Fishing Tips

Early-ice safety: How to use a “spud bar” to check ice thickness

by Brett McComas

Stop using your “spud bar” (AKA ice chisel) as a walking stick, and start learning what each swing means for you in actual inches of ice. Three hard swings might mean 2″ of ice for some…might mean 5″ for others. Depends which chisel you’re using and how hard you’re swinging it:

Couple things we gotta say:

Take your time, and check the whole way out and back — not just at the ramp. Ice picks ‘round your neck are a must and probably the cheapest insurance you can get.

Wear a life jacket and/or maybe consider treating yourself to a “floatation-assisting” suit like the IceArmor Ascent Parka and Bibs in the vid above. Flat out: If you ever break through the ice, it’ll help get you back out instead of weighing you down. What more does a guy need to say?

PLEASE be safe everyone! Or you can wait until the ice thickens up and enjoy a different kind of “spud bar” in the meantime:


To Top