January 14, 2015
The January cold has set in, the ice on lakes and rivers thicker by the day. The ice fishing season is here.
For those unfamiliar with ice fishing, for those who think it is crazy to stand in the cold waiting for a fish to bite, its aficionados will tell you the sport has considerable appeal.
Especially on a mild January or February day, with no wind and a temperature of say, 30, and the sun shining, it can be magical on the ice.
“I love to be out there,” said Mike Beauchene, a supervising fisheries biologist with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. “It feels good to be out and getting that dose of vitamin D. It gets you out of the house and gives you the benefits of being outdoors.”
Beauchene’s agency hosts free ice fishing classes throughout the state during January, with experts explaining what equipment is needed and how to fish through the ice.
The agency also sponsors two ice fishing derbies for families, free, with all equipment and bait provided. The first will be held at Patriots Park in Coventry Jan. 31, the second at Burr Pond State Park in Torrington.
Last year some 700 to 800 people showed up for the derby at Burr Pond on a mild, sunny day.
“People can just show up, get a little tutorial, start fishing and hopefully be successful,” Beauchene said. “The big part is they get out and get to enjoy a little of the fresh air Connecticut offers.”
My story on ice fishing in Connecticut appears today on CTNOW.com. Here is the link:
Considerable information on fishing regulations and events is available through the DEEP website. On the left rail choose Learn to Fish for information on ice fishing classes throughout the state in coming weeks, and information on the two fishing derbies. On the right rail, under Featured Links, choose Angler’s Guide for all regulations covering fishing in Connecticut including ice fishing.