X

⚠ Before you head to the water check the latest COVID-19 updates. We encourage you to follow CDC recommendations.

Ice Fishing with Kids

Kids love the excitement that comes along with reeling in a fish through the ice, but it's important to learn the specifics about ice fishing safety for kids during the winter months when chilly temperatures need to be considered.

Always prepare to take kids ice fishing in the cold weather by teaching them why fishing safety rules should be followed on every trip. These ice fishing safety tips should be apply everytime you go fishing. 

SAFETY TIPS FOR ICE FISHING WITH KIDS

  1. Bundle Up. One of the most important winter fishing safety tips for kids to learn is how to dress appropriately for the weather. Teach kids how to dress in layers, wear a wool or fleece hat that covers the ears, thick wool socks, warm mittens, and a scarf or muffler that will protect the neck and face.
  2. Apply Sunscreen. Even during the winter months kids can still get sunburnt due to the glare from the snow and ice. Make sure kids wear a sunscreen that has broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Make sure they have a pair of sunglasses along as well.
  3. Prevent Slipping. Make sure kids wear insulated boots with non-slip rubber soles and remind them not to run on the slippery ice.
  4. Test Ice Thickness. Before you take kids ice fishing, or go ice fishing yourself, always test the ice thickness. New, clear ice should be at least 4-inches thick as a general guideline. Fishing safety for kids also means reminding them to stay clear of streams, bridges or culverts where flowing water may make the ice weaker due to currents.
  5. Be Aware. Teach kids to be aware of where they are walking to prevent them from stepping into a hole in the ice or stumbling over uneven sheets of ice. Know the area where you plan to go fishing and carry a phone or a GPS unit.
  6. Prevent Frostbite. Check to be sure that kids stay alert and aware of cold extremities or feelings of numbness. Ask them if they are getting too cold and ask them to wiggle their fingers and toes.
  7. Learn the Signs of Hypothermia. Another important thing to know about winter fishing safety for kids is how to identify signs of hypothermia. If kids begin to shiver excessively or are unresponsive to questions, hypothermia may be a factor. You will need to warm the child quickly, closely monitor their behavior, and seek medical attention.
  8. Bring along a wool blanket or sleeping bag. Use the blanket or sleeping bag to warm kids in case they get too cold.
  9. Wear a personal flotation device and a pair of ice rescue claws. These are two pieces of important winter fishing safety gear to have along in case someone slips into the water.

Aside from these helpful winter fishing safety tips for kids, don't forget that kids ice fishing should always have adult supervision. Depending on your child’s age, you may also need to consider miniature ice fishing gear for kids. Whether kids’ ice fishing rods or kid-sized ice fishing suits, be sure the little ones are able to participate and share in the fun!

Ice fishing can be a very fun outdoor activity, especially when done safety. To learn more about Safety Tips for Traveling on Ice visit out next section.