The popular wintertime sport of ice fishing is making a comeback after last year’s warm winter made conditions in Iowa next to impossible. Ben Wallace, a fish management specialist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in Lake View, says anglers are bundled up and dropping their lines.
“It’s just starting to pick up,” Wallace says. “This past week has really allowed us to build some ice to get it thick enough to where people feel comfortable going out on the lakes and giving ice fishing a good shot.” He says the conditions are excellent right now and the fish are biting.
“As soon as you get ice up, it tends to be the best fishing, and right before ice out, which coincides with when the ice isn’t all that safe,” he says. Ice fishing can be a very dangerous sport if proper precautions aren’t taken, so Wallace offers some advice.
“Never go out alone,” he says. “Wear some time of floatation device or carry a throwable-type floatation device. Carry some ice picks with you so that if you do go through, you can grip the ice and pull yourself out. Also, check the ice thickness frequently.” He says ice thickness can vary greatly in different spots on the same lake.
For the latest ice fishing conditions across Iowa, visit: www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City