: Antifreeze for ice fishing

01-13-2005, 04:35 PM
I've heard using antifreeze in your hole when ice fishing wiil prevent your hole from freezing up. Anyone tried this, also does it affect your bait with scent. Doesn't do any good to have an ice free hole if the fish won't bite.

01-13-2005, 04:38 PM
I won't use anti-freeze for ice fishing. Not only is it a pollutant but I would not want to eat the fish that were pulled thru this stuff. Mike

01-13-2005, 05:22 PM
I would think this would pollute the body of water that one is fishing............I actually have never heard of this before..........I think perhaps someone may have been pulling your leg???


01-13-2005, 05:41 PM
Recreational Vehicle anti-freeze is environmentally safe. Used to keep safe drinking water tanks and pipes from freezing while in storage. Non-polluting. Only have used it to put on top of ice and then put transducer on it so you don't have to drill a hole for checking water depth.



Erie Drifter
01-13-2005, 05:49 PM
I've never heard of anyone doing this, I can't imagine how a true sportsman could even consider it.


No chemicals on ice

Ice anglers on area lakes and ponds are urged to avoid using chemicals to keep ice-fishing holes open, said Dick Turpin, law enforcement administrator for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

"Some ice anglers use anti-freeze or windshield washer fluid in their ice fishing holes or fish locator holes to help keep the hole from freezing," Turpin said. "Pouring anti-freeze or other chemicals into the water or onto the ice is environmentally hazardous and could be fatal to someone's canine fishing companion."

A recent report from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources stated dogs drinking anti-freeze from ice fishing holes can become sick or die.

"We haven't had any reports of this happening in Nebraska," Turpin said. "and to keep it that way we are urging anglers to avoid using chemicals of any kind in their ice-fishing holes."

From: http://www.siouxlandoutdoors.com/OutdoorsColumns/1996/1_14_96.html

This site also mentions RV and marine antifreeze as polutants:

Bill W. (BFN)

01-13-2005, 07:03 PM
is it even legal to put any kind of anti freeze in the water? thats the 1st question i would ask............

01-13-2005, 07:14 PM
fishinsd, this is a terrible idea and basically sucks. these are the kind of ideas that give all of us a bad name. some knuckleheads do this regularly. i always hope that some of these bad ideas just fade away.

Drift Sock
01-13-2005, 07:35 PM
Try some salt water instead. Keep a squeeze bottle full of it. Squeeze some on the ice to melt snow/ice and plop your transducer on top of it.

Probably won't work to keep your hole open, however, as salt water is more dense than fresh and will quickly sink out of the hole.


01-13-2005, 09:12 PM
A piece of Styrofoam cut to the size of your auger with a little orange tape to make it visible works great for over night. If you layer it by gluing sheet material together, a 6 thick plug will keep a hole from freezing a day or more depending on the temperature.


"Learn from the mistakes of others, because you won't live long enough to make them all yourself"


01-13-2005, 09:34 PM
This has to be one of the dumbest ideas i've ever heard!!!


01-13-2005, 09:55 PM
I will second that! Even non-toxic anti-freeze doesn't evaporate for a very long time. Mmmmmmmmmm ....... propylene or ethylene glycol flavored fish! Get a little of that in your fish and you'll have one severe case of the hershey squirts :o

Wiley Walleye
01-14-2005, 07:48 AM
This has been used many times in the city and country to get rid of unwanted neighbor dogs. NOT Good.

Crappie Kid
01-14-2005, 07:56 AM
Keep checking and cleaning your holes.

This is a bad idea.

A handwarmer floating in a ziplock bag full of air works OK sometimes.

01-14-2005, 09:13 AM
Bring a Salt Shaker with you. As the hole starts to skim over with ice. Shake a little salt on it and it'll open back up. The salt shaker is permenately in my tackle box. Works like a charm.


Not in MN
01-14-2005, 09:16 AM

01-14-2005, 09:37 AM
Rubbing alcohol also works and you can dilute it with a little water or soak up a small piece of sponge and set it in the hole...most sponges float for quite awhile.
It has to be better for the water than antifreeze.

01-14-2005, 12:24 PM
I can't believe you guys have never heard of this. I have never done it but it used to be a common practice for the old guys. It probably stoped as everyone got more educated on the enviornment. Talk to some of your dad's or grandfather's that ice fished in northern Minnesota or Wisconson and I bet they will tell you how common it was.

01-14-2005, 01:41 PM
Actually, I have heard it works but know for a fact it is not legal in Ohio and Wisconsin and can net you some hefty fines from EPA and DNR if your caught, that includes spraying it on the ice. If you wan't to spray something on the ice to see through better just use water, keep an insullated sports bottle of warm water in the pocket of your coat and spray a little on the ice before setting the transducer down. As for keeping your hole open, if that's too big a problem for you maybe you shouldn't be ice fishing...

Esox Lucious
01-14-2005, 08:04 PM
Need a little water for a quick 'ducer shot through the ice? Spit works for me.

Unlogged Wallygetter
01-14-2005, 10:43 PM
We use to use vegetable oil, or corn oil, keeps the hole open for a couple of hours, we also would take a couple cans of sardines packed in oil, eat the sardines and pour the oil in the hole, even used a little bit of sardines for chumming, perch especially seem to like it more than other species. Wallygetter

some dude
01-15-2005, 05:42 AM
Hawg is right, everyone did this 40 yrs ago. EVERYONE. My dad says they used grain alcohol also. Now I use a Mr Buddy and a frabill.

01-15-2005, 06:33 AM
Copper tubing coiled in coffe can cut hole in bottom of can to extend piece of tubing into hole then fill with charcoal..

01-15-2005, 07:19 AM
Besides the reasons given most things poured on water will either sink or they will float,..the floating liquid stuff doesn't help as much as you might think because it quickly gets cold as the air and ice forms under it and forms ice anyway. Spammoose's trick does work,.you do need to have one tube longer than the other and you might have to prime it. Other things work,..Thermo tip ups like Frabils, covering the hole with black frisbees (cut out for line) black shingles (be sure to take all home with you) Etc. I've used a tin can that has a little chain tether,..a small rock to hold it down a bit into the water and use that self start charcoal and light it,..it generally keeps the hole ice free in all but extream cold/wind,. (actually I have never been out that it hasn't worked,.coldest was -15,..you guys in the upper midwest might think thats warm. Careful with the can,..you can burn your line through if you happen to pull out a fish and have the line flop onto the can,..I have a little wood handle and pull it out and leave it to the side if a fish "happens"

01-15-2005, 07:43 AM
in my sleeper i always have water heating on the stove, lake water and that helps a lot, with checking the dept i use minnow water,for tip ups i think they make them with candles for heat to keep the holes open?

01-15-2005, 08:34 AM
opps,.I forgot one,..your candle reference made me think of the guy that used a candle in a jar with a screw on top with a number of holes drilled in it (have to experiment at home with the size/ number) used plummers candles or the ones at outdoor outfitters,small rock also to sink it down to have 2/3 or so in water... careful not to let them get too hot before getting them in water teather it too..side effect at night that you can see your tipups better...fish attractor? I dunno,..I don't think a warden would think of it as its just a way to keep holes open.

01-15-2005, 05:22 PM
Heres another that I have used. You can get those cheap battery operated air bubblers for bait fish. 3-6 bucks. a bit of plastic air tubing from a tropical fish or hardware store and get an air stone from TF store or Walmarts etc. Makes a lot of bubbles,..drop it dowm several inches under the ice and let the bubbles come up thru the hole and it brings up warmer water too,..it'll keep it ice free,.if you are out there a lot get some nickle hydride batteries and a charger,..radio shack makes some that will charge in an hour,..some chargers and batteries I believe are claiming 15 minutes.

01-15-2005, 06:16 PM
easiest way to keep it from freezing over is to put the fresh powder snow in the hole. It does not affect the beaver dam tip ups and if you are jigging with a bobber you end up with a little hole where the bobber is being bobbed up and down as you pull the fish through it keeps the hole open. as far as tip ups the fresh snow will keep it open and with the beaver dam tip-ups and walleyes it has never created a drag problem against the spool. stop and think about the windy days when it was -5 or -10 temp. the holes that the snow drifted into could be cleaned out with a scoop very easily. use the powder snow in the hole and see how that treats you.

good luck

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