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Ice Time

Starting to hear a few reports of folks venturing onto the ice in parts of Nebraska.  As I warned a few weeks ago, now it is time for my obligatory blog about ice safety.

I pretty much will never tell you that the ice is safe, “no problem, go fish”.  Sure, there are times in the middle of the winter when we have plenty of ice, but even then I am not going to tell you it is safe.  You also should not listen to anyone else that tells you it is safe.

“Wow, Daryl-Downer”!  “Way to discourage anyone from ever going ice-fishing.”

Oh, I will be on the ice as soon as it is safe and stay there as long as it is safe.

So, which is it?

You must take it seriously, you must respect it, all the time, every time.  Ice conditions can vary a lot from place to place, time to time.  Even if you are told it is safe, YOU have make sure.  That is a call that only YOU can make.

Better be prepared.

I post this video every year, it includes the safety equipment you should have:

Ice Fishing Safety

With cold weather finally settling in, ice fishers are looking to walk on water. Here's how to stay safe.

Posted by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission on Friday, December 29, 2017

This video has some more good tips:

The most important ice safety tool you should have is a spud bar!

Measure the ice thickness!  Do not show me your fingers about this far apart and tell me it is safe.  Four inches of new, clear ice and you can be fishing, but if you do not measure it, you do not know what you are talking about!  Afterall, you are a fisherman and you have a problem with accurately estimating the size of things.  MEASURE IT!

Here’s a good idea for your spud bar:


For some parts of Nebraska it has not been cold enough, long enough, yet.  Be patient, it is coming.  Just make sure to be safe.


About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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