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Ice popping and cracking???


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I was wondering if it's safe to be on the ice if the ice is popping and cracking underneath. It's my first time ice fishing really hard this year. A couple of times we went out and the ice moved but we still have at least 6 inches of good ice underneath. It scared the pants off my brother in law. I was told that the ice is forming up when we hear ice cracking and shifting and popping from underneath. Just want to know on what the deal is. Any information can help. Thanks, mlv

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You'll get used to all that noise eventually. Those sounds are what we used to call pressure pops. As it gets colder/warmer the ice expands or contracts depending, thus creating your sound. On larger bodies of water the ice actually moves around in big plates just like the tektonic plates that cause earthquakes. I was on Mille Lacs on year when the ice not only cracked and popped but shook for a good 15 seconds, it was like a mini earth quake. On the way off the lake we noticed the bridge the resort used to cross a pressure ridge was a couple feet higher. Still I've never heard of someone suddenly dissapearing through the ice due to pressure cracks. I hope this eases your fear alittle. Like I said you'll get used to it and actually find it quite amusing when you start taking newbies out for their first time. grin.gif

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Growing up on Upper Red Lake as the son of a Ice Fishing Guide the popping of the ice was music to our ears. When temputures drop the ice actually is cooling and contracting creating hairline cracks. As bad as the words "cracks in the ice" sound they are a good sign. Solid ice will crack and pop all night bad ice is softer ice that does not pop or crack. I remember nights on Red when it would sound like thunder rolling across the lake. When the ice pops you have solid ice that is cooling enough to start forming more ice, the sound of production.

Now if you are walking on known thin ice and you have lots of snapping under your feet its time to start backing up ever so gently. shocked.gifwink.gif

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Now when you have 6" of ice and some fool drives their blazer next to you. (Happened this weekend) That can get a little interesting when the ice starts cracking and popping right under your feet. Alot of people are still cautious on driving ATV's on the ice right now, as am I. And we got people driving cars and small trucks on some lakes.

Bus

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Thanks for the reassurance guys. I just want to be cautious and all with the way mother nature is this year. It should doesn't help much with (Contact US Regarding This Word) driving the atv and sleds at a high speed on the ice either. Thanks again guys.

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I am new to this site and am happy that I joined. I tried to introduce my GF to the joys of ice fishing and when we began to walk the ice got a crackin'. when she heard it all I could see of her afterwards was elbows and ankles! Thanks for asking this question because I now have a good answer to show her from the "safety" of home. Thanks again. smile.gif

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I personally don't think we have enough ice around the metro to be driving out, but there is plenty for walking. I wouldn't worry to much about it. I've been ice fishing since I was kid and the ice is almost always making some kind of noice.

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I remember from my science classes that water contracts as it cools to 34 degrees. After that, it expands. So as the lake freezes more, the expansion causes the cracks and ice heaves. I was in my fish house once with a beginner when we heard an ice crack starting on the other side of the lake. It got louder as it got nearer and came under the house and rattled it badly. My guest was almost in need of a change of undies. tongue.gif

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I'm sure some have experienced worse than I have, but one year on Mille Lacs I was in a buddy's permie and at about 2:00a.m. we had a crack go right through one of our ice holes...it was about 6" wide and a decent chunk of ice popped up through the hole and onto the floor. My buddy was passed out drunk, but man did that ever make me jump! I think I jumped from the top bunk and landed on the floor with one hand already on the door handle ready to jump out. A few hundred yards away the crack was 12" wide and we had to wait for a bridge to be made. That was something else!

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • smurfy
      kettle....have you chased around any sunfish lately???? kinda wondering if there done spawning???? the last time i was up the sunfish we did clean that had eggs in it didnt even look close to spawning. although i know they seem to carry eggs around most of the summer it seems!!!!!!
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      kettle, when are you going to fish for something decent to eat????🤔🤣🤣   nice batch of fish!!!!!!!!!
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      Stuntz Bay Boathouse Historic District - Wikipedia   They have some info.  
    • smurfy
      👍that can be arranged!!!
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    • Wanderer
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    • smurfy
      Hey stay outta it.😫🤭🙄 😊   Thanks kettle I may take you up on that sometime.
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