This last week we saw a long warm stretch of weather which can really screw up the remainder of ice fishing season.  There's a lot of factors that determine how safe the ice is and how fast it deteriorates.

First off, don't ever drive on a river.  It doesn't matter what time of the year.  Conditions change rapidly.  If you really know the area and you are tucked into a bay you may get lucky, but really there are currents that you can't see that can change ice thickness rapidly.

This truck pictured went through the ice in about 6 inches of ice.  Just a short distance away it was 18 inches of ice thickness.  


Rapid warm ups can cause ice conditions to deteriorate rapidly, but there's a few things that can help you determine how safe the ice is.   For example, a good indication of still safe ice is when there is standing water on top of the ice.  A lot of people assume this means it's not safe anymore.  The truth is when ice starts to "honeycomb" where holes appear, the ice drains back into the lake.  So if there's been a recent warm up and there is still water on top of the ice, it may in fact be ok.   Always ask locals and check the ice as you go.

Just like early ice, it's always a good idea to carry ice picks with you so if you do go through, you can pull yourself out.  A life jacket is always a good idea as well.

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