Seriously, Check The Ice Before You Go Out On The Lakes
It never fails. Every December people go through the ice. Last week it was a truck that went thru on Lake Vermilion. This week it's a couple of guys that broke through with their snowmobile. People get eager to be out on the ice, and sometimes they take risks that can end up being fatal.
Just because there may be 6 or more inches of ice on the shoreline, doesn't mean that it's that thick all the way around the lake. I can remember one time having 8 inches of ice 10 feet from shore, and then another few yards later only 2 or 3 inches. It's still early in the season and for most of our area lakes, you don't want to do much more than walking on the ice. Be sure to use a spud bar, wear a life jacket, and have ice picks hanging around your neck so you can get back out.
The MN DNR warns people to not drive on the ice this early in the season, as ice thickness can change greatly on lakes. The guy that went through on Vermilion with his truck was checking the depth at multiple spots on the lake, but eventually went through when he stopped on a spot that was only 4 inches thick.
Different currents and water temperatures play a huge role in ice thickness. It's best to just give it a little more time of cold weather before we start driving out there. Good luck and stay safe!