Are you nuts going out on that ice?

Ice fishing can be dangerous to the experienced fisherman. Throw in someone that doesn't know what safe ice is, and it becomes a life threatening situation.

I hit the ice this past Monday, Dec. 22 for the first time this season. After posting a picture of my catch, I received several messages asking where I was and if I was crazy. Many people want to fish, but wait for others to verify a lake’s safety before they venture out. There is a rush to get out because early ice tends to be the best fishing of the winter. The problem with this is, if you don't know a body of water and aren't prepared to fall in, you may not live to fish another day.

Sorry to those that see this as a redundant column. I will be kicking off every ice fishing season with information about ice safety. If in the process I prevent only one person from falling in or drowning, I feel the redundancy was well worth it.

We headed out just after sunrise on Monday morning. I was with my buddy, Caleb and both of us were unsure if the ice was on or not. We chose to fish a pond, high on a hillside. The reason for this is bodies of water up in the hills tend to freeze up a bit earlier. This isn't always the situation, though. Warm water springs can flow into them, in high and lowland waters. This influx of warm water causes the lake or pond to freeze much more slowly. We knew from past experience that this pond came on earlier than others. Information from seasons past and given by people in the know should help you figure out where to go first. You should still always proceed with caution!

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