Is Ice Fishing Dangerous?

Is Ice Fishing Dangerous

All over the world, anglers and fishermen love to explore and adventure, and that is why most of them are advancing their ways to the challenging yet adventurous “ice fishing.” But is ice fishing dangerous?

Counting from remote frozen areas, and in the city frozen lakes and ponds attract the attention of thousands of anglers all over the world. Therefore, ice fishing is becoming very renowned and popular however it comes with its own challenges.

Most of the fishermen tend to ice fish in groups, some also bring their kids and pets to continue the legacy. However, that does not mean that one can or should ignore or underestimate the challenges and dangers associated with ice fishing.

That is why I am here today to tell you about some wonders, and dangers related to this challenging sport. One needs to understand that ice fishing is quite different from traditional fishing and is dangerous at the same time.

So in this article, we are going to discuss potential dangers and safety concerns regarding ice fishing and how one can avoid them by educating himself properly on the subject. Let’s first discuss the dangers connected to ice fishing.

Is Ice Fishing Dangerous?

This is the question I mostly get from newbies, the short answer to the question is YES! One can fall from the ice, dangers of hypothermia, injuries, snow frost-causing frostbites, and several other health and safety concerns related to ice fishing.

Is Ice Fishing Dangerous

To keep yourself safe and to have a good fishing experience it’s important that you stick with the rules, particularly when you are not experienced in this niche and are new to it.

Dangers Regarding Ice Fishing

1- Ice Color: Most of the fish finders and new anglers look for the ice thickness in order to predict if it’s thick but the ice color will actually tell you about the ice quality. The ice clear as blue is known as the strongest type of ice because it will be hardly stable, will not crack easily, and can easily bear loads of pressure. Considering the thickness is right, this type of ice is safest to walk on.

On the other hand white ice is not hard, however, its thickness is good you are still able to walk over it. Also, white ice needs to be double in thickness as the blue ice to be safe. Grey and muddy kind of ice is the weakest and should be avoided at all costs.

2- Water Currents: Not many people know about it. But currents are also one of the big concerns of ice fishing. Make yourself familiar with the area, water flow, rivers, ponds, and lakes in a certain area to gain better information about water channels.

Flowing water like rivers and lakes, in general, have thinner ice that is not safe to walk on. The danger with flowing water is that if there is any type of creek and the water is flowing through it, the ice will break once you step onto it. For instance, if you end up at the top area of the river or pond, and the water there is not stationary, the ice will automatically become 10-20% thinner, and hence the chances of breaking are more.

3- Burns And Dangers Of Carbon Monoxide: To the newbies, burns are the least thing that comes across their minds. When anglers go to remote areas for ice fishing, they prefer to bring different types of heaters with them that keep them warm particularly when they are on longer voyages. They fix these heaters usually in their tents so that the environment can be comfortable as much as possible.

However, some faulty heaters and those that are not the certified ones can cause carbon monoxide accumulation in the tents. Unfortunately, the gas is odorless, and colorless and is hard to recognize if it’s leaking. The symptoms include nausea, headache, and sleepiness, if exposed to such conditions for longer periods, it can result in death. Therefore always use certified heaters, and ensure proper ventilation in the tent at all times.

Another issue that comes with these heaters is that heaters that are very powerful can initiate fires in small tents. Due to their material tents can easily catch fire and burn. Therefore, always check that the heater is not touching the tent from any side at all times.

4- Water Loss And Dehydration: While doing ice fishing, people think that they are sitting on a chair, and no physical activity means no sweating. That is why people don’t feel like drinking water much. But one must understand that in the cold your body is utilizing a lot of energy to maintain your body temperature. That is why you must eat and drink. Cold air and lack of fluids kickstart dehydration very easily. Always keep a water bottle by your side and regularly drink water. Do not use alcohol when ice fishing.

Is Ice Fishing Safe?

No ice fishing is not completely safe. Everything comes with its own beauty and expenses and so does ice fishing. Even when someone follows all the precautions, it’s unstoppable for accidents to happen now and then. Therefore, you must take some serious precautions so that you are prepared beforehand for any type of accident.

First and foremost, keep your first-aid kit with you at all times. In addition, also pack some blankets and extra clothes with you before going ice-fishing. Also, make sure that these items are present near you and not thirty minutes away from you resting in your car.

If you see some fellow angler falling in the ice, you have to take robust and prompt actions because time is the key in such situations. From a safe distance, quickly throw a rope to them and try to pull them out. Do not try to go too close to the place of the accident, because apparently the ice is weak and damaged from there. When the person is safely out, give them a towel and spare clothes to avoid hypothermia.

Is Ice Fishing Good At Night?

Ice fishing after the sunset may seem like a good hobby in leisure time after you’re free from all hassles. But at the same time, due to darkness and cold, navigating and location through the ice terrain can be hard, and so is going back.

