Took an ice bath today

Discussion in 'Hard Water Discussions' started by Putzin, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. Today was a reminder of the need to put safety first at all times on the ice and obtaining the knowledge to know what to do when you go through.

    How it happened:
    I was out on my 20 acre pond ice fishing today because I had taste for some fresh bluegill. I started off in one spot with no success and then moved to another with no success again. With no luck in the first 2 spots I thought I would walk over, drill some holes, and try my luck in a third and final spot. A spot that I knew would have some gills. However, that was the last spot on the lake to freeze over. In fact, the whole lake has had a layer of ice on it for a couple of weeks now except that one spot, my honey hole. But it too has been covered for a week now. I started walking in that direction and about thirty yards from my second spot the ice under my feet suddenly felt like it was giving way. It was a similar feeling to placing a thin piece of plywood on two cinder blocks about 6 feet apart and standing in the middle. The plywood when stood on will bend and bow but not give. Well, the ice bent and bowed but instead of not giving, it dunked me when it was bent to far. In fact, the ice slowly sank down about a foot. Then when it had enough, it completely broke sending me in as if I had jumped in on a summer day. I'm sure many of you are thinking, if you felt it giving way why didn't you step back and trun around. Those who have taken the ice bath know, once you take that wrong step there is no going back. It just all sort of happens in slow motion and before you know it you're swimming. So, now, I'm in the ice water.

    Knowing what to do in the situation was key to having it not be critical. First, I didn't panic. After catching my breath when feeling the cold I simply turned around and started trying to pull myself back onto the ice from where I had come from. The ice broke another two feet or so, probably the length of my stride, before I found some solid stuff to pull myself up onto. Even, after pulling myslef up I didn't immediately stand up. I did the whole stay on your belly and shimmy like a seal thing for about 10 more feet.

    After it all happened and was all over I actually starting laughing. I couldn't believe it had just happened and I could be so stupid. In reality, the situation could have been much, much worse. Particularly beause I was by myself.

    What I learned:
    PUT SAFTEY FIRST: If I was unsure of the ice quality then I shouldn't have ventured forth or at least had one of those big metal poker sticks jabbing the ice every two feet.
    SURVIVAL: Knowing what to do and not panicking was the key to getting out as fast as I went in. Also, it helped that the old lady wasn't home when I came in the house soaking wet. My first thought after I got out: How am I going to explain this so that she will let me back on the lake?

    I would like to hear from others, your stories, that have went swimming in the middle of winter.
  2. Man! Rough day no doubt but you made it home! There is alot to being safe on the ice. When you get out over 20fow you better have a plan. Glad your OK!

  3. mrphish42

    mrphish42 locators dont lie

    Putzin......Have stories.....but the re-accountment of your days events ....leaves me inclined to just be thankful that I'm able to type a short and simple....but ever meaning message to you. That I'm "JUST DAMN GLAD YOU KEPT YOUR COOL AND MANAGED TO FREE YOURSELF FROM YOUR ICEY BATH.....The talk with the "lady" thing is up to your discreation...jON sR.
  4. Glad you got out ok.

    Confirmation though that everyone going out on the ice should watch the ice safety video in the "Falling thruogh the ice" Sticky thread at the top of this Hard Water Disc. section. About 10 min. but great info.
  5. Glad to hear everything worked out. As far as the old lady, I've come to realize sometimes it is better to ask forgiveness than permission... Ice picks are a good insurance policy to have. I carry the spring loaded ones you push with your thumbs.
  6. freyedknot

    freyedknot useless poster

    glad you made it out safely. that is something that you will remember for life,no doubt.
  7. did you have a survival suit on?? I have one and was kinda curious if anyone has fallen through while wearing one and how did they do for you?
  8. Sounds like your honey hole has an underground spring that lets it's warmer water rise to the top and keeps the ice thinner than the surrounding ice... Fish will gather at these springs in cold conditions.
  9. jmenchhofer

    jmenchhofer 'eye addict

    I'm glad you made it out OK. Thanks for the wake up call! By sharing your story, you may have saved others from repeating the same experience this ice season.
  10. Walleye Mafia

    Walleye Mafia Proud Walleye Addict

    Wow thats scary. Glad everything was ok. Ive only went through up to may waste before walking off the ice. I cant imagine going through like that!
  11. As everyone said glad you made it home safely..As NIXMKT said everyone should watch the Tread ( Falling Through The Ice )..Could be a life saver...And N8ALS..I was thinking the same thing you said I read his going through the ice story...could have been a spring in that spot..
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2015
  12. hardwaterfan

    hardwaterfan Twinsburg, OH (NE OH, northern edge of Summit Co.)

    im glad you made it out alright. i know what you mean about it being in slow motion. once you take that wrong step theres nothing you can do.
  13. Thanks for the input from everyone.

