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#1593748 - 11/14/08 09:56 AM
How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need?
Far-I Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 03/03/08
Posts: 496
Loc: UTM Zone 15 N
Are you a "life-jacket-wearing-john-boat-pushing" hardwater enthusiast out there right away?

Do you have a wife and kids that make you wait longer?

How many inches before you go out on foot? In truck?

How many inches before the permanant shantys go out? (An answer to the shanty question is particularily useful for me.)

~ As long as there are young men with the light of adventure in their eyes or a touch of wildness in their souls, rapids will be run. ~ Sigurd F. Olson
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#1593760 - 11/14/08 10:05 AM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: Far-I]
WinterHaven Offline
HSOList.com Family

Registered: 07/29/08
Posts: 217
Loc: Gilberts, IL.
I will go out on no less than 2-1/2" when I am walking but thats because our ice season is shorter than in Minnesota so I try to get out there as soon as possible.

My wife gave me the option, it is either ice fishing or me make your choice. God I will sure miss her!!!
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#1593762 - 11/14/08 10:07 AM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: Far-I]
wplatehunter Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 03/11/06
Posts: 1101
I will go out on 4" with a life jacket, and sometimes less with a rope connected to me and the four wheeler on shore. Not vey smart, but fun when the fish are biting. I don't bring my kids out until there is good ice, and even then I am very careful. I like about 12" before I drive my truck, and will pull the permanant out before that with the four wheeler. Ice will be here soon.
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#1593764 - 11/14/08 10:07 AM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: WinterHaven]
Ralph Wiggum Offline
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 5074
Loc: Crystal, MN
I'll do 3-4 inches on foot, but I always wear a life jacket till the ice is plenty thick.
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#1593776 - 11/14/08 10:15 AM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: Ralph Wiggum]
Reynolds Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 01/26/06
Posts: 542
Loc: Jacksonville Beach, FL
I went out last year on 2 inches of ice where the max depth was 5ft or so, and very close to shore as well. As far as a vehicle, 12" plus. I have had people drive next to me on the lake with a full-size truck with 7" of ice. That makes me a bit nervous for all of us eek
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#1593808 - 11/14/08 10:43 AM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: Reynolds]
TiNK3R Offline
HSOList.com Family

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 218
Loc: Chaska
I don't think I'm going to go out till I see 7" this year. My wife and I went early (3-4) last year and it was really unnerving.

The slush outside a marina being like 4" deep wasn't fun to walk through. :P

TiNk3R ~
SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!
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#1593840 - 11/14/08 11:05 AM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: TiNK3R]
BobT Offline
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 03/20/06
Posts: 7857
Loc: Osakis, MN
I typically won't walk out until there's at least 6" measured at a few different places. It may be 6" here but 3" just 20 feet away.

I won't drive an ATV out until I measure a consistant 8" or more and a car, I have to have a foot minimum.

Maybe I'm not as daring as some but I'd rather think there is no fish worth the risk.

Bob

Bob
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#1593869 - 11/14/08 11:19 AM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: BobT]
polarsusd81 Offline
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 01/29/05
Posts: 4143
Loc: Blaine, MN
I will walk on three, if it is nice and clear. If the ice formed up and it got windy and broke things up and piled up on one side of the lake, I will wait longer, maybe 5. If there is snow on the ice and it is clear I want 5, ice that isn't clear I want at least 6. It is different every year.

Last year we got about 4.5 and then 6" of snow and it sucked. It wrecked early ice for a lot of folks last year as the slush made it near impossible to get around.
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#1593889 - 11/14/08 11:30 AM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: Far-I]
BIG DS Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 801
Loc: Kato area Ice
somewhere between 4" and 6" to walk, 6" plus for the ATV, and 12" plus for a vehicle. I love fishing, but its not worth my life.

Never let fear or commonsense hold you back!

Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat!
Gov. Jesse Ventura
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#1593891 - 11/14/08 11:31 AM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: polarsusd81]
Scott M Offline
HotSpotOutdoors Pro Staff

Registered: 05/31/04
Posts: 8230
Loc: Little Bohemia


4 inches, except for a little walleye slough that I know I could touch bottom, and when I start there I won't go alone or without ice picks and a staff (or without my ARCTIC ARMOR!) . I usually wait for 3 inches there. 3" can happen in two stiff cold nights, so it's not like it will take forever to get there.
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#1593894 - 11/14/08 11:32 AM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: BobT]
LMITOUT Offline

HotSpotOutdoors Pro Staff

Registered: 12/02/01
Posts: 19847
Loc: Ameritopia
Originally Posted By: BobT
I typically won't walk out until there's at least 6" measured at a few different places. It may be 6" here but 3" just 20 feet away.

I won't drive an ATV out until I measure a consistant 8" or more and a car, I have to have a foot minimum.

Maybe I'm not as daring as some but I'd rather think there is no fish worth the risk.

Bob


That's pretty much where I stand too. I'll venture out on 4-5" as long as it's good, clear, ice. Watching how a lake freezes up can tell you how good the ice is too. Sometimes we get this early freeze and then a thaw, and all the ice chunks get pushed to one shore by the wind and then refreeze. This isn't good ice at all and something I keep in mind early on.

It gets tougher when there is an early snow and you can't read the ice so I carry a ice chisel with me and check early and often as I walk. I also stay fairly close in and won't venture out to mid-lake until a few more inches are put on. Last year we had some lakes that froze over early but had big open spots in the middle where the wind kept it open. These were open for quite a while and you had to believe the ice wasn't real good for quite some time.

I rarely drive out since I use an ATV, but it'll be February with 16"+ if I do take my truck. As Bob said, not worth it.

**Email** //// **Twitter**.`..`..`..`.><((((>

I am an Electrical Engineer. To save time, let's just assume that I am never wrong.
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#1593898 - 11/14/08 11:33 AM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: BIG DS]
Sonicrunch Offline
Sr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 01/20/05
Posts: 2004
Loc: Chaska, MN
I'll fish on 4" real close to shore. 6" to go out further. 8" for the sled. All measurements of good clear ice of course.
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#1593913 - 11/14/08 11:41 AM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: Sonicrunch]
Snake River King Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 461
Loc: Braham, MN
I usually go out in about 2.5 to three but I also fish in about less that 6 feet and a buddy is with me, the best is to just fallow the dnr standard. besides the difference between 2 inches to 4 inches is mabey 3 or 4 days most years, so if you just wait another weekend you should be golden
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#1593915 - 11/14/08 11:41 AM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: Sonicrunch]
eyebjim Offline
Sr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 1472
Loc: wright county
3" portable fishing
5" four wheeler
6" four wheeler and 6.5 x 12' wheelhouse
11" truck

All with good clear consistant ice.

Common sense...ain't all that common anymore!
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#1594020 - 11/14/08 01:02 PM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: eyebjim]
Jaspernuts Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 04/12/07
Posts: 727
Loc: Madison Lake, MN
3 inches to walk
and 10 inches for my 91 escort! My house is heavy so that needs 10 inches too!

I sincerely apologize if I have NOT offended you. Your turn is coming. Please be patient.
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#1594149 - 11/14/08 03:27 PM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: Jaspernuts]
Glockwinger Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 05/17/05
Posts: 532
Loc: Nordt of da cities
4" for the porty and walking. I'll need 13+ for the new wheel house.

Character is how you treat people who can do nothing for you. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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#1594160 - 11/14/08 03:37 PM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: eyebjim]
snoozebutton Offline
otSpotOutdoors Pro Staff

Registered: 11/17/06
Posts: 3128
Loc: Springbrook, WI
Originally Posted By: eyebjim
3" portable fishing
5" four wheeler
6" four wheeler and 6.5 x 12' wheelhouse
11" truck

All with good clear consistant ice.


