As much as many anglers love ice fishing in Michigan, there are far too many accidents that occur during first and last ice.

Don't be in a rush to get out until the water temperatures have had a time to cool and the ice has reached a safe, consistent thickness. There are also many useful items available to the angler to help ensure safe fishing.

Ice picks that can be worn around the neck and shoulder area can help to pull you out if you go through. Many of the newer models will retract until they are needed. Taking a spud and testing the ice thickness every few feet can find soft spots or places to avoid. Manufacturers like Frabill and Mustang make survival suits that float in the event of an emergency. It's also not unheard of to have a length of rope with a tennis ball or life ring  on the end, to help with retrieval of someone who might have gone in.

Like any other activity in the outdoors, be safe, know the rules and never go at it alone.

For more safety tips from the MI DNR, click here. MI DNR ICE SAFETY TIPS

Good fishing and tight lines!

Dude Ranch Media