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Outdoor Enthusiasts Benefit From Colder Temps

December 10, 2013, 7:21 AM by Brittany Larson

 Outdoor Enthusiasts Benefit From Colder Temps
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

When the temperature starts to drop and customers flock to Dakota Angler, that can only mean one thing.

"Ice fishing is definitely my favorite," ice fisherman Karsten Elsen.

While many are adjusting to the frigid temperatures, others are benefiting.

"Really cold temperatures, as long as it's below freezing that's probably the best," Elsen said.

Karsten went ice fishing with some friends on Monday and caught around 15 walleye. But what may be even more important than a catch is staying safe.

"No ice is safe. You just have to make sure that you go out in pairs when it's really early ice and make sure you have a buddy with you," Elsen said. 

Some basics guidelines recommend the ice be four inches thick to walk on, between eight to 12 inches thick for light cars to drive on and 12 to 15 for full-size trucks to drive on.

"Years past it's been abnormally warm and we haven't put a lot ice on the lakes, but this year, we're off to a good start. Latest reports I'm getting there are somewhere between eight and ten inches of ice on most bodies water out there," South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks expert Todd St. Sauver said.

"I usually don't drive out until there is at least 15 inches of ice because what could be good in one spot might not be in another," Elsen said.

And with the unpredictable winter weather, it's always best to stay prepared.

Officials from the Game, Fish & Parks department also encourage people to know the lake you're ice fishing on, things like underground springs, current and birds can weaken the ice and make the ice thin in certain spots. 

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