Whenever fishing through the ice is done, whether it is for Walleye or any other catch, certain safety precautions should be taken. Ice can be tricky, and may be five inches or more thick in one spot and be only half an inch thick just feet away, so it is important to be observant at all times while fishing for walleye in the winter. The DNR guidelines suggest only ice fishing if the ice is at least four to five inches thick if you are walking out to fish for Walleye. The thickness of the ice needed for safe Walleye fishing at this time of the year increases if you are going to be driving an off road vehicle or automobile onto the ice, because of the much heavier weight load of the vehicle.
Any Walleye trip in the cold months should include life vests or survival suits, that way if you fall in you will stay warm and float until help arrives or you can get out of the water. The only exception to this safety guideline is if you are driving or riding in a closed vehicle on the ice. The reason for this is that a life jacket or survival vest may make exiting the vehicle in an emergency harder, preventing escape.
A big safety tip for Walleye fishing on the ice is to avoid fishing and going onto the ice when visibility is poor. If it is snowing or dark, avoid the ice and Walleye fishing until visibility clears up, otherwise you may end up in the water. With the proper equipment and safety precautions, fishing for Walleye at this time of year can be both fun and rewarding. Always be extra cautious at the start and end of the season, because the warmer weather may cause thin or melting ice. Stay safe out there.