There are certain risks you take when you go fishing. You could slip and fall into the water by accident. Or, you can land a huge fish but it pulls you off-balance while trying to escape the hook. But, when you go ice fishing you can face even more danger. When you fall into regular water, that can be bad enough, but into freezing water can be treacherous. More than one person has lost his life when the ice broke while he was fishing. Never trust that the ice won’t break; protect yourself.
There’s a simple set of devices you can make to ensure that, should you ever fall through the ice while fishing, you’ll be able to rescue yourself. Wrist picks are easy to make, and if worn the entire time you’re fishing, you’ll be able to help yourself out of the freezing water should an accident ever happen.
Ice picks can generally be made from leftover scraps you have around the house, but if you don’t have the few items you need, it’s not expensive to purchase them. You’ll need two wooden dowels or two sections cut from an old mop or broom handle. You’ll also need two pieces of roping and two nails.
If you’ll be purchasing the wooden dowels, buy one at a home improvement place, and they’ll cut it without charge. You’ll need two pieces, about an inch or an inch and a half in diameter, and six inches long, each. Drill a hole towards the top of each wooden piece, from one side to the other, and large enough to accommodate the roping.
The rope you use should be somewhat small in diameter and large enough to wrap around your wrist. Also, choose leather sinew as the roping – or something similar – so that it’s not uncomfortable to wear around the wrist.
Thread the end of the roping through the hole in the wooden dowel. Bring the ends together and tie into a slip knot. At the opposite end, hammer a 16-penny nail into the flat end of the dowel, right in the center. Now saw the head off the nail but leave a couple of inches of the nail sticking out of the dowel.
Slide the rope of one ice pick over your wrist then put the second one on your opposite wrist. Tighten the slipknot but make it comfortable. It should be tightened so that it doesn’t easily slip off but is not too tight. If the ice ever breaks you can dig into it with the picks to pull yourself to safety. If you want, cover the nail ends with corks, then remove them quickly if you need to use them.