing the lake and walking near moving water.

2) Not knowing when the lake froze over; shore then middle or the whole thing at once.

3) Breakers are also a concern even on early ice.

4) Stay away from ice that isn’t clear.

If you know these four things you should never have an issue.

I’m confident enough to say I will never fall through on early ice. Late ice on the other hand is almost always dangerous and you really have to be on your toes when you’re out on rotten ice.

So in other words, yes there is plenty of ice get out fishing this weekend.

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Finally some one who knows about thin Ice! The only thing that I would add is you never even think about venturing out on thin ice without a chisle and checking the whole time you venture out. I know exactly how many inches the ice is, and if it is safe, by striking in front of where I walk, and you are right that most lakes are ready to get fished so have fun and be safe!! laugh.gif

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Finally some voices of reason.

Every year it's the same - claims that a lake CAN'T be safe because the weather guy said so. Get out and check the lakes. That's the only way to know for sure what's going on. You'd be surprised at how fast ice forms.

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It's not about the weather guy. Thinking back I'd say that well over 90 percent of those that go through the ice do it during the earlier part of the season. When lakes are making ice, it is heaving and buckling all over. It may be 6" in one place and 1" just a few feet to the side. With no snow and the sun still high enough to have an impact the ice is very unpredictable. Once snow cover is present it helps but early ice is not necessarily safer than late ice. I just hope I never have to prove it.

Bob

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BobT, I usually agree with your statements. Heck, I even got kicked off of here for a while because I stuck up for you when you were getting attacked for one of your comments. I have to disagree with you on this one. The only reasons for ice to have different thicknesses, I already stated in my first post. Sun has little to no effect on the ice this time of year. Why do you think the ice forms in the fall and melts in the spring? It's because of the temp and sun. And as far as your comment about, "well over 90 percent of those that go through the ice do it during the earlier part of the season." Where did you pull that from? I can almost guarantee that anyone that has fallen through the ice this time of the year did so because they did one of the four things I stated not to do. As for the people that fall through in the spring it can literally happen anywhere on the lake for any number of reasons. It doesn't matter how much ice there is people still fall through all year long because they don't follow some simple rules.

Oh well, I don’t care if others go fishing yet or not. For all I care wait until there’s a foot of ice and the weather man says it’s safe.

I predict 7”+ by Saturday night. I actually wish the ice would have formed slower it usually gives me a week or two to fish before others come out.

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I HAVE TO DISAGREE ABOUT YOUR COMMENT ON THE SUN HAVING NO EFFECT THIS TIME OF YEAR. Anyplace you have rocks, dark bottom in shallower water the ice is going to be thinner. I have found this by personal expierance. frown.gif

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Some lakes have 5-6 inches of ice in spots already.....

But...CHECK!

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Ok, I agree with shallow comment. I think everyone knows that shallow rocks and dark bottoms soak up the heat from the sun and can effect ice thickness. Those two things are as dangerous as moving water. I was referring to the main part of the lake when I made that comment, where it’s generally deeper.

I guess just try to have an understanding of the body of water you plan to fish before you go out. All I wanted to do was give some simple general safety rules to help out. Even though I’m sure someone will pick them apart but, all I’m saying is if you follow some basic rules you will be fine.

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I will admit that my 90 percent was an exaggeration but I will say that a great majority (without putting a value on it) of those cases I have ever heard about were on early ice. The ice can vary in thickness and it can be considerable in lieu of current, breaks, bottom composition, weeds, weather or depth.

In the case of those out on Reno yesterday, the main lake had just iced over either yesterday morning or sometime Tuesday night. I would bet the ice in the main lake is thinner than the ice in the sheltered bays that froze earlier.

I saw this just last year. Went out from Battle Point on Osakis and measured over 12" of ice in the bay area a short distance from the launch. As I got further out into more of the main body of the lake I drilled again to check water depth and to my surprise I found the ice to be less than 6"! I about crapped my jeans right there. If I had driven my truck out there after measuring a foot of ice, I would probably not be here today to talk about this. Trust me, you can't completely trust the ice no matter how many simple rules you follow.

Just be extremely careful when the lakes are making ice. It's totally upredictible and far more so now than later.

Bob

Edit: I recently saw a documentary that indicated logging as the most lethal business in the United States. I worked in the logging industry for about 12 years. When I first began I'll never forget a statement my employer made to me. He said, "The two most dangerous times in the life of a logger is when he is just starting out and then after he has started."

What he meant was that the guy that is just starting doesn't know enough about the equipment and procedures and this lack of confidence leads to misjudgement, miscalculation, and mistakes. The guy that has been in it for a while becomes too confident and this leads to cockiness, carelessness, and stupid mistakes. The safest period is the time in between these two stages and that only lasts a few days.

The same is true with ice. The new guy might be extra cautious but he also may not have the experience to understand the conditions and this can be dangerous. The guy that's been in it a long time gets over confident and before he knows it he has made a fatal mistake.

Don't take the lake ice for granted. That's all.

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One thing to remember wear bright colored clothes, makes it easy for the dive teams to find you in stained water. blush.gifgrin.gif Just be carefull no fish is worth it.

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Best Words Ive Heard out of this whole Post! 101winchester

Why risk it i'm sure every person can wait one more week! yea it might be great to get 4 or 5 walleyes but falling through on the walk back because you can see and its dark those walleyes fall out of the pail and back into the lake!

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Quote:

Once snow cover is present it helps


BobT, could you explain how snow cover helps the ice? I usually find just the opposite. If I'm walking out on early ice, I will avoid areas covered with snow if possible. Those areas have extra insulation protecting the ice from getting colder and thicker.

Another typical comment I always hear from people is the old "It isn't worth a fish" thing. These people just don't get it. It's not about the fish. It's about being out there mainly, and trying to get the fish. Catching fish is just icing on the cake. It's all about the chase....

Anyway, I'm with you PieEyed. Everyone has their own safety net. I'd never put myself or anyone with me in danger, but what one considers safe may look foolish to others.

Good luck out there this weekend. Wish I could make it up that way this weekend.

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Good points made by all. Beer Batter is right it really is an indvidual decision. People from states not so far south of us think the whole concept of ice fishing is crazy. Just like I can't convince them how safe 6-12 inches is somebody else will not convince me that 2-3 inches is safe. Yup I am a chicken. I have been on what I consider to be thin ice and did really well fishing and did not enjoy it a bit. Any way this whole discussion might be over soon until next year. The lakes are making ice and last night there were 4 wheelers out on Waska when I drove by. It looks like cold temps will hold for a while so there should be a good thick base soon. I just hope it doesn't warm up in a couple weeks and start to rain. Last year on new years eve I got soaked. Good luck everyone have fun and be as safe as you need to be.

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You are correct that the snow insulates the ice but insulationg does not translate into warming. It has a lot to do with how much snow is on the ice. A layer of snow also provides reflection and even though the sun is not as direct during the winter months it still can have a warming effect and its energy can be obsorbed by water, rocks, weeds, and other bottom substrate. Take a look at a road or roof of a house or plowed field or tires on your car or your sidewalk and see how quickly the snow can melt on these surfaces even at temperatures well below zero especially if there's a certain amount of dirt mixed in.

Bob

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Well I went out on Cowdry today. Being very careful and using my chisel made it 75 yards or so from shore. Ice was crystal clear and 5 1/2 inchs thick everywhere that I drilled. this is in the bay by the public landing out in the middle it is still open thou so where it is freezing it is very solid

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Does anybody know how much ice is on Miltona? Is it still open in the middle?

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