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AKRISONER

Sketchy ice - sketchy situation

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5 hours ago, Fisherman said:

Last year I checked for the Mustang Integrity Coats, very hard to find and going for over $700.  I checked their "Catalyst" series and felt they weren't much more than a life jacket inside a coat.  Seemed like a lot of void areas.  The one piece suits don't fit me well, need what would amount to an xxl top an xl bottom, inseams are too long.  This is the one I was hoping for https://www.stevestonmarine.com/floatation-clothing/mustang-thermosystem-plus-coat

I have a Mustang Catalyst jacket, buts its definitely not warm in the winter. Its essentially a life jacket inside a coat. Its not comfortable at all, its very hard to move in. I used it last year but it wasnt warm and mobility sucked. 

I went with more of a winter jacket this year. 

 

Edit: I cant find this Nautilus brand? they go out of business? I can only find the Mustang stuff, which I have one of already. And the entire Mustang suit is $700 😐

Edited by Tjames09

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On 1/6/2020 at 9:02 AM, AKRISONER said:

Well guys I’m posting to tell you about my mistake and a scary situation I found myself in yesterday. 
 

ive been on the ice since early December, taking all of the precautions, wearing the float suit, carrying picks. Spudding around, measuring ice and of course staying extremely close to home <200 meters.

with the wild weather I have fished on some absolutely atrocious ice this year but I made a mistake this past weekend and i should have known better.

Basically anywhere right now that water flows on my lake was completely wide open. That also includes near any structure such as docks or boat houses.

saturday night we had a cold snap up north and it got to -11 overnight which happily for me really solidified the terrible ice that we had and also locked up a lot of the open areas with a skim of ice again. 
 

here’s where I made a stupid mistake. Once again taking all precautions me and my buddy decided that we wanted to try fish about a 5 minute walk down the lake for the day. If you know me, my dog basically always comes fishing with me. He’s a 30lb cocker spaniel lab mix, extremely intelligent, an incredible swimmer, absolutely loves the water but loves running out on the ice even more.

with there being 5 inches of clear ice on the lake now I thought absolutely nothing of having him come out for the walk down the lake to fish. Well sure enough just as we were arriving where we wanted to fish I hear my buddy say “oh $|-|!7” I look and cash had gone near a rock outcrop where water had been rushing down into the lake he was about 10 meters from shore, and he was swimming for his life.

im very confident on the ice because I take the required precautions, and furthermore I know that when I’m close to home and wearing a floater with picks, if I go in I’m getting cold and going home no big deal. I never considered that my dog could ever fall through being 30lbs and on 4 feet. 
 

I sat for a second and thought first of all, ok what’s the situation, can he get himself out, can I safely get him out? And I thought about the people that have died trying to save their dogs. I calculated everything and knew that I could easily get out and home from where I was at so I dropped my sled rope, said to my buddy, “I gotta save him”

I watched cash narrowly miss getting himself out of the water and as he fell back in backwards I could tell he was now really scared. It was a weird feeling walking towards that crappy ice. It started to crack under my feet. I was walking probably on half an inch of ice. I then got onto my stomach and started to army crawl closer to the hole and In I went. Adrenaline surging through my veins I didn’t even feel the cold aside from my boots noticeably filling with ice water slowly. Cash scrambling swam back to me and I forced him towards shore where I was then able to push him out. Now here I am swimming in about 5 feet of water. I was able to consciously decide. To hell with the picks I’m going to see if I can get out without them. Sure enough totally calm I got out no problem at all the float suit nearly launching me onto the ice as I kicked.

made the walk home and here were my observations.

1. my feet were soaked and boots were full of water it felt like walking in ice buckets. That hurt and was miserable. 
 

