Siouxland anglers discuss the dangers of ice fishing

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – For many, fishing is a summer pastime, but Scott Reed of Okoboji said he prefers on waiting until the winter months to cast a line. A hobby that started with his dad now turned into his job.

“It’s always something that stuck with me, it was always an interest for me, became a passion,” Reed said. “I was able to turn it into work.”

But there are dangers to be aware of when taking part in the bitterly cold activity.

“I tell everyone, the ice is never safe. You definitely want to check ice conditions before you go out and a great way to do that would be to hire someone like myself, a local guide. Someone that knows the water, someone that spends time out here so we can help you with some trouble spots,” said Reed.

Weak ice can mean you or your vehicle can fall through.

“Never to drive under a bridge, never to drive into a channel, never to drive over a pressure ridge or an ice heave, never to drive around or very close to a point, and is usually good to stay a little ways away from shore,” said Reed.

Reed said to ask bait shops about the ice conditions before heading out. He also recommends using the buddy system bringing a life jacket or wearing a floatable ice suit.

Brian Stehr works for Woodbury County Conservation.

“The good clear freshly formed ice is usually stronger than old ice,” Stehr said. “Four inches of good clean clear new ice will be able to hold a person on foot but a foot of old rotted ice may not.”

He said if you are driving on the lake, the ice should be at least 15 inches thick and to keep checking how sturdy the ice is throughout your trip.

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