Winter offers a completely different world for wildlife lovers and outdoor sports enthusiasts in Colorado.
Ice fishing is popular and exciting for outdoor lovers in Colorado and visitors. During winter, many state parks and local communities organize ice-fishing tournaments. Families and groups of friends get together to drill a hole in the ice and enjoy some chilling quality time. Ice fishing is fun, but dangerous so make sure to take precautions that will ensure a great time without unnecessary risks.
Things you must know about ice thickness before fishing
Ice thickness depends on factors such as location and whether it is a river, lake or pond. Other factors that affect the ice safety are the air temperature, snow cover, and stream currents. Ice seldom freezes uniformly. It may be a foot thick in one location and only an inch or two thick just a few feet away. So drill several test holes every 30 feet before you choose your spot.
The ice outside a river bend is usually weaker due to the undermining effects of the faster current. Ice formed over flowing water and currents is often dangerous. Therefore, avoid fishing near streams, bridges or culverts. Beware of ice around partially submerged objects such as trees, brush, embankments or structures. Ice will not form as quickly where water is shallow or where objects may absorb sunlight.
Look for clear blue ice. White ice or “snow ice” is only about half as strong as new clear ice. The insulating effect of snow slows down the freezing process. The extra weight also reduces how much weight the ice sheet can support. New clear ice is usually stronger than old ice.
Thickness scale for blue ice only!
- 2 inches or less – STAY OFF
- Ice rule of thumb: 4 inches of good ice for a walking individual
- 6 inches of good ice for a snowmobile or ATV
- 8-12 inches of good ice for a car or small pickup
- 12-15 inches of good ice for a medium pickup truck
Ice is amazingly slippery. Therefore, is always useful carrying with you a couple of picks or spikes with wooden hand holds. These can also be handy for pulling someone out of the water if necessary. Also, consider using crampons, or cleats, for walking on ice.
Keep in mind you may be out there for hours, standing or sitting over the ice. So, picking out the correct warm clothes, footwear and socks is essential. Make sure you carry something to sit on, camping stool, chair or empty bucket (later you can put your catch inside). A portable flotation cushion is an excellent choice. This will not only add comfort to your behind, keeping it off the ice, but will give you something to throw in case someone falls through the ice.
If you need to rent some great camping chairs or look over other cool outdoors accessories, you can rent them from us. The plus side is we have the coolest system ever, where you can rent something to try it out and if you like it, you buy it. We call this the rent it, try it, buy it by Outdoors Geek.