Yamaha Outdoors Tip of the Week - ATVs and Ice
By Bob Humphrey
Along with the new year comes another ice fishing season, at least for those in the northern third of the country. It’s time to hit the hard water. Before you go however, you may want to make some modifications to your Side-by-Side or 4-wheeler.
Over the course of a single winter you could encounter a range of conditions from smooth ice to deep snow, each of which may require modifications to your drive system. A stock rig with conventional tires will work okay in shallow snow, and on ice. Another option is chains. At a minimum chain the rear wheels. In tougher conditions you may opt to chain all four wheels.
The amount of gear you tote may also vary with circumstances. At a minimum you’ll need an auger, traps and bait. You may want to bring some food, or even a small stove. Longer stays or colder conditions may call for a collapsible ice shanty.
The point is, you need a means for hauling all your gear. In many cases you can fit what you need in the bed of a Rhino. For 4-wheelers there are various after-market racks and holders are available for just about anything and everything. However, a sled or small trailer may be a better option as you can tote more stuff, and weight is distributed over a larger area.
The most important thing you can bring is common sense. Safety should always be foremost in your mind and you should never venture on the ice when and if it could put you, your passengers or your machine at risk. Be safe, stay warm and have fun.