2. My hands really started getting cold after the 5 minute walk and a bit of the adrenaline cut out.

3. My hiking hard 5 minutes home completely zipped up in my survival suit, I started actually warming up. This was incredible to me. Those suits with the wrists cinched and the zipper done all of the way up I could feel the heat building in my body incredible

4. when I got home and took my under layers off, my undershirt was actually fairly dry! I couldn’t believe that the cinches on the suit kept a lot of water out. Sections of my sweater were also dry. Pretty incredible considering I had literally gone underwater for a second when I first fell through the ice.

5. you can literally feel yourself dying after you plunge. The first thing I noticed was that I tried to tell my buddy that I’d be ok and that he could meet me at home but even in my calm relatively warm state it was very difficult to talk. As I marched home my breathing was heavier from walking fast and my chest felt super tight as if I had a chest cold. Warming up made that go away entirely.

my dog didn’t like the feeling of the cold water on his fur so he scandanavian bathed the whole way home rolling in the snow to try and dry off.

lesson learned. Don’t mess with sketchy ice unless you have 100% control of the situation. Never ever go on bad ice without a float suit (I never will again) stay calm and the act of falling through and getting out is actually nowhere near as bad as the horror stories seem to make them out to be. If you are prepared, wearing the right clothing, calm and carrying the right tools, you will most likely survive to post about it here another day.

ive heard people suggest it but it’s true, if you spend a lot of time on the ice, go in and then get yourself out. You’ll see what if feels like, what getting out is like so that when it unexpectedly happens to you you’ll be an old pro.

last but not least, I don’t give a damn what you hear, the ice can be 5 inches and clear, with people snowmobiling etc etc, if there’s snow on the ice all bets are off. If you can’t see what you are walking on at all times, you gotta be checking. The switch in quality in a spot that I would have never imagined to have bad ice was incredible. Lesson learned I should have been more accountable for my dog myself and my buddy.

wow....you can't be too safe. Glad all was ok

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11 hours ago, Tjames09 said:

I have a Mustang Catalyst jacket, buts its definitely not warm in the winter. Its essentially a life jacket inside a coat. Its not comfortable at all, its very hard to move in. I used it last year but it wasnt warm and mobility sucked. 

I went with more of a winter jacket this year. 

 

Edit: I cant find this Nautilus brand? they go out of business? I can only find the Mustang stuff, which I have one of already. And the entire Mustang suit is $700 😐

I think nautilus and Helly Hanson somehow merged into one. I have a helly hanson that is pretty much  identical to a nautilus. I hate wearing it lol......and haven't in years. 

The reason most of these floater suits that aren't approved don't make the cut is the colour. They are required to be a bright colour (red, yellow, orange) to comply with the standards. Even my camoflauge mustang suit is not approved, and its essentially the same as an orange one.  These other companies (striker, frabile, clam etc) also have to pay major bucks to have these suits tested, and that adds to the price out the door to us, the reason an approved suit is pushing a $1000 out the door. 

They just aren't warm. I dont find them warm anyways. Wear some quality warm gear, then a float suit, and you will feel the difference right away. Always feel damp in a foater. 

 

S. 

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12 hours ago, Tjames09 said:

I have a Mustang Catalyst jacket, buts its definitely not warm in the winter. Its essentially a life jacket inside a coat. Its not comfortable at all, its very hard to move in. I used it last year but it wasnt warm and mobility sucked. 

I went with more of a winter jacket this year. 

 

Edit: I cant find this Nautilus brand? they go out of business? I can only find the Mustang stuff, which I have one of already. And the entire Mustang suit is $700 😐

yup, another dead canadian company. Unfortunately this company made a super high end quality product. Couldnt compete with the made in china crap and gone with the wind. Closest thing is the Mustang Integrity Deluxe, but even it isnt as nice. 

Im actually kinda ticked off, my suit aside from losing its waterproofing due to wear and age is a beast. Last year another crappy now made in china piece of junk Jiffy auger friggin overheated and melted a giant hole right into the front chest pocket of my suit.

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Having never meaningfully been ice fishing before (twice many years ago, on a small lake with about 1.5 feet of ice on it), I have to ask a question that seems to have no reasonable answer. Why would you take such considerable risk for you and others to simply go out fishing for a few hours? I can't imagine you surround the remainder of your life or hobby pursuits with such risk, or play with loaded guns, or drive excessively fast in traffic, or worst of all drive while impaired. Leaves me scratching my head why you would tempt tragedy to just go fishing. 

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WOW! Wasn't expecting that read at all but thanks for sharing.  A serious reminder and especially important with the crap ice season and climate this winter.

It's sketchy out there!  Drove the skidoo out onto 8 inches of ice on a tiny back lake this week.  Cruising around later in the day to punch different holes found an open spot in the middle, likely where a spring is.  Realized when I stopped the skidoo I parked on 4 inches, that open water barely visible was maybe 75 feet away.  Gotta smarten up and stay that way out there.

Glad you and the dog are all good! :)

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4 hours ago, T-Bone said:

Having never meaningfully been ice fishing before (twice many years ago, on a small lake with about 1.5 feet of ice on it), I have to ask a question that seems to have no reasonable answer. Why would you take such considerable risk for you and others to simply go out fishing for a few hours? I can't imagine you surround the remainder of your life or hobby pursuits with such risk, or play with loaded guns, or drive excessively fast in traffic, or worst of all drive while impaired. Leaves me scratching my head why you would tempt tragedy to just go fishing. 

Life is risk in itself,  you have to evaluate every situation and make a decision, do I or don't I.  With a healthy dose of safety, the majority come back home unscathed.  Those that throw common sense to the wind may perish.  The last one I remember that was rebroadcast from just over a year ago, was the one in Muskoka,  snowmobile riding around midnight where the dad lost his sons.  Bad choice.

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12 hours ago, T-Bone said:

Having never meaningfully been ice fishing before (twice many years ago, on a small lake with about 1.5 feet of ice on it), I have to ask a question that seems to have no reasonable answer. Why would you take such considerable risk for you and others to simply go out fishing for a few hours? I can't imagine you surround the remainder of your life or hobby pursuits with such risk, or play with loaded guns, or drive excessively fast in traffic, or worst of all drive while impaired. Leaves me scratching my head why you would tempt tragedy to just go fishing. 

If you don't fish on the ice why comment in the manner you have to compare it to a drunk driver???!??  We all make mistakes (on ice or in a boat) as I am sure you are far from perfect.  We all are and his post was a good read and reminder for some...  Take it for what it is, a lesson learned and shared.  

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14 hours ago, T-Bone said:

Having never meaningfully been ice fishing before (twice many years ago, on a small lake with about 1.5 feet of ice on it), I have to ask a question that seems to have no reasonable answer. Why would you take such considerable risk for you and others to simply go out fishing for a few hours? I can't imagine you surround the remainder of your life or hobby pursuits with such risk, or play with loaded guns, or drive excessively fast in traffic, or worst of all drive while impaired. Leaves me scratching my head why you would tempt tragedy to just go fishing. 

Like most things, you take preventative measures to ensure that when things go catastrophically bad, that you will be able to get yourself out of the situation.

in this case, I made a really bad error in judgement and the impact was simply that I got cold and had to dry my suit out literally for a week. 
 

that’s extremely low negative impact all things considered and the reason why is that I took every single other preventative measure possible. Absolutely had I not been dressed appropriately, aware of the ice conditions on the “good sections” of the lake, able to visibly see bad ice due to lack of snow cover (one of the key reasons for us even venturing out at all in the first place) ventured too far from home or been alone, all things I considered befofe venturing out, the situation could have ended horribly. So in the end I can live with the fact that I did basically everything else according to the book, I was with a friend walking in a line with myself in the lead checking the ice. wearing a survival suit, equipped with picks, and walking out very close to home allowing me to get home very easily should the worst happen.

