Safety Tips for Ice Fishing in Alaska
- Boy ice fishing in Alaska
Safety is most important issue while ice fishing. You should be in excellent shape so that you can withstand the extreme temperatures and you should also be strong enough to pull yourself out of the water if you fall. Clothes should withstand extreme temperatures and keep you warm but should not hold you down or restrict you if they get wet. Waders or heavy boots should not be worn because they will fill up with water and will pull you under the surface. You should always wear a life jacket, even if you know how to swim. A life jacket can save your life, if you begin to panic after a fall, by keeping you afloat.
- fishing alone
The most important rule about ice fishing is that you should never go out on the ice alone. If you must go alone be sure to tell someone where you are going and when you will return. Survey the ice before going out. Look for areas of wet ice or snow. Listen for sounds of cracking. You should not go out on wet ice or ice that is making cracking noises. Use a chisel as you walk forward on the ice and be aware of any hollow sounds. This ice is not safe. Be aware of the temperature for several days before you make your trip. If the temperature has been above freezing for more than a few days, then stay off the ice. Also, a sudden drop in temperature, which happens often in Alaskan winters, can make the ice brittle and susceptible to cracks. Stay off the ice for at least 24 hours. As you survey the ice, use a drill to drill in the ice and test the thickness about every 150 feet.
- Cracks in the ice
Knowing how to react to a fall is a matter of life and death. Try to remember to stay calm and not panic. If you begin to fall through the ice, try to shift your weight to your other foot unless both feet are going through the ice. If the entire area of ice is thin and you fall through, try falling face down in a horizontal manner. You have a good chance of parts of your body still being on the ice and not falling all the way through. If you are with a partner, have him throw you a rope to help pull you out. If you are alone you will have to hoist yourself up out of the ice. Leave your wet clothes on and find shelter immediately. Hypothermia can set in quickly when you are wet and in the cold. You body will warm the wet clothes to a certain degree and you will be warmer than if you take your clothes off unless you have dry clothes to put on immediately. If you are in shallow water your vehicle should not be far away. It's best, if you are alone, to stay away from deep waters.