St. Paul Ice Fishing show vendor talks ice safety
Some anglers have been waiting months to get out on the ice. This weekend, thousands prepared to do just that at the 30th annual St. Paul Ice Fishing & Winter Sports Show at St. Paul RiverCentre from December 1-3.
This is their largest show yet with more than 190 exhibits featuring more than 50 new products among the array of fish houses, augers, underwater cameras, tackle and more.
Clam Outdoors has been part of the exhibit for 30 years and they specialize in ice fishing equipment and gear. Matt Johnson, the Pro Staff Director for Clam Outdoors says people are already ice fishing up north. While the Twin Cities is seeing some ice, it’s not quite to where it’s thick enough to safely fish. He says anglers always want to be safe, noting that ice can be inconsistent.
“You never venture on early ice alone. You go with a buddy, you practice the proper precautions like causing a chisel, check the ice to make sure it’s safe,” said Johnson.
Johnson added that you want to have a flotation suit and a pair of ice picks. He says the biggest thing is just using a little bit of common sense. If you are uncertain about the thickness of the ice, you shouldn’t go out there.
During the pandemic, interest in ice fishing spiked and while it dropped slightly, Johnson says it’s still higher than pre-pandemic levels.