“Safe ice” is probably a term that doesn’t, or shouldn’t, exist. Ice deteriorates remarkably fast, and it takes only one thin spot to turn a good day into a bad one in seconds.

Most ice anglers know about common safety items such as a spud bar or ice picks, but we often need a reminder about other vital tools.
While the list of gear that should be regularly used could exceed a page, items such as a VHF radio, compass and a flotation suit all play a role in keeping keep you safe. The key is to use these items together and have them ready at all times. Period.

Editor’s note: Capt. Ross Robertson (below) of Bigwater Guide Service and his crew provide educational guide trips for monster walleyes and smallmouth bass. The Bigwater team fishes year-round on the Great Lakes, spending the majority of the year on Lake Erie’s western and central basins.

Images and video by Capt. Ross Robertson

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