Ice fishing season is almost here, and we say “almost” because many lakes are not frozen over, or are safe for fishing yet. Find out what you need to know below, and if you’re looking to try the sport for the first time, mark your calendar for the 2022 Free Fishing Days.
There’s Plenty of Fish in…Waterbodies in the Winter
“Many fish species are still quite active during the hard water season, including perch, sunfish, lake trout, and northern pike, leaving something for every type of angler to get out on the ice,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement. When the conditions are right, winter can be an exhilarating time to get outdoors and try a new adventure like ice fishing.
Be Safe & Test the Ice Thickness
Safety is of the utmost importance when ice fishing. The Schroon Lake Chamber of Commerce posted just yesterday (December 28) that Schroon Lake is not safe for ice fishing or for driving quads on. With the all-over-the-place weather as of late, we’re likely to see more of the same across the Park.
When the inevitable cold temperatures settle in, and you’re ready to get out there, here are some safety tips from the DEC:
- Four inches of solid clear ice should be safe for anglers on foot.
- Ice thickness can vary on waterbodies and even within the same waterbody.
- Be cautious of areas of moving water and around boat docks and bubblers.
- Ice thickness can easily be tested with an auger or spud bar at various spots.
New to Fishing? Plan Ahead for Free Fishing Days
Free fishing days take place four times a year in New York State, and these are designated dates when the requirement for a fishing license is waived. This is a great chance for experienced anglers to introduce the sport to their friends. If you’re interested in ice fishing specifically, you’ll want to plan for the February dates.
Free Fishing Days 2022:
Enjoy, and stay safe and warm out there!