Michigan Hardwater Fishing: Safety Tips

Check out the Ice Map at www.miiceguys.com before you head out for your next hard water angling trip. The Ice Map is a web-based tool populated by fellow anglers across the state reporting ice conditions on the various lakes. Maintained by the MI Ice Guys, the map is a great tool for all hard water anglers. Use it for planning your next trip and to help ensure the safety of other anglers heading out to the lakes. The Ice Map is updated daily with new reports of ice conditions around the state of Michigan. To report on the ice conditions of the lakes you typically fish go to the Ice Map page of the website and enter your data.

  • Check with local sources of information – such as the bait shop or corner store – about ice conditions before venturing out.
  • Travel in pairs whenever possible and make sure someone knows where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Carry a spud to test the quality of the ice as you move further onto the ice.
  • Avoid inlets and outlets, areas with natural springs or currents, and places were structures – docks, pilings, dead trees or other vegetation – extend through the surface of the ice.
  • Pay attention to wind direction – especially on large bodies of water.
  • Wear a personal flotation device (PFD) and carry personal safety devices such as spikes and rope to help you get out of the water should the ice break.

For more ice safety tips visit the Michigan DNR website at www.michigan.gov/dnr.