Ice is here!
Well, at least a little ice is here.
When I say little, there are reports of 1 to 1 1/2 inches on many back bays and channels. Now, I am a diehard fisherman and love nothing more than getting on the ice to get a nice meal of tasty gills, but my number one concern is safety.
Why do people insist on going onto ice that is this skinny? Is a 7-inch bluegill really worth your life or at the minimum the loss of some good equipment?
Every year people are chomping at the bit to get out on the ice and this I can understand, but one thing that tends to escape the minds of these ice crazy fisherman is the safety factor. Not only are you walking on a surface that is just thick enough to hold your body weight, but don't forget the addition of your gear. Your flasher, rods, bait, bucket, etc. To each his own, I guess.
If you are going to venture out please at least make sure you take safety precautions. Wear a pfd over your clothes and carry your life-picks. These will at least help you in the case of an accident or could help out if someone else goes in.
Early ice can be very productive, but please keep safety in mind first when hitting the frozen surface. Take a buddy, keep your distance, wear a vest, take a life-line rope with you and use common sense.
Good luck out there and please don't become the front page headline in the paper. Too many people love you and want you to come home.