Nothing beats a still winter’s day for fishing, as all ice fishers will tell you, but even those calm days can serve up a surprise. Just ask these ice fishers in Pennsylvania who managed to rescue a duck trapped in icy waters. The fishermen had been waiting for a catch around a typical opening in the ice when they had to respond to a tug on their line. But instead of pulling up what might have made a nice fish dinner, they found a poor duck struggling with the line. They set the fowl free, but not before sharing a chuckle over the somewhat different catch.
While the duck wanted to get back in the water (and it did once it was free), the fishermen can rest easy knowing that they were able to help out an animal that may have been trapped. It’s not everyday that you can claim to have rescued a live duck from under thick ice with baits and lines made for fish, but as these fishermen might tell you, that can be part of the fun of ice fishing. There’s no guarantee you’ll ever pull a feathered friend from under the ice, but if you’d like to see what ice fishing is about, you need the right equipment and a knowledge of how to stay safe on the slippery surface.
Get the Right Tools — Start at a good fishing shop such as a Bass Pro Shop, where you can get professional advice on both tools and tips for making the adventure easier to handle. When done properly, ice fishing is safe, comfortable, and fun, but it does require special tools that you wouldn’t use in regular lake or river fishing.