Use caution when on first Ice….

  • Bob Carlson
    Participant
    Mille Lacs Lake (eastside), Mn.
    Posts: 2936
    #1296398

    I would like to share an experience that I had some years ago while ice fishing on Mille Lacs Lake.

    It all started on our second day on the ice. We had spent time drilling and checking ice depths on the first day. We had 5-6 inches of ice in the areas we wanted to fish on the eastside of the lake. This was a small reef area that we fish every year first ice. This area is really good before the resorts get the trucks on the ice and all the noise starts. We had a crack that we were crossing allowing us to get out to the outside of this reef.
    Well thats where our trouble will start on the second day out.
    This day I remember very well December 8th Vikings football Sunday. We planned to fish till just before noon and then head back to shore to watch the game. We had caught some nice walleye during our morning hours and I decided that I would head in and get things ready for the game.
    I packed up my gear and headed into shore………only to make it to the CRACK that had been no problem the previous times on and off the lake. During the mid morning we had heard a loud crack and the wind was blowing at around 10-15 mph out of the SW. On this morning while we were busy catching walleye the lake had broke open to leave a crack in the lake large enough to have white caps in it!

    Holy [censored], now what do I do……. I said to myself.

    I have grown up fishing this lake and I was in a predicament that I had never been in before. I had around 50 feet of open water as far south and back to the north as I could see. I wheeled around and went back to warn the rest of our group. During the time it took for them to pack what gear they could get in a short period of time they were on their way also. I made it back to the crack ahead of the rest of the group only to see a piece of ice break off and start to drift towards shore. I made my move and jumped on this piece of ice about 20 X 20 feet in size. I left my Honda Big Red and only took my sled and the gear with me. The ice flow that we were on was drifting along at about 50 feet a minute…
    Hook, his Dad and others finally got to the crack to find that I had made it across the open water, not knowing how I could have. I told them to head north as the ice had to be piling up on the northend somewhere. They finally did get across the crack about 3 miles north along the lake. On this day we left an 8×8 fish house, fish, and some gear not knowing what would happen with it? We were only looking to save our lives. One older gentleman that was with us will not go back on Mille Lacs after this experience.
    I too have learned that you must always watch the lake for changing conditions.

    I am writing this to let everyone know to be extra carefull when getting out on the ice this early ice fishing season.
    You just never know when this could happen to you…
    I hope that with me sharing this story it will help some else stay safe.

    MFO
    Participant
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts: 1451
    #283166

    Zoinks!

    Definatly a good heads up. Its not worth going swimming just to catch a couple fish.

    haywood04
    Participant
    Winona, Minnesota
    Posts: 1073
    #283213

    Great Reminder Bobber,
    The ol miss is not as large but with the current you must ALWAYS know where and what you are doing on the ice. It can turn dangerous in seconds!
    Be Safe, your kids want to see and fish with you again.

    DaveB
    Participant
    Inver Grove Heights MN
    Posts: 4308
    #283323

    So on the ride to shore…did you just sit or did you troll????

    Bob Carlson
    Participant
    Mille Lacs Lake (eastside), Mn.
    Posts: 2936
    #283332

    I prayed……..

    gillsandspecks
    Participant
    Hiawatha, Iowa
    Posts: 235
    #283338

    Down here in Iowa most of my trips on the lakes I am wearing a life jacket. Yes I’m one of the few but I’m still here too. That Ice can be 3 inches in one spot and 3 ft in an other.

    3way
    Participant
    eastern iowa.
    Posts: 185
    #283350

    caution is good, i hear the ice man has arrived on the ia. great lakes. let the fishing begin.

    wade_kuehl
    Participant
    Northwest Iowa
    Posts: 6167
    #283366

    Quote:


    caution is good, i hear the ice man has arrived on the ia. great lakes. let the fishing begin.


    Last I heard the ice was not ready. It’s supposed to be pretty warm around here all week, starting tomorrow. Maybe we’ll hear from someone who’s checked it out recently?

    Wade

    wade_kuehl
    Participant
    Northwest Iowa
    Posts: 6167
    #283367

    Found my own answer on the web.

    This is a pic of Okoboji today and those are waves.

    I’m afraid it may be a while for ice here with these temps coming this week.

    orca
    Participant
    Red Wing, MN
    Posts: 110
    #283378

    The wife mand I went for a ride yesterday to check some areas for ice fishing, I knew there wouldnt be enough ice so I didnt bring any gear. the ice down by Wabasha is only about 1 to 2 inches and really soft by shore. So far the weather man has been off by several degrees to the cool side. Shouldnt be to long before we can go. Only ice I saw on Pepin was around Maiden Rock, and very little at that.

    gillsandspecks
    Participant
    Hiawatha, Iowa
    Posts: 235
    #283444

    Quote:


    caution is good, i hear the ice man has arrived on the ia. great lakes. let the fishing begin.


    I also bring an other set of clothes, and extra cover alls. Makes for a better drive home.

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