ShareThis Page
Safety key to a good day of ice fishing |

Safety key to a good day of ice fishing

| Friday, January 31, 2003 12:00 a.m

While recent sub-zero temperatures may have caused their share of problems in the form of frozen water lines and dead car batteries, they have been welcome by die hard “hard water” fishermen. Hard water• You guessed it — we’re talking ice fishing.

Ice action has reportedly been good to great at Lake Arthur. Park rangers said northerns, crappie and assorted pan fish are being pulled through the ice. The ice is between 4 and 6 inches thick in most parts of the lake. Of course, Ice thickness is something that can never be “assumed.” It’s always a good idea to check with park rangers and other fishermen who are on the ice before venturing out.

While ice fishing is officially discouraged at U.S. Army Corp of Engineer lakes, there is ice fishing action at Crooked Creek. Although park ranger John Derby said he does not encourage anyone to go out on the ice, he recommends the following precautions for those who will:

  • Stay close to shore

  • Wear a life jacket

  • Have a pair of “ice awls”

  • When exploring new ice, shuffle your feet rather than walk heel to toe.

  • Wear ice cleats on your boots to reduce the danger of falls

    Another consideration for ice fishermen is physical condition. Anyone who ice fishes should be capable of enduring intense exertion — either incase they fall through the ice — of if they have to aid in a rescue attempt for someone else. Speaking of rescue attempts, if at all possible, they should be left to certified ice rescue personnel.

    Icefishing can be simplicity at its purest. For the basics, any common ice fishing rod will suffice. The more simple ice rods have a “wrap up” type reel and cost about $5. Tip-ups are also popular and cost $10 to $15. Most rods and tip-ups come equipped with “ice” line. You’ll need to add some leader material, small hooks, a split shot assortment and a few bobbers. Manual (hand-powered) ice augurs sell for about $30 to $40. Gasoline-powered augurs make quick work of drilling through thick ice and sell for $250 and up. If you do a lot if ice fishing, one might be a good investment. You’ll need an ice skimmer (about a buck) and a five-gallon plastic bucket or two comes in handy to carry your gear and your catch. When turned upside down the buckets make a dandy seat.

    Looking for crappie, walleye or panfish• Hook a minnow behind the dorsal fin or a small grub and hang on get ready for some hot ice action.

    In Pennsylvania, anglers are permitted to use up to five “tip-ups” or two rods. (If using two rods you may have three tip-ups)

    Speaking of ice fishing, while surfing the web I came across the National Ice Fishing Association ( ). To my surprise, the association is located in Franklin, Pa. the site may be of interest to ice fishing men and women. Membership is $18 a year, $10 for juniors. The site offers some interesting deals on ice fishing equipment and accessories and some good tips for beginners and seasoned ice fisher alike.

    Categories: News
  • TribLIVE commenting policy

    You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

    We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

    While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

    We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

    We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

    We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

    We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

    We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.