By: Bears Butt


The season is well upon us at this time, ICE FISHING!  Ya baby!

The last DWR fishing report shows lots of ice on most of the Northern Utah lakes, enough so that it’s pretty safe to go out on it and drill some holes and do some fishing.  A very good report on Pineview last week as well!  The perch up there should have some good size to them this year.

So, what thickness should the ice be in order to be considered safe?

That’s a good question, but more importantly than the thickness is how “hard” is it….You could have a 4 inch thickness of ice with lots and lots of air bubbles in it and that is not necessarily good enough to allow a person to stand on it.  “Clear ice is hard ice”!  No bubbles! And as long as it is more than 2 inches thick…notice I said “MORE THAN 2 INCHES THICK”….it should hold a person walking on it and allow for fishing….be VERY careful even at 3 inches thick as this is not much ice under your feet!  A good hard jump up and solid landing on 3 inches could put you through and into the icy depths below!

4 inches would be better than 3, but I know a lot of guys who will take right off walking on 3 inches without batting an eye…I’m a LOT more cautious than that.  And when I don’t have a covering of snow or frost or something on top of that clear ice, I get the hebbie-jebbies walking on it….remember when we were some of the first on Pineview a couple years back, Edjukateer?

I found a site on the web where you can print yourself out a wallet sized card about what is safe ice thickness and what is not:

I printed out the card for myself and you should do the same.

Once you are on good solid ice you should not have any problem walking to some place in order to fish…the terrain on ice is pretty flat!  Pull a sled with all your gear, or in it’s simplest form, walk out with a 5 gallon bucket with your gear in it.  All you need is a license, fishing pole with a rig on it and a bucket to set on.  We fishermen tend to think we need to take more than that, however.  Stuff like lunches, hot drinks and bait.  Oh and of course the auger and ice scoop and what about if we break our line…we need more fishing gear to put on our lines.

And so, like all other outdoor activities, what starts out as a simple thing like grabbing your pole and walking to the lake, turns out to be something requiring days of planning and the tuning up of vehicles and special gear!

In this case, fish finders and big batteries, atv’s or snowmobiles, special automatic fish hooking devises, ice tents and heaters  etc. etc. etc.


Well, once you are out on the ice and have a hole or two drilled, it’s time to fish!


This picture reminds me of one of my fishing partners.  Shipley is his name and he has an attention deficit disorder.  When he is ice fishing he spends a lot of time drilling holes.  He also catches a ton of fish, I have to give him credit for that!  He is the person who showed me how to ice fish and taught me how to release fish…before I went with him, I always practice catching and keeping.  Now I only keep the good fish…perch, walleye and catfish…the rest of the fish  usually get put back into the lake or stream, unless they are deeply hooked and won’t survive being put back.  That’s another story.

This picture reminds me of  Shipley as well:


It is certainly time to go ice fishing!  And if you have never done it, make sure you have the cold weather gear to keep your feet and hands warm.  There is nothing worse than being cold and very far from the vehicle.  And if you take kids out on the ice, make sure they are bundled up well too.  They won’t tell you they are cold until it’s almost too late and they won’t like the experience and if given a choice probably won’t want to ever go ice fishing with you again.

Bears Butt

December 27, 2013


Written on December 27th, 2013 , Hunting/Fishing/Trapping Stories

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> | Stories, Ramblings & Random Stuff From an Old Mountain Man is proudly powered by WordPress and the Theme Adventure by Eric Schwarz
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS). | Stories, Ramblings & Random Stuff From an Old Mountain Man

Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.