Early ice fishing can be very productive and very dangerous at the same time.
We live in the heart of lake country and some of these lakes are being ice fished right now, others are still wide open. This can be a recipe for success on the ice or on the open water, if you are hearty enough.
Some folks use the adjective “stupid” for those that venture out on the ice this early or for the folks that like to break ice at the landings to put their boats in. I have done both and at times I would call myself a combination of hearty and stupid. I honestly think I am getting smarter and maybe even a less hearty but I do recall the days of standing on an inch of ice and standing back from the hole so I wouldn’t break through. Those days are history for me — I will wait for 3 or 4 inches now.
I absolutely love to be the first person to crack open the ice with a chisel and drop the bait down in front of what I hope is a school of hungry walleyes. I really do love it! But as much as I love it, I want everyone out there to use every possible safety precaution.
Here are some safety thoughts: travel light, wear flotation, fish with a partner and have them go first (just joking). Have a throw cushion with a long rope attached, wear ice picks around your wrists and walk out to your spot with a sharp chisel, taking a poke or two with each step!
Get out there safe, catch some dinner and get home safe! We Love It Outdoors, Walleyedan.