BY: RACHEL SMITH
Finally, there’s ice! It seems to be a little late in the year, but the dropping temps at night have given the lake a chance to firm up. And the ice fishermen in the area are like kids in a candy store.
Ice fishing is a fun, inexpensive activity for anglers of all ages to get outdoors and avoid cabin fever. My late husband (in the blue ice suit above) loved to ice fish. Now me, personally, I never understood the fascination with sitting out in the middle of the lake, in the cold, staring down a tiny hole for hours on end. I’m more of a ‘sit in the warm house with a glass of wine’ kind of person myself.
But that’s just me!
I had the chance to chat with Kevan Paul this week. Kevan took his love of fishing and turned it into a unique business venture. Not only does he own Kevan Paul’s Guide Service, but he teamed up with another guide in the area, Chris Scholl, to open Clear Lake Bait & Tackle. They offer a wide variety of fishing gear, provide advice about equipment and techniques as well as frequently updated fishing reports.
As the ice is newly formed on Clear Lake, and with the warmer than normal temps during the daytime hours, fishermen are urged to be safe and use their best judgement on the ice. Here are some tips and tricks for a safe ice fishing season:
- Have a spud bar! This is a heavy ice chisel used to poke the ice. It must be used consistently. To use this device, slam it into the ice. If on the first go, the ice doesn’t break, but then it does on the second try and goes through the ice on the third try – that tells you the ice is about 4” thick.
- Bring along a safety rope, a throw rope and a flotation device.
- Fish with a buddy! Not only is it a fun way to hang out with a friend, but it could save your life!
If you do happen to fall through the ice, don’t panic! Easier said than done, I’m sure, especially when you’re immersed in freezing cold water. But get back up, relax, and get yourself out.
Happy fishing! Maybe this is the year you snag the big one!