    I didn't have a survival suit on, wearing all Carhart gear, so I was soaked.

    I know the lake doesn't have a spring in it. The spot that was last to cover over is the spot on the lake that is most exposed to higher winds. The more constantly moving water just took longer to ice-up.

    Where are all your stories? I know there are some that have better stories than mine.
  14. hardwaterfan

    hardwaterfan Twinsburg, OH (NE OH, northern edge of Summit Co.)

    too painful to remember..... how about dropping into chest deep water, then realizing i just dropped my auger....and its now at my feet, and if i want it back ill have to reach down and get it? :D brrr.....i just hope i never go through again....i think ive gone through ice in all of the different kinds of conditions that can make ice unsafe. broken/refrozen, double layer, shallow sun-baked, and just too darn thin. i know theres a couple more but im not going through those :D i never had a problem besides being unbeleiveably cold but as i get older (and wiser i hope) im not sure how much more of that abuse i can take.
  15. Perchy101

    Perchy101 Here Fishy Fishy Fishy

    Back in my younger years when my foot was smaller I was walking backwards cleaning out holes for the Shanty after they had been drilled and I took a step back and my foot went right into the hole.

    Now that I wear a size 12 I don't have to worry about that.

    The worse part of it all... We are from Columbus and just got set up at Lake St. Marys and had to turn around and go home...
  16. LOL Perchy, did the same thing 3 miles out on lake erie about 20 years ago, my leg went all the way in, kinda scared me but the BUD-LIGHTS made me feel better, I haven't been that drunk on the ice since, learned a lesson that day for sure....
  17. creekcrawler

    creekcrawler Konfused Kayaker

    I almost went through at LaDue once - Thought it would be easier to walk out on the ice by the 422 causeway instead of the boat launch. I learned the lake must have dropped a few feet, the ice had 1-2 feet of air under it. I got soaked up to my crotch. My bud met me at the boathouse, I was wringing out my clothes. Managed to fish for about six hours that day.

    Another time my old dog jumped off a hill and landed in a little oxbow lake off a creek. It was snow covered-she didn't know it was water. After watching her thrash for a few minutes, it was apparent she couldn't get out of the ice. It kept breaking as she tried to crawl out. I had to wade in and pull her out. Water was over my pants. It was about 10 degrees out and we were a good 2 mile hike from the car. My pants froze solid on the way back.

    Last year I tried crossing the Chagrin above Todd's Field. River was up. I went down. I managed to get back up before the current took me downstream. Drove home in my polypropalene thermals. At least they keep you warm even when wet.....

    Never went for a full dunk though, don't want to do that~
  18. I went through a couple of years ago in a golf course pond. In 9-10 feet of water. My 9 year old son was with me but we were far enough apart that he did not go through. The ice was six plus inches all over the pond, but this was a bad section of ice. It took three attempts to pull myself out due the the breaking ice. I then barrell rolled to the shore. i lost my auger and had to carefully retrieve my sled with the rest of my gear. Long walk back to the truck in a foot of snow. Ice formed all up and down my coveralls. Spent rest of the evening next to the fireplace. First thing I did was make sure my son was on shore. Then refocused on getting the heck out of the lake. For sure contriolling your breathing and staying calm is the key. Interestingly enough I never for a moment considered not getting out. I will never have the same confidence while on ice.

  19. I just started ice fishing about 2 years ago. I go over in my head everytime I go out what would I do if I went threw. I also will not go with out a buddy and we make sure that we are far enough apart when traveling on the ice. The buddy systems is the best advice I will will give..
  20. I was able to salvage all my gear when going through on Sunday. I tossed it up on the ice before pulling myself out. Can't afford to buy new stuff!!

    You gotta look at the positive in the situation. Your son had a first hand look at how to survive and get out of the situation. I would like to know what he thought after the ordeal, if you don't mind and what you told him.