At night, it is obvious that you cannot see well. Even if you have a lamp or light the chances are there that things can go south, and can become disoriented. Particularly, if you’re in some wild location without any equipment and GPS. Thereby always keep your vehicle close to you and keep a fully-charged phone with you with modern technologies.

At the same time, ice fishing is better at night as well due to certain reasons. During the winter season, the nights are longer than the day and hence you can have more time to yourself for fishing. Also, at night most of the people go to their homes and hence low competition, and hence fishes can be attracted to your baits and lures.

Is Ice Fishing Fun?

Yes! Ice fishing can be fun when done right. Some of the reasons why people enjoy ice fishing more than the traditional fishing are:

1- Unlike A Boat, fishing is more fun on the ice because, in addition to fishing you can also have fun like you can bring a stove and grill to cook your favorite food while fishing, enjoy your favorite drinks doing your favorite hobby, one can also bring heaters and lawn chairs to make the experience more delightful.

2- Unlike the boat, where you have a confined space you can bring more friends and family for ice fishing. Because of an open area, the merrier rule applies. In short, you can have a social gathering while you do fishing both at the same time.

3- The fish Under The Ice Is Tastier, and there are scientific proofs to prove that. In warmer months there is a proliferation of blue-green algae, hence the muddy taste which people mostly complain about can affect the taste. However in winters, there is no such proliferation in frozen cold frigid water, and hence you can enjoy fish with no muddy taste.

Is Ice Fishing Easy?

The thought of making a hole in a huge frozen lake and dropping the bait on the water may seem like beating the bush. But, if you use the right equipment and use the right strategy, fishing on ice can be very easy for you to catch huge quantities of fish while being fun at the same time. Read Do You Need a Flasher for Ice fishing?

Of course, doing ice fishing is not the most hospitable thing. But, if the reward is good, the ice fishing is worth a shot. You can check out for proper cold apparel and can look for compact life in ice shelters with portable heaters. That is why we observe several ice shelters coming on the frozen lakes during each fishing season.

How Hard Is Ice Fishing?

Ice fishing is tricky and difficult due to several obvious reasons. But if you have the right equipment and the right passion to do it, you can do it with ease. However, don’t get too excited while going out for your first fishing adventures.

To begin with, you must always consider the familiar waters. To gather more depth on fish information you should try to observe where your fish usually stays in a specific lake or a pond during the open water seasons.

You can also go for the “small waters approach” if you are considering covering huge areas of water. The fish under the ice usually tends to congregate under the bays, harbors, channels, and backwaters in the huge rivers, lakes, and ponds.

Such rivers and ponds are shallow in water and are among the first water bodies that get frozen. So they are always best, to begin with, and are considered as the hotspots of the winter season.

What Is The Trick To Ice Fishing?

If you are new to ice fishing it’s better to learn some tips and tricks before going onto your first voyage. Following are some essentials to learn when it comes to ice fishing:

  1. Before going on your first trip, always take someone who has experience in successful ice fishing. You will gain much more knowledge and exposure from an experienced person than from beating a bush alone.
  2. Always consider the weather conditions of the place where you are aiming to go for ice fishing. Plan your apparel and equipment accordingly.
  3. These are modern days and you have to sit all day waiting blindly. Take aim at equipment like fish finders or flashers to gain a better display of what’s happening beneath and throw your lure or bait accordingly.
  4. Consistency is the key. You have to be cautious about your fishing techniques. If you keep jumping from one technique to the other you won’t get anything. Therefore it is necessary to master one key and then move on to the other.
  5. When you are a beginner do not go straight for trophy fishes. At first, pay more heed to master your skill, and then when you think of yourself as experienced enough then take challenges.
  6. Keep your safety at first. If you are fishing somewhere in Northern Canada, where ice seems like a usual floor and one can think even a tank can go through it. Always remember that ice is nothing but just frozen water so anything can happen at any time. Be cautious!


Ice fishing is fun and adventurous, however, if one is not cautious and takes it lightly it can turn into a nightmare in seconds.

So before stepping out on the ice, beware of the dangers and safety concerns, and always make sure that you have all the necessary equipment and accessories, to begin with. I personally advise not to go alone for ice fishing particularly when you are doing ice fishing in remote areas.

Don’t stick to the ideology that “Nothing can’t happen to me.” Stick to the above advice mentioned in the article as much as you can, and always do a little before going into a specific area. Here are some tips for first time ice fishing.

One last thing is to inform someone about when you are going to return even when you are going as a group. So, if anything happens to you or your group, that person can come for help.

Ricki Cooper

I have been fishing for 11 years. I believe in the famous saying "If fishing is interfering with your business, give up your business".

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