SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Anglers across KELOLAND are itching to get out on the ice and do some fishing this winter. With above-average temperatures, the ice is dangerously thin in some places.
Brand new equipment and a renewed passion for ice fishing have Paul Regas excited about the season ahead.
“This is actually my first time. I just bought the auger today. Earlier I tried it out and I guess I couldn’t resist. I wanted to come out and fish right away,” Regas said.
Regas usually spends hours on the ice hoping for a bite. Friday, he’s enjoying his time at Family Park in Sioux Falls.
“Love being outdoors whether it’s hunting or fishing,” Regas said.
“It’s certainly an activity that’s gaining popularity in the region for sure. People are enjoying that a lot more,” Josh Delger said.
Delger is a Regional Wildlife Supervisor with the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department. He wants to make sure ice fishing enthusiasts are being careful.
“Over the past month, we’ve had reports of people going through ice in various locations across the local states here,” Delger said.
According to the GF & P website, you should stay off the ice if it’s less than four inches thick. That’s when it’s safe to walk on it. For snowmobiles and vehicles it needs to be thicker.
“Definitely proceed with caution. I mean you never know, ice is just one of those things. It’s hard to predict every spot on the lake how good it’s going to be,” Delger said.
Delger says it can help to ask the locals about the ice conditions when heading to a lake.
As for Regas, the cold can’t keep him inside. He’ll be right here until the sun drifts off for the day.
“I just love fishing in general whether it’s on ice or just in the summer. Pretty much all year round,” Regas said.