Anglers Prepare as Ice Fishing Season Begins

The ice is finally frozen enough for anglers to break out the tents and ice fish safely.

DULUTH, Minn. – It’s that time of year when anglers are swapping out their boats and getting their tents out on the frozen lakes around the area.

“I always liked to fish, always been a fisherman, so it’s something to do in the winter,” Jim Zawislak said.

“It’s just kind of heritage: from Minnesota, land of 10 thousand lakes. It gets cold and you have to do something with the water, you can’t just sit there and look at it,” clerk at Fredenberg Minno-ette bait shop Luc Bolin added.

The ice is finally frozen enough to go out there safely.

“Whenever you start seeing a few people out here, you can come out, you feel a little comfortable doing it. Fishing isn’t worth going in, I’ve gone in and it’s no fun,” Zawislak said.

And with it still being earlier in the season, some are having better luck with catching fish.

“Some days you get them and some days you don’t and as the season wears on, it’s not as good. This is better now, the early ice, the bite is quite a bit better than it is in February,” Zawislak said.

“Keep your line in the water and just keep trying. Don’t stop until the fish are biting,” Bolin added.

Over the years, ice fishing technology has changed quite a bit, making it easier for people to enjoy themselves.

“We didn’t have the tents, you were sitting outside on a bucket, you’re lying solid to the ice, if you got a bite it had to be a pretty nice bite to pull the bobber or anything else you had down. It was just not like it is now. This is just like soft water fishing so it’s really changed amazing. I enjoy it 10 times more than I used to,” Zawislak said.

“We have our ice hoggers over here, we have ice tents, pop ups, portables, sleds, jigs, litters, pretty much everything anyone needs to get started,” Bolin added.

Making it a great activity for anyone to try.

“It’s just going to keep growing and growing. Even now with people not having things to do, they need to get out and do stuff so they’re ice fishing,” Bolin said.

“You bring the kids out and even if they’re not catching fish, they can putts around on the ice. Ice fishing is great, sometimes I enjoy it more than summer fishing. Sometimes, not always, as long as I’m nice and warm and toasty,” Zawislak added.

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