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Ice Fishing Winter Madness?

Equipment | Baits and Lures | Finding Fish | Ice Conditions | Rescue Techniques

DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge Opens to Ice Fishing on January 2, 2011

The DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Blair, NE will open to ice fishing starting the 2nd of January and will remain open through the end of February. Ice fishing will be closed, however on January 8th & 9th for a refuge wide deer hunt. Due to a