the comparisons you use are funny because quite literally the most dangerous activity anyone does on a day to day basis is drive a car. No one ever gives a second thought to it. Just like driving though, being overtired, making judgements in error and driving too fast/not according to conditions, being drunk, not wearing a seatbelt etc etc not doing any of these things allow you to mitigate the risks associated with driving. 
 

you are definitely more likely to die from heart disease from sitting on your behind all winter than you are getting outside and dying ice fishing.

most horror stories you hear there is far far more at play than just some innocent soul falling through bad ice and dying. The most common of which is attempting to navigate lakes at night on a snowmobile without a floater suit on. I personally hate lake crossing at night, it’s disorientating as all hell and super difficult to have any spacial awareness unless the shoreline is immediately visible. When it snows nearly all bets are off and I would admit it’s very dangerous. Once again, this is where preventative and common sense measure can help you avoid trouble. Getting drunk and going for a rip out on the lake at midnight or leaving the ice shack to go home absolutely wasted is a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately lots of folks take a taste of that spoon and make the rest of the responsible, cautious, careful people a bad rep.
 

 

Edited by AKRISONER
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10 hours ago, GBW said:

If you don't fish on the ice why comment in the manner you have to compare it to a drunk driver???!??  We all make mistakes (on ice or in a boat) as I am sure you are far from perfect.  We all are and his post was a good read and reminder for some...  Take it for what it is, a lesson learned and shared.  

Why come at me like that? Having a bad day? I was simply inquiring to try and understand the power of pull ice fishing provides. I wasn't judging...or accusing anybody of driving drunk or being a careless idiot...just trying to understand the balance of risk/reward BECAUSE I'm not an ice fisherman...hence the post. 

Thanks AK'...appreciate your perspective. 

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2 hours ago, T-Bone said:

Why come at me like that? Having a bad day? I was simply inquiring to try and understand the power of pull ice fishing provides. I wasn't judging...or accusing anybody of driving drunk or being a careless idiot...just trying to understand the balance of risk/reward BECAUSE I'm not an ice fisherman...hence the post. 

Thanks AK'...appreciate your perspective. 

Maybe that is what you meant.  But that is NOT how it came off...  

 

Lots of early ice anglers here that go out on sketchy ice and play very safe in doing so.  

 

If you where just asking an honest question then why word it as " I have to ask a question that seems to have no reasonable answer:"...

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I think most of us who have been ice fishing for years, or decades for many of us, have had at least one experience where we went through the ice, or somebody with us did so.  Being prepared for that eventuality is what separates good stories from bad ones.

I have the opposite problem from my old buddy "Fisherman", the one piece suits don't fit me because of somewhat (ahem) shorter legs.  I bought a Salus set of bibs a couple seasons ago, and LOVE them.

http://www.salusmarine.com/productcat/coats-suits/

AND they are made in Canada:  http://www.salusmarine.com/information/made-in-canada/

I have several floater coats (and a full floater suit) and my preferred top is a surplus "parka, naval shipboard" made by Mustang.  It is not hugely warm, but I wear layers, and it IS flexible.  Some of the older floater coats were like wearing a couple sheets of plywood.

Doug

 

 

Edited by akaShag

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On 1/9/2020 at 9:15 AM, Sinker said:

I think nautilus and Helly Hanson somehow merged into one. 

I can’t find the helly hanson versions anywhere anymore either. I think they may have also stopped making them. They are a better suit, more pockets and features, internal suspenders etc. discontinued everywhere.

Edited by AKRISONER

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47 minutes ago, AKRISONER said:

I can’t find the helly hanson versions anywhere anymore either. I think they may have also stopped making them. They are a better suit, more pockets and features, internal suspenders etc. discontinued everywhere.

Have a look at SALUS........................

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I've been through the ice a few times myself. Having a plan, being prepared and staying calm will get you through any unfortunate dunks. 

