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Minnesotans age 16 or older fish free with kids Jan. 18-20

by Scott Hanson

Minnesotans age 16 or older can try ice fishing or spear fishing without purchasing an angling or spearing license if they take a child younger than 16 fishing during Take-A-Kid Ice Fishing Weekend Saturday, Jan. 18 through Monday, Jan. 20, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

“Take-A-Kid Ice Fishing Weekend is a great opportunity for family and friends to get those special kids in their life outdoors enjoying the fun and beauty of a Minnesota winter,” said Roland Sigurdson, DNR aquatic education supervisor. “What better way to celebrate our winter heritage than by passing on the tradition of ice fishing.”

Ice fishing presents some unique challenges, but with basic equipment, a few skills, and good planning, ice fishing can be easy, enjoyable and exciting.

Here are key ice fishing tips from DNR’s MinnAqua program, which provides resources to teach fishing skills, aquatic ecology and conservation stewardship of our lakes and rivers:

  • Dressing in layers is the best way to deal with winter’s icy chill. Layers keep you warm in cold conditions by creating pockets of warm air and helping moisture evaporate.
  • Portable ice shelters can increase the enjoyment of the experience by keeping kids warmer.
  • Plan for a shorter, quality experience that will make a happier memory. Cold, bored kids don’t ask to go again.
  • Bring snacks and warm beverages to make a comfortable experience.
  • Bring a variety of baits to increase chances of success.

More tips are available online at www.mndnr.gov/minnaqua/icefishing.

Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring coordinator and Mike “Smitty” Smith from the “Ice Team” share insights and information about kids, mentoring and ice fishing in an online podcast audio program available on DNR website at 
http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/news/podcasts/KidsAndIceFishing.mp3

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