Safety First

There is nothing more exciting than the anticipation of getting out on new "first " ice. But with that anticipation comes some risks. Most of us that love this season, will follow the standard of 4 inches of black ice, before heading out for the first time. Sometimes we get so excited we forget to properly prepare. There are two pieces of equipment - gear that you shouldn't be without. In this blog, I am going to talk about just one.

The first is relatively cheap, but vital......Ice Cleats.  They come in every shape, size and configuration.......which reminds me of a story! A couple of years ago we hit the ice on just such a day. New, hard, glass like ice. As much as I hated to slow down, I forced myself to take the time to put on my cleats, as did two others in our group. One guy didn't, however. He wanted on the ice now!
We began drilling, and setting up our tip ups. Fred (not his real name) was busy setting his third tip up, having already baited up two. Suddenly we heard a YELP! As I looked
back, all I could see were feet.......actually, just the bottoms of feet. I was immediately struck with this thought........Why did Fred decide to lay down on the ice and make Snow Angels??

He was down and he was out, literally! We rushed over to insure that he was ok, and after several tense seconds, he began to move again. We quickly went into medical examination mode and asked Fred how many fingers we were holding in front of his face. When he answered 17......we knew we had a problem.

Now, I am not sure that what we did next was appropriate, but those of you who have fished for a long time, would have done exactly the same........we went over to his first tip up and brought in his first fish for the day. He WAS sitting up! One member of the group felt we should take him to the Emergency Room, to which we readily agreed, as long as it wasn't any of us that had to leave the ice. We looked around and no one else was volunteering either.

By now, Fred(still not his real name), was on  his feet stumbling around. Obviously, he was going to be alright. Well......he stayed out with us all day, caught a ton of fish, but didn't really remember. Being good guys, we told him he did indeed catch "2" fish that day!

I have made light of what could have been disastrous, but in reality worked out fine. The point is...........he never went out again without being foot prepared.
Guys, we don't get that many opportunities in a season. We cannot waste them by taking unnecessary chances. Let's all be safe out there!

I remain