All go with that except for the 6" for the wheel house, I'll wait for a little more for that since I don't have a 4 wheeler.
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#1594241 - 11/14/08 04:54 PM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: snoozebutton]
Quetico Offline
Sr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 01/18/08
Posts: 1422
Loc: Eagan
I'll head out on 4" but be checking the ice constantly as I go. The truck goes out about 2 weeks after I see other trucks out. There's always some crazy that needs to be the first one to drive out there with the hopes they don't drop through. Not me.

So many lakes to fish so little time
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#1594245 - 11/14/08 04:58 PM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: Quetico]
mike morris Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 03/26/07
Posts: 710
Loc: Galveston, Texas
3 solid, clear inches of ice is enough for me to walk on. I wait until 4 - 4.5 inches of solid clear ice to bring the portable out. 6 inches of solid ice for the fourwheeler. And then probably 12 inches for the truck.
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#1594487 - 11/14/08 08:59 PM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: mike morris]
riverrat56 Offline
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 4348
Loc: New Ulm, MN, USA
I'll walk out on 2 1/2" of good clear ice, but prefer a solid 3-3.5".

If I have been out and personally checked every inch of my driving path I will drive my Jeep out on 10-12", but I will not stray from that path and drive very slowly and with an open door. If I had a 4-wheeler I would wait till 12-14" but I can only walk out a 1+ miles so many times....

Don't let the facts get in the way of a good story....
HSO sponsors! wink
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#1594510 - 11/14/08 09:26 PM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: riverrat56]
jjz Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 05/07/08
Posts: 377
Loc: Breezy Point
DNR standards make are plenty safe. I have fished on less than 2" over deeper water, but I wouldn't recommend it...
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#1594642 - 11/15/08 06:52 AM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: jjz]
jigging-matt Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/20/03
Posts: 1269
Loc: Owatonna, MN
I prefer right around 6 when I walk out. HAve fished on 3-4 a couple of times but won't do it on a regular basis. Generally don't drive my truck on the ice to much, just the wheeler after 8-10 inches.
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#1594729 - 11/15/08 09:35 AM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: jigging-matt]
Northlander Offline

FishingMN Pro Staff

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 24132
Loc: Duluth Mn./Superior, Wi.
I have done 2" but feel safer on 3" and if I have 4" to walk on I leave the spud bar in the truck. This is after I have fished the area a few times previous. I also make sure to have my arctic armor on and at times a life vest. I also will have rope and a throwable to toss to someone if needed.

Fishing Minnesota Sponsors
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Otter Outdoors/Rapala Ice Force Pro Staffer



IN MEMORY OF OUR BROTHER JIM HUDSON.
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#1594831 - 11/15/08 12:13 PM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: Northlander]
Quetico Offline
Sr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 01/18/08
Posts: 1422
Loc: Eagan
Yeah, I always make sure to have my throwable rope bag with me early ice. It something I always have within reach. You never know when you will need it. If you do end up needing a throwable rope, someone's life is likely on the line.

So many lakes to fish so little time
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#1594939 - 11/15/08 04:33 PM
Re: How Many Inches Of Ice Do You Need? [Re: jjz]
CARVER_COUNTRY Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 100
Loc: MN
Originally Posted By: jjz
DNR standards make are plenty safe. I have fished on less than 2" over deeper water, but I wouldn't recommend it...


Been there done and done that. Couple years ago i went out on twi inches of ice and found a spot that the geese had been keeping open that froze the night before. Lets just say it was long cold walk back to the truck! but theres just something about early ice fishing that gets me going!

William Pickles
St. Boni, MN

2006 Whaletail Big Pike Champion 14lbs-2oz
2007 Whaletail Big Pike Runner up 12lbs-5oz

You know you're getting old when everything hurts. And what doesn't hurt, doesn't work!
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