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Ice Confusion...

I was ice fishing on a small farm pond on Saturday the 8th, we recieved 3" of snow on Tuesday the 11th. It has been below freezing for 2 weeks (day & night) and is supposed to stay below freezing for another 2 weeks.

I went out on this pond, today and under the snow was 2" of slush. :smiley_confused_vra As I carefully walked out onto the pond I drilled 3 holes, only to see 3" of clear ice with 2" of slush and water on top. I don't understand there being slush with the frigid temperatures that we're having.

How is it that before the snow the ice was 4" to 5" thick and after the snow the ice is 3" thick with 2" of slush on top?
* Will the slush refreeze with the ice?
* Will the ice continue to thaw?

Here's the scary part...:smiley_baby: A friend of mine came out onto the ice where I was standing, but not before I warned him of the slush and holes that I'd drilled. I didn't want to set my ice shelter up in the slush, so I stood there and fished for a short while. I caught a few, released them and decided that I'd had enough. As we were walking off of the ice and passing between the 1st and 2nd holes that I'd drilled, I heard a LOUD crack that sounded like a rifle being fired. My friend knew what the sound was and gave me a shove toward the shore and shouted, "Keep walking!"

We separated by about 10 feet, quickly and walked off the ice. I've heard of the ice shifting and causing a LOUD cracking sound, but have never experienced it first hand. Well, I can say that I've been there, done that, after today's experience. :smiley_crazy:

Close call? Yeperoonie and a valuable lesson about slushy ice being an indicator of bad and/or thin ice....without incident. I'll be tossing rocks on the ice, next time and if it splashes...I'll go back home. :smiley_bril:

Your opinions and experiences are appreciated.
Thank you, Bowhunter57


The Crew
Swanton, Ohio
A couple things could be happening. The weight of the snow could be pushing the ice down allowing water to seep up. I shoveled our pond one year and piled all the snow in the middle. Within hours water was seeping up. Another thing is runoff. Even though its been cold sunshine, salt melting the snow off the roads could both cause the water table to rise. That water will want to "float" the ice on a small pond causing the edges to weaken and even "break loose" allowing the extra water to flood the ice. This happens alot on my pond. Hopefully this makes sense??

The slush should freeze with the cold nights once the water level equalizes. Without seeing it myself I would say to stay off if you are spooked. Generally speaking 3" of ice is enough to fish if its hard and clear. I prefer more than that but have fished 1.5" and stayed dry. Kind of a stupid thing to do but if your careful it can be done. Its like fishing on a water bedlmao

I think its great all you guys are getting out, icefishing is a blast!! But I have to say I giggle that some of you are getting spooked. I need to take you guys on Erie where you will probably shit your pants when you see some of the shit we pull out there. You gotta have a couple screws loose to fish the big water sometimes. Last year we were on 6" of ice 3.5 miles out. We moved 100 yards and were on 3", that about scares the fuck outa you!! I wish I had some pics of the hell ride we took to get off when it blew out 2 years ago. 23 miles one way to get off following the crack till we found where it was still connected. Nothing like feeling the ice shift and head for shore only to find 50 yards+ of open water between you and shore. What made it worse was I had Haleybrock with me, his second trip on Erie ice, and Mully who was on his first trip!! Whats funny is they both are chomping at the bit to go this yearlol
I was definately spooked and won't return to that pond until the ice refreezes.

Oddly enough, I went to 3 other ponds today and 1 of them was like the one I was on on Thursday. However, it was surrounded by trees, so I suspect that was the reason for it not fully freezing.

The other 2 ponds that I was on were fully frozen, no slush and approx. 4"+ of clear ice...and no trees. :smiley_bril: My brother and I fished these 2 new ponds with very little luck. We're going to try a couple of other ponds tomorrow, if they're frozen and try our luck there.

Good hunting, Bowhunter57


The Crew
Swanton, Ohio
I checked my pond tonight and sure enough there was slush on about a third of it. I had the spud and whaled away at the ice and gave up trying to bust through after chopping 5" of ice. Thats plenty for me. I'll take the auger tomorrow and see how thick it really is.
My brother and I were on 2 ponds that were out in the open and fully frozen with 4" of clear ice. We were catching some small fish, but nothing worth keeping.

It's too windy today to be able to set up my portable shelter, without getting blown away. The 25 to 35 m.p.h. winds are supposed to knock off for tomorrow, so I'll give it a try then.

Good hunting, Bowhunter57


Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
I was out all morning today here in Medina. The lake had about 9 inches of crystal clear ice on it. Some spots near the shoreline had slush on top, but I think it was due to 'Tucky's snow theory... as this lake had damn near a foot of snow on top of it. My shelter held up surprisingly well in the wind today. I had the windward corner staked down, and the two hubs facing the wind were staked out too. The fishing was pretty terrible, though. lmao