Thrills, Chills, And Gills

Published 12/19/2023 1:55:52 PM

Before you hit the ice, review some basic safety tips.

1. Use the buddy system.

Fellow anglers can help you to determine ice thickness, call for help in an emergency, and get pictures of you and your biggest catch.


2. Pay attention to ice thickness.

A minimum of four inches of clear ice is best. Pay attention to elements that deteriorate ice, such as logs or rocks, and nearby currents or streams. Ice with a cloudy appearance indicates thawing and refreezing and is not as strong.


3. Utilize safety equipment.

Ice fishers should wear life jackets, especially early and late in the season when ice is more apt to break. Ice cleats and appropriate winter gear will keep you warm and prevent you from slipping on the ice.


4. Find the right spot.

Yellow Banks Pond, Easter Lake, Fort Des Moines Park, and Discovery Pond are all great areas for some winter fishing.  Be sure to stay off Saylorville Lake. The dam can open and lower the water level, creating a dangerous void under the ice.

“Catch of the Day”

If you can catch it during the summer, you can catch it during the winter.


  • Bluegills
  • Croppies
  • Sunfish
  • Perch


  • Walleyes
  • Largemouth Bass


  • Northerns
  • Muskies