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10 commandments of safety on the ice

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I know that everyone is getting anxious for hardwater and is feeling the lure of early ice. But be sure to temper that eager optimism with a bit of caution.  Remember that no fish is worth someone losing their life.  In a couple of weeks (hopefully weather permitting) we will start posting ice reports from around the northern US as things start to firm up, so check back often 

10 commandments of ice safety

Carry your cell phone in a ziploc bag so if you go in at least your phone will be functional to summon help.

Always assume that the ice is never truly safe!

Carry the proper safety gear especially on early ice!

Big wind on big water can cause big problems!

Ice seldom freezes evenly or uniformly.

Check with the locals, resorts or bait shops for known problem ares or aerators.

Don't over drive your headlights at night.

Check the ice thickness yourself. Don't assume!

Avoid alcoholic beverages, Beer and booze increase your chance of hypothermia and increases the likelihood that you will make a dumb mistake that could cost you or a friend their life.

Avoid ice thickness of less than 4"for walking, 6" for ATV snowmobile, 12" for driving.