DNR: 'Ice fishing is a fun way to get outdoors during Minnesota winters'

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With kids off school because of the Martin Luther King Junior day holiday, it's the perfect time to take a kid ice fishing.

During the weekend, Minnesota residents age 16 or older can fish or dark-house spear without an angling or spearing license if they take a child younger than 16 fishing or spearing.

"Ice fishing is a fun way to get outdoors during Minnesota winters," said Jeff Ledermann, education and skills team supervisor with the Department of Natural Resources. "Ice conditions are highly variable this year. If you want to start, try asking someone familiar with ice fishing and ice conditions to take you out or check out an organized activity."

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS met 12-year-old Chet Davenport in a portable fish house on Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis. "We're doing some fishing," he said. "We're catching some bluegills."

Chet seems wise beyond his years. He truly understands what ice fishing is all about. "We're just talking about whatever we want to talk about. Sometimes there's a fish, and when you catch a fish, that's the bonus that's in there."

Everyone knows kids can get bored if the fish aren't biting, the DNR's "Kid's Fishing Fun page!" has several activities to test their minds and help them learn all about fishing in Minnesota. 

Fishing events during the rest of the season can be found on the DNR's state parks and trails events calendar and the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program, which also has events for families.

Ice conditions vary greatly this season and can be deceiving. There is no such thing as 100% safe ice. Always check local ice conditions before heading out to a lake or river. Visit the link here for ice safety guidelines, and the DNR's learn to ice fish page for more information about ice fishing.