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Early Ice, Late Boating Season Etiquette

11/20/19 @ 11:52 AM
ORIGNAL POST
Esox23
User since 10/31/01

So with the early ice we’ve had, I had a discussion with a buddy recently about first ice etiquette and the fact that some want to fish the early ice while some want to bust up the ice and use the boat.  I’m a musky fisherman and I’ve fished late season main lake with bays froze over and guys ice fishing.  I had to break ice to launch and luckily there were no ice fisherman near the launch.  But if there were guys on the ice near the launch, etiquette tells me to find another launch or lake.  But end of the day it’s a boat launch and if it’s the only place to launch begs the question of who has right of way, so to speak. Last year I saw a video of a Green Bay guide filming a boat on the Fox River and calling this guy a number of names for flying up and down the river in his boat and ruining the first good ice that was formed.  

I’m a boat fisherman first but respect that the ice season is short.  With this mild weather streak we have coming up I’ll be launching somewhere and if I have to sacrifice some early ice so be it so long as no one is in harms way.

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11/22/19 @ 11:50 AM
BigMusky12
BigMusky12
User since 12/22/04

I think the argument is that boat launching delays walk in access by days, not weeks if you have ice making weather.  

11/22/19 @ 10:54 AM
Junkie4Ice
Junkie4Ice
User since 12/19/11

Just to be clear - I could really care less, I'm just playing the devils advocate. I've never once ran into this problem, likely a closer to Madison/Milwaukee issue where lakes are few and far between.

AWichman - we disagree on this only because I don't open water fish so I'd support closing the lakes for all of the spawn of each species in spring and as soon as piers go out, because that helps my ice fishing. And I am 100% biased :) In all seriousness though, that would be ridiculous. 

Those claiming that breaking up ice early won't affect it don't understand how ice forms or the physical characteristics of ice, google it if you care to learn. 

How about a little twist - so Pewaukee lake down south, i'm sure most of you are familiar with it, is a big musky lake this time of year. Very often, if not every year, one side freezes up before the other leaving some landings open and some landings iced up. Should someone putting their boat in use whichever launch they want, breaking ice if needed, or put in at the open launches even if it isn't where they want to fish on the lake. Obviously they have the right to use whichever, wondering about thoughts on the morality of it 

11/22/19 @ 6:25 AM
.Long Barrels
User since 12/9/14

Oh there are people breaking ice over 1 inch...20 years ago we have spud channels to open water or to the lake from a bay.  i've spud close to 3 to get back in a channel once then opened up a 20 yard by 20 yard area and put decoys out.  If there was a duck around,  he landed in your hole.  That area was not fished though,  it was a 1.5 foot creek and always mud,  not one time in my life did i see a person fish it besides carp shooting.

I'm too old to do dumb things anymore though...especially for a duck.  LOL

11/21/19 @ 9:55 PM
outfishin
MEMBER since 1/14/13

I’ll echo some of the comments already made... if a boat is breaking ice to get out, whether it be fishing or duck hunting or whatever reason, that ice is not safe to be walking on anyway.  I highly doubt there’s anyone around that’s breaking 1” of ice or more. I’ve broke plenty of ice for duck hunting, dipping Cisco’s in the fall, etc and once the ice gets over an inch thick it can and will eventually punch a hole in just about any hull. Risky business this time of year... So yeah, more power to the person in the boat wanting to get out one last time. Ice will be accessible soon enough and the ice that was broke up will be refroze in a day or 2 anyway. If it’s not cold enough to refreeze, then it’s not time for ice fishing. Seems pretty simple.

11/21/19 @ 4:24 PM
BigMusky12
BigMusky12
User since 12/22/04

Ice fishermen should not be accessing a lake from boat launch to ice fish that has thin enough ice that can be broke up to launch  a boat.      If someone is ice fishing on a bay - the wake from my boat should not make that ice unsafe, or again...they should not be out there.    

11/21/19 @ 2:35 PM
.Long Barrels
User since 12/9/14

I couldn't agree more with these comments.  Salt and high speeds are more detrimental than anything a boat can do early season.

" Some moron driving into a goose hole and sinking his vehicle. Garbage left all over. People driving at a high rate of speed which causes a wave under the ice that when it reaches shore causes damage. People with their salt covered trucks driving out there depositing salt all over. Enough urine to fill a swimming pool. We all contribute to that in some form or another over the course of a winter season "

11/21/19 @ 12:31 PM
AWichman
AWichman
User since 1/6/16

"Seems like common sense to me, if you're breaking up ice at a landing your negatively affecting that ice for the rest of the season. Once the docks are out they should close the launch to all boat access #convincemeotherwise"


 Junkie4Ice,


This is maybe the first time you and I will disagree.

So by that logic once the piers are out, which is usually a date that is set by the county. No one can launch a boat? We've all seen years where here in WI, the piers are long gone and there isn't even a hope for ice for weeks. Are we supposed to just let the lake sit unused? There is always a gray period where both options are available. Honestly if I can break it up with just running my motor you probably shouldn't be on it anyway. 


As far as negatively affecting ice by breaking it up. We as ice fishermen do more damage on a busy weekend in January then me busting it up in November could ever do. Just watch a weekend on a semi busy lake. Some moron driving into a goose hole and sinking his vehicle. Garbage left all over. People driving at a high rate of speed which causes a wave under the ice that when it reaches shore causes damage. People with their salt covered trucks driving out there depositing salt all over. Enough urine to fill a swimming pool. We all contribute to that in some form or another over the course of a winter season. So to be upset that in November I broke up 2 inches of ice at the launch seems much ado about nothing. 


11/21/19 @ 10:19 AM
badgerstatehunter
User since 2/6/06

Busting up ice right now will make no difference come February as far as ice thickness.  I see no issues with people doing this, especially with duck season still going on.

11/21/19 @ 10:01 AM
.Long Barrels
User since 12/9/14

Everyone has the same rights,  it's public.  if you are a duck hunter or fisherman you have the right to break ice to do what you do.  Period.  I'm a ice fisherman,  don't duck or late fall/winter fish in the boat....so there is no bias here.  the fact is,  everyone has a right to be on that lake,  hard water or soft.  There are more spots to get on a lake walking on ice than there is launching a boat.  

as an ice fisherman,  I'll get on somehow,  makes no difference to me.

I obviously don't agree with the post below mine,  the guys that break ice with a boat are not the Sallys you are speaking of,  it's the guy waiting to drive on the ice before they go out.  

Most times launches freeze to the bottom anyway...when it's late ice and someone drops their truck in the drink,  it has nothing to do with the guys that broke ice early season. They aren't out there breaking 4 inches...once it gets to 3 you are pretty much screwed.

That said,  I don't think anyone would break ice when others are using it.  if they do,  I would say that would cause a safety issue.  Like I said above,  most guys breaking ice are breaking 1 to 2 inches,  anymore you need your head examined.







11/21/19 @ 8:50 AM
Junkie4Ice
Junkie4Ice
User since 12/19/11

I'd bet the guys busting through the ice to get their boat in the water are the same folks who put their trucks through the ice at the landing because they're too lazy to walk the 100 yards to that spot that they then claim as their own all season because they put up a permanent shack there. Hence the comment below. 

Seems like common sense to me, if you're breaking up ice at a landing your negatively affecting that ice for the rest of the season. Once the docks are out they should close the launch to all boat access #convincemeotherwise

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