After a tragic weekend, it appears that some lakes are not quite ready for the weight of anglers and their gear just yet. Despite the early bitter cold temps, lake temperatures have not dropped enough to allow for optimum ice making conditions. Other factors including a blanket of snow on top of the ice already made, acts as a blanket of insulation, keeping a good amount of ice from forming as one may think it would by now.

Before you go out, make sure that you have some basic necessities to keep you safe.

1) Ice Spud - An ice spud can help test the thickness of the ice before you venture onto a thin spot or even find trap door ice.

2) Ice Picks or Spikes - Attached to each other by a long cord, retractable spikes can be worn around the neck and through the jacket as to be ready, should you go through. These will aid in being able to pulled out.

3) Length of Rope with a Life Ring or Tennis Ball - Having a length of rope with you to be thrown to someone or having someone with you that you can toss, could aid in your rescue in the event of a fall through.

4) Never Go Alone - Everyone loves first ice and the advantages of getting ahead of the crowd. But being first to go through is a dubious honor at best. Reduce the risk of drowning and do not go alone! Having someone that can aid in your rescue is always a plus. Remember: Fish don't eat us, we eat them. Help Keep It That Way!