On occasion, like so many of us, I turn off my brain and surf through reels on Instagram. You know, like when you are in the waiting room at the dentist or waiting for a flight at the airport. The world of hunting and fishing has found a surreal home in this interesting cyber-land of eye candy.
All forms of fishing (and self-proclaimed fishing experts) are alive and well on this social media platform. Ice fishing, in particular, is a current popular topic. While surfing reels today waiting in my car at the grocery store, I watched as a red-bearded 20-something ice angling expert declared;
“There is no such thing as safe ice”.
Damn. All these years I believed there was indeed such a thing as safe ice.
All those ice fishing trips? Risking my life and the lives of others? This stearn-faced and adamant young man on Instagram with the big red beard — dressed in a five hundred dollar flotation ice suit with ice picks protruding from his coat sleeves — he enlightened me.
There is such a thing as safe ice.
Travelling over ice may be inherent with risk. Ice fishing, however, in any form, should never be dangerous.
Understanding the surface of frozen lakes — and the hazards you may encounter when traversing them — only comes with experience.
Eighteen inches of uniform ice on the surface of a lake will support the weight of a full-sized pick-up truck, towing a plywood shanty, with six anglers, four coolers, a couple tanks of propane, dogs, and hitchhikers.
On foot, or by machine, the uniform surface of thick lake ice is very safe.
I have never lead people on ice I felt was unsafe. It is not an option.
The red-bearded Instagram authority should have phrased his statement;
“There is such a thing as unsafe ice”.
Knowing the difference between unsafe ice and safe ice is the difference between getting wet or much worse.
If you are walking around on ice where you may need to use ice picks to pull yourself out of the water…You had already made a major mistake and exercised poor judgement.