It's funny, most people get freaked out by cracking and creaking ice. That's not the stuff to be afraid of. Any time I've been through has been without warning. No, I don't have a death wish, and I won't take chances if it's a long ways to safety. But I've got little hesitation hoping on thin ice over still water if self rescue and a warm car/house is close by. 

As far as I know Helly Hansen still makes suits.... 

https://www.boattoys.ca/collections/safety/floatation-&-pfd's

Josh 

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Glad you are ok, scary stuff for sure. Thanks for posting, takes courage to admit a mistake, especially on a public forum. Personally I think you took good precautions and its one of those things where the saying 'no ice is safe ice' rings true, could happen to any of us out there braving the elements to get our fix.

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On 1/12/2020 at 9:21 AM, T-Bone said:

Having never meaningfully been ice fishing before (twice many years ago, on a small lake with about 1.5 feet of ice on it), I have to ask a question that seems to have no reasonable answer. Why would you take such considerable risk for you and others to simply go out fishing for a few hours? I can't imagine you surround the remainder of your life or hobby pursuits with such risk, or play with loaded guns, or drive excessively fast in traffic, or worst of all drive while impaired. Leaves me scratching my head why you would tempt tragedy to just go fishing. 

 

I could see an inexperienced fisherman unknowingly walking on unsafe ice. But it's complete stupidity for an experienced angler to knowingly go on such unsafe ice. 

Not only did he put his dog at risk, he also put himself, his buddy, and first responders at risk if things went bad.

 

Glad everyone is safe, but talk about poor decisions. 

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Going for a swim in cold water isn't a death sentence. Some people actually do it for fun! Fact is, if your aware of the risks and are prepared to deal with a dunking, taking advantage of early ice can be very rewarding, even if you do get wet once in a blue moon. 

Actually, I would go as far as to encourage folks to step out of their comfort zone and even intentionally go for a dunk through the ice(under controlled conditions, shallow water and saftey rope)! Getting a real life understanding of how your suit and saftey gear functions will make you that much more comfortable if something unexpected does happen....

Josh 

 

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3 hours ago, ch312 said:

 

I could see an inexperienced fisherman unknowingly walking on unsafe ice. But it's complete stupidity for an experienced angler to knowingly go on such unsafe ice. 

Not only did he put his dog at risk, he also put himself, his buddy, and first responders at risk if things went bad.

 

Glad everyone is safe, but talk about poor decisions. 

What an ignorant reply.  Brutal. 

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5 hours ago, ch312 said:

Not only did he put his dog at risk, he also put himself, his buddy, and first responders at risk if things went bad.

I definitely admitted I put my dog at risk. I put that out clear as day that I made the mistake and definitely learned from it.

I 100% put myself at risk, just like anyone does any time they leave the house. I also backcountry snowboard where the risk of being in an aavalanche is extremely high in comparison to just staying on the resort. once again, just like going on the ice, you do what you can to mitigate risks. Wearing appropriate gear and carrying a beacon, probe and shovel.

finally you said that I was putting my friend at risk? I am not in control of him. In fact as funny as it is, it was his idea to try and fish a different area in the first place. My responsibility to him is as simple as his is to me. We both take the right precautions and we both agree to help eachother should anything bad happen. I’m not certain where I’m responsible for his respective  choices? He’s an experienced fisherman wearing the appropriate gear too. 
 

finally your reference to first responders...I can assure you right now that if I was needing first responders just like anyone else that ventures into the wilderness...I’d be dead long before they would ever be able to save me. There was 0 chance the cops were going to save my life if I was stuck in that water for an hour.

they might go look for my body, but my survival suit, picks and rope were going to get me out of that water long before they ever showed up.

Roelefson has a point, people should go in and see what it’s like. You’ll be more confident and comfortable when it happens unexpectedly.

also the comments about cracking ice, there isn’t almost anything more true than that. The sketchiest ice is quite. Soft ice doesn’t make noise!

