SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Every night of freezing temperatures adds another layer of ice to area lakes and ponds, making fishermen even antsier to drill their first hole.
That’s why experts are reminding anglers to be safely prepared before they try and catch a big one.
Robert Danke, a fishing manager for Scheels Sporting Goods, described how people are already buying fisherman gear for the Winter season.
“We had our Ice Fest last weekend. We are actually going to have another sale coming up this weekend. So, a lot of guys and girls coming to get their stuff,” said Danke.
Those buyers include long time friends Ben Curry and Mike Gordon, who are shopping for a scheduled fishing trip this weekend.
“I’m going to Waubay Lake. I already bought an ice fishing house this week. I bought a rod case an ice auger,” said Curry.
These are requirements for a successful fishing trip, but to make sure they come home safely, they’ll need more than that.
“Is it dangerous? Yes, it can be if you’re not taking the proper steps,” said Danke. “In early ice, you’re going to want to go with a spud bar to check the thickness of the ice and also your ice pics. I don’t go out without these at all.”
There are also specially designed coats that can save your life if you happen to fall into the water.
For Ben and Mike, fishing is a part of their lifestyle and as they explain, being safe requires more than just good equipment.
“You can have all the right safety equipment you want but there’s still a chance that something could happen. So always have a plan. You know if you’re wrapped underneath this thing, [Loger] know how you’re going to get out?”
Ice fishing does require a license. Resident fishing is $22 and the non-resident price is $48.