Ice Fishing Basics

Daniel Reardon is a co-CEO and trustee at the Otto Bremer Trust in St. Paul, Minnesota. In March of 2016, the Otto Bremer Trust announced that it had donated $8.4 million worth of grants to charitable activities in North Dakota, Minnesota, and western Wisconsin. One of Daniel Reardon’s favorite hobbies is fishing.

Fishermen living in the northern climes may have some experience with ice fishing. This type of fishing involves catching fish through a hole in the ice on top of the water. Ice fishing can take place on lakes, ponds, rivers, or even the ocean.

While some anglers create comfortable heated structures, others merely sit on a bucket and brave the elements. The equipment for drilling holes in the ice has significantly improved over the last quarter century, with the augers now available being two to three times more efficient at boring holes.

Most states will specify certain locations as permissible for ice fishing, but even if it is allowed, safety should always be the highest priority. While some fishermen will walk and fish on ice as thin as two and a half inches, four inches is the recommended minimum. A cell phone should always be taken along since sheets of ice as large as one square mile can break off and drift away.

Finally, it is important to be aware that warm periods of the winter can cause the ice to “rot.” If this happens, even an ice layer several inches thick may not be able to support much weight.

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