Edited by AKRISONER
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Hey Akrisoner

Nice if u to post ur experience... I also have gone for a few polar dips with good outcomes and being prepared is the key as Josh mentioned ..

as for ch312 he’s a know it all ... in his own mind 

cheers .. 

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Akrisoner, I don't often open ice fishing posts but came across this and read your OP. Man, glad to have you back, safe and sound. It read like a Tom Clancy novel. Complete with the Hero living to tell about it thank God. Close one eh kid? Just the other night I was watching one of those reality Cop shows and a dog went through the ice when on a walk with his buddy and was nearly dead from scratching on the ice around a 4' hole. You could see the blood from the Pups paws clawing on the edge of the ice., he had been in there for only about 10 minutes when the water rescue crew got to him. Only 5' of water yet both rescuers donned their dry dive suits before they went in. Anyone could have jumped in a pond only 5' deep. If someone did that within a minute someone else would need to now rescue both a Dog and a Man. Just the look on that pups face wanted me to well up, OK I did. 

A job without a plan is a plan for disaster. I hope all the folks here that venture out onto our ice in our beautiful lakes and rivers take something away from your experience. There is no such thing as too much preparation. If only one of the guys here do something better to help prepare themselves for a bad day because of your post and it saves someone else's or their own life you have done what you were put here on Earth for. Simple as that. I don't know if you do the social media thing out there but if you do or someone else here does please pass on this post, please. 

I have a saying. " Experience is a lifetime of mistakes. Wisdom is knowing how not to make them again."

You now have some wisdom Akrisoner and now you can pass it on. 

Johnny D

edit: The Golden Retriever was warmed up in the Cop car given 02 and spent the night in the vets, he was out walking with his buddy the next afternoon. 

Edited by Old Ironmaker
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On 1/12/2020 at 9:21 AM, T-Bone said:

Having never meaningfully been ice fishing before (twice many years ago, on a small lake with about 1.5 feet of ice on it), I have to ask a question that seems to have no reasonable answer. Why would you take such considerable risk for you and others to simply go out fishing for a few hours? I can't imagine you surround the remainder of your life or hobby pursuits with such risk, or play with loaded guns, or drive excessively fast in traffic, or worst of all drive while impaired. Leaves me scratching my head why you would tempt tragedy to just go fishing. 

It begs the question as well as to why do people drive cars on a track at 300 MPH? Climb mountains, wind surf on Lake Erie in ice cold water in November and December when the winds are 130KPH, and, and, and? If that windsurfer or mountain climber needs to be rescued a discussion as far as who pays may start. Actually back country downhill skiers and snow boarders are being charged for rescues out west now depending on circumstances. That topic comes up here once in a while. 

When I see a reporter from news agencies standing next to the ocean in a 100 MPH plus Hurricane to show people sitting on the couch what a Hurricane looks like then I really shake my head. That is just ignorant. A person with a semblance of intelligence that does stupid things is ignorant. Ice fishing is neither stupid nor ignorant. If one decides to take a risk and fish on 1" ice well then I have to question their intelligence and or decision making. Last time we went to Quinte I found we were going to fish on 1 or 2 inches ice. I spent the day in the mall and in the motel room watching fishing shows. My 2 fishing partners did stay on the ice, their choice. That night and next morning it was brutally cold and had a good 4", I fished then. Yep got the Skunk eye and had 2 Mickey D's Fillet O Fish sangwidges on the way home.  

Edited by Old Ironmaker
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I've heard of quite a few stories from people around my cottage where the dog has gone through thin ice and chaos ensues with the rescue attempt. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, chris.brock said:

I've heard of quite a few stories from people around my cottage where the dog has gone through thin ice and chaos ensues with the rescue attempt. 

if you dont have a floater and arent prepared to go in yourself, i have no idea how you get a dog out.

I just ordered the Salus suit, the damn thing comes with a harness for extraction built into it! all i gotta do now is tie a rope to the harness and let my buddies haul my ass out lol

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