Be careful when ice fishing this season

Print Article

Every year, at least one story in this space is devoted to staying safe on the ice.

Small area ponds, potholes and backwaters are finally forming a thin layer of ice, which can be deceiving to uninformed anglers eager to start ice fishing.

The message remains the same in December 2019—“If you aren’t confident on the ice, STAY OFF!“

This fall’s weather has seemed unseasonably cool, but we really haven’t had many of those nasty frigid nights that really suck the energy out of the water.

Plus, episodes of high winds have slowed ice production in all but the shallowest lakes, like Smith Lake.

Some years we are already ice fishing at Thanksgiving and that’s why novices must heed the warnings and judge the ice covering on each individual lake.

Generally, first ice is strongest because it contains fewest air bubbles and least snow weight.

Last year, my first ice fishing trip was on less than 3 inches of ice! But it was good ice, with no snow layer to hide bad spots.

During winter, ice layers thicken but, depending on weather, ice layers are subject to forces like currents, ground water, cracks, thawing, winds and a plethora of augers that compromise the strength of the ice.

Once again, if you don’t know what you’re doing, “STAY OFF!”

Jerry Smalley’s Fishful Thinking column appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

Print Article

Read More Outdoors

Finally some ice

January 15, 2020 at 7:26 am | Hungry Horse News Big news among ice fishers this winter is lack of ice due to mild temperatures. Ice fishing has been pretty much confined to shallow lakes and ponds, many with less than 6 inches of ice cover. The ...

Comments

Read More

Hunters and landowners give FWP an earful on game

January 08, 2020 at 7:45 am | Hungry Horse News Hunters and landowners gave Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists and earful last week during a hearing on proposed changes to the upcoming hunting season. The changes themselves aren’t all th...

Comments

Read More

Artist-Wilderness connection applications now available

January 08, 2020 at 7:44 am | Lake County Leader Professional artists of all disciplines are once again being invited to spend one to two weeks in a remote part of the Bob Marshall and Great Bear Wilderness areas as part of the 17th year of the Art...

Comments

Read More

Wind on the Rez

January 08, 2020 at 7:33 am | Hungry Horse News One day last week I checked the Wunderground app to see how strong the wind was blowing in Babb. 42 mph. Forty years ago, if we decided to go ice fishing on the rez, we couldn’t check the ‘Net. We...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 892-2151
PO BOX 189, 926 Nucleus Avenue
Columbia Falls, MT 59912

©2020 Hungry Horse News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X