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Ice Fishing and Safety on Thompson Lake

January 15th, 2014 Terry Hewitt


Not even a thick layer of ice over Thompson Lake can keep the locals away from its productive waters. Every winter, scores of experienced and fishing enthusiasts brave the cold temperatures to enjoy the relaxing and cathartic experience of Maine ice fishing. Check out the video below for a taste of the Thompson Lake ice fishing experience:



Before drilling holes into the ice and taking a stab at ice fishing yourself, it’s a good idea to take in some safety guidelines to avoid dangerous situations out on the lake. The Maine Game Warden has provided some basic guidelines.


First, you should ask around at places like bait shops to find out where dangerous, thin-ice areas have been spotted. When you think you’ve got a general idea of a good spot to post up, measure the ice to see what it can handle. It’s important that the ice is new, meaning it’s closer to the process of freezing than it is to thawing. Otherwise, the ice could be very uneven and unpredictable.


If it is less than 2 inches thick, stay away from it at all costs. At 4 inches, ice fishing may be allowed, but only on foot. At 5 inches, snowmobiles and ATVs may be allowed. A car or small pickup truck should only be driven onto ice that’s known to be at least 8 inches thick, preferably thicker. Even so, the more you can avoid putting heavy stress on any ice, the better.


If someone does fall through the ice, it’s important not to panic, which could end up exacerbating the situation. The Warden recommends the Preach, Reach, Throw, Row, Go method of rescue. First, you should “preach” by communicating to the victim, encouraging them to hang in there until help arrives. Then, try to find an object that can “reach” the victim from the shore, being careful not to get pulled into the water yourself. If this doesn’t work, “throw” a rope to the victim so that they can tie it around themselves before they’re too cold to do so.


Next, “Row” to the victim by pushing a boat into the hole, getting inside, and pulling the victim in with you. The last part of the rescue method, “Go”, simply reminds you that only a professional should attempt to go on the ice during a rescue, unless the first four options have been completely exhausted.


Of course, talking to others in the ice fishing community and using an appropriate level of caution should keep you out of immediate danger, and free to enjoy the wonderful Northeastern pastime of ice fishing. Moving to Thompson Lake, Maine will allow you a chance to take on the truly unique and enjoyable hobby. For information on property in the area, contact Terry Hewitt.


Remember, if you’re lucky enough to live by the water, you’re lucky enough!


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Written by Terry Hewitt

Terry Hewitt

One of the areas top realtors and started her career in 1996. Member of the National Association of Realtors, Maine Association of Realtors, and am a licensed broker.

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