SalmonAndStriper Stalker

Ice time

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I have no faith my arm strength is enough to haul my waterlogged ice suit out empty , let alone along with my 200 lbs. 

I believe the picks at best a waste of money, at worst, dangerous false sense of security. 

 

Float vest does make retrieval of bodies more convenient. 

 

I have no exit strategy. 

That means I better not go in. All my focus is on that.

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As a youngster I used a plank on the shore to get to the "safe" ice. Leaving was a challenge at time's. 

No more. I now worry about my son doing this with friends? 

Anyway after reading this thread I started up my auger. 

Always takes a few extra pulls in the start of a new season. 

Be safe everyone. 

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Virtually all ice has potential to fail regardless of how safe you think it is and how prepared you think you are.

It's just a fact of life.

 

By minimizing the risks right from the start, before stepping one foot onto the ice, you can focus more on the fishing and what you need to be doing should the need arise.

 

As for me, at around 280, I feel most comfortable on no less than 4" of clear ice.

The more the merrier, even when it means having to cut more ice with my hand auger....

 

One choice I make when heading out on familiar ice is to walk out from the shallowest shore (if accessible).

That way if I do eventually fall in I can literally walk back to shore.

 

On new/unfamiliar ice I will cut numerous test holes to measure thickness as I head out.

I like to check available pond maps (also when available) for knowledge of springs, inlets and outlets so I can avoid those areas.

 

The only time I got wet was from a slush-covered shoreline the day after a heavy rain soaked all the heavy snow we had gotten beforehand. I REFUSE to take risks that could prove fatal just to catch fish.

That really stupid - as in "Watch me run blind-folded thru traffic" stupid.

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The only time I got wet, I stepped in a 10 inch hole covered by snow.

Hurt like hell, not to mention filling my boot and ending my day.

 

I had close calls.

Probably the most dangerous ice I've been on is late season rotten ice, especially on warm days.

Thickness doesn't matter so much then.

The worst was a day at Walden, early morning the ice was 6 inches but white and soft.

By afternoon it was all rotten, full of air bubbles and punky.

Walking off over 60 FOW, the ice was making waves from my steps and a chisel poked through 6 inches in one poke.

I made it, but reassessed my vetting process regarding safe ice after that.

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I trust S&S Stalkers observations, that virgin 2" black ice looked pure a solid. 

There is much to understanding ICE and what can be determined as "safe" or not. Its never just all about the thickness, age of ice or type. Air temperature is another key factor.

Below is a link to perhaps the most comprehensive resource available for anyone who wants to venture out, or just understand more about ice.

Included are important designs of safety equipment required.

The author Bob Dill from Vermont has compiled this website, he is avid Nordic skater & Iceboater with a lifetime of experience.

 

I am happy to have contributed a few pictures, and I sail on Windsurf type Iceboard and have 35 consecutive years of exploring vast regions of ice in New England.

I make time to stop and chat with most ice fishermen, being avid fisherman myself, what to know whats getting caught, but mostly I am interested in your "core sample".

 

Sharing ice thickness information is critical to safe participation for whatever you do out there on it!

Hope to see you out there!

 

http://lakeice.squarespace.com/

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What find scary is the people who come out walking or ice skating and ask you how much ice there is after going all around the pond or lake seemingly unaware of possible trouble spots with thin ice, they see you fishing and assume all the ice is safe without actually checking, hours after at o dark thirty you have spudded out checking along the way and knowing the places to avoid 

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12 hours ago, Two Rock said:

What find scary is the people who come out walking or ice skating and ask you how much ice there is after going all around the pond or lake seemingly unaware of possible trouble spots with thin ice, they see you fishing and assume all the ice is safe without actually checking, hours after at o dark thirty you have spudded out checking along the way and knowing the places to avoid 

Years ago we regularly fished a hump in the middle of Walden Pond. 

Walden gets high traffic from tourists from all over the world. Many know nothing at all about ice or ice fishing. 

We always laughed about the high number of people who would walk way the fork out over 80 ft of h2o to ask "is the ice safe?"

We used to do a bit where we'd answer "no it isn't!" "We're stuck out here!"

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I happened to be in westford yesterday. One small shallow pond was completely locked up and families were out there playing ice hockey. I didnt have my spud with me but it looked like 3-4" of black.

 

Two miles from that pond is another bigger much deeper one. At best, that one had skim to 1". Even the guys with flotation and ice picks werent out there. :-) but after a couple more nights like this...maybe.

 

Just sayin that conditions can vary drastically in just a few miles. Be careful out there.

 

I ice fish se mass and the cape almost exclusively. So i got a wait. Yeah, yeah i know abt the few super early spots down thr. Still waiting. ;-)

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Wouldn't surprise me if some of the ponds above 1000 ft have close to a foot of ice already.

 

Scariest ice story for me....

Muzzle loader hunting I decide to cut across a large swamp to shortcut back to my ride, single digits out.

Ice gave way like a trap door, didn't hit bottom until about my chest......sucked getting out too.

 

About as scared as I've been.....

 

Edited by Plug and teaser

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17 hours ago, Plug and teaser said:

Wouldn't surprise me if some of the ponds above 1000 ft have close to a foot of ice already.

 

Scariest ice story for me....

Muzzle loader hunting I decide to cut across a large swamp to shortcut back to my ride, single digits out.

Ice gave way like a trap door, didn't hit bottom until about my chest......sucked getting out too.

 

About as scared as I've been.....

 

Huge dangers of any swap regions not freezing well. Decomposing vegitation leads to natural gas up-welling. Also random holes like swiss cheese form and area called "Gas Holes" ...LOL.

 

http://lakeice.squarespace.com/gas-holes/

 

 

Edited by FishRatz

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Figured I'd jump in with a little seasonal ice forecast. So the hot topic on the weather web these days concerns the polar vortex. The models are starting to come into *some agreement that the vortex will split sometime in early January.

ezgif-3-3fd341283dcf.gif.4d4b75d62dc0ef41a4d5ab9148356ace.gif

 

IF this happens(still big if)... AND the weakened and split vortex settles out over N.America... ...AND a few other atmospheric components fall into place, a sustained period of substantial winter cold should follow for the rest of January and February.

 

If it plays out, this situation would favor ice growth in southern NE, vs a winter where good ice is mainly confined to Northern NE.

 

Until then, seasonal to mild conditions are expected in southern NE.  Sidenote: holdover season might be best over the next few weeks with the predicted moderate temperatures. As such, I'll be out this weekend.

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