Ice Communications

Old-school technology still has a vital place among your endless arsenal of gear.

Cruising through some social media with my fishing-heavy friend list and I see car after car in the water, or reports of rescues on the ice. I know it is much more fun to talk about new technology or “magic lures”, but some old technology can save your butt on your next ice trip.

Living in Northern Ohio we have lots of big water opportunities in a short distance, St. Clair, Saginaw Bay, and of course Lake Erie. These big bodies of water offer big rewards, but also big trouble for those unprepared.

When ice fishing, cell phones tend to either not have adequate service or a for have short battery life due to the cold. Another simple solution to communicate with friends or in the advent of trouble with the Coast Guard is having a handheld VHF radio.

The batteries tend to be pretty good in decent models, but a cigarette-lighter adapter can be used on a machine if necessary. Mostly waterproof and with better range than most might realize, they are an overlooked form of communication. You don’t have to hear them, just be able to get out a distress call and location information if a crisis arises.

The same piece of equipment used to keep you safe during open water shouldn’t be left at home on the hard water. Having it on-hand may just help you or a fellow fisherman get home.

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Capt. Ross Robertson