Nation / World
Sports / Outdoors


Business Directory
Advertising Rates

About Us
Site Search

Advanced Search

home : sports / outdoors : sports/outdoors Monday, March 25, 2019

2/14/2017 1:36:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Ice Fishing - Fun For The Whole Family

By Deborah Locke

Keep It Simple Photo Courtesy Minnesota DNR
Party On Ice Photo Courtesy Minnesota DNR
For centuries Hmong have caught fish in the rivers, streams and lakes of Laos and Southeastern Asia. Those who relocated to Minnesota discovered a way to fish our state's rivers, streams and lakes year 'round, in spite of the seven inch layer of ice on metro lakes and rivers. Like other Minnesotans, many Hmong mastered ice fishing.

"They have done it," said Krista Jensen, a naturalist at Fort Snelling State Park in the Twin Cities metro area. "They adapted and acquired the skill. This winter has presented challenges due to warm weather and a recent thaw. There's a sloppy top layer over the ice that looks like open water but below the fish are fine and biting. They're still under there."

For those unaccustomed to drilling through ice before casting a line, know this. Once you are outfitted with warm clothes and a little basic gear, you can enjoy good outdoors family fun - and likely catch a mess of fish for the supper table. Ice fishing allows you to fish in places you might not normally get to. And it's a chance to walk on water without drawing on any super powers.

"If you don't have a boat, ice fishing provides a great opportunity to fish waters you wouldn't be able to reach during the warmer months," said Jon Hansen, with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' FiN program. FiN (Fishing in the Neighborhood) provides close-to-home angling opportunities around the Twin Cities.

To ice fish, special equipment isn't needed. Most use a special short rod with a spinning reel and lightweight line. You attach a tiny weighted jig and bait the hook with small "waxworms," little worms that are the larval stage of insects (disgusting to us, tasty to fish). Go into any bait shop, and you can probably get a basic set-up for $20 or less. Some big-box discount department stores also carry inexpensive ice fishing gear. You'll also need a way to make a hole in the ice. Hand augers can be found for about $50. Or you can find a lake where others are fishing and fish in an unused hole that someone else drilled. Fishing around others is also a good way to know that the ice you're on is strong and safe and where the fish might be. Check www.mndnr.gov for more ice safety guidelines.

You'll find lots of good ice fishing locations in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The FiN program manages more than 60 metro lakes offering fun and easy fishing opportunities. Go fishing in a Minnesota State Park, you can do so without a license. Otherwise, anyone 16 years or older will need a fishing license. Snelling Lake in Fort Snelling State Park (near the airport and the Mall of America) is a great place to catch fish through the ice, as is Lake Alice in William O'Brien State Park just north of Stillwater

Go to www.mndnr.gov and search "ice fishing" for more information about where to go and how to do it. It might be the most fun you'll have until spring!

St. Paul, MN



2005-2016 HMONG TIMES, All rights reserved
PO Box 192, Prescott, WI 54021
 Software © 1998-2019 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved