LINCOLN, Neb. – Ice fishing is a fun way to spend time with family and friends. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission encourages fishermen to be cautious of conditions before venturing onto the ice.
Late-season ice fishing means conditions can vary greatly on a lake. During this time of year, run-off could open areas in lakes, springs could deteriorate ice and melting could occur along the edge of lakes, especially along the north shoreline.
The minimum ice thickness for supporting a person ice fishing is at least 4 inches of clear, solid ice and 8 inches of clear, solid ice if operating an ATV or UTV on the ice.
Game and Parks offers the following additional tips for ice anglers:
— Drill holes or use an ice chisel to check the ice conditions while working your way out to your fishing spot.
— Look for changes in ice color, as it could mean thin or weak ice.
— If the ice is clear enough, you can monitor its thickness by looking at the depth of the cracks or bubbles.
— Always fish with another person.
— Before heading out, tell a family member or friend where you will be fishing.
— Wear a life jacket.
— Commercial or homemade ice picks should be worn around your neck in case you fall through the ice and need something to grip the ice and pull yourself out.
— Keep a long rope with you on the ice in the event a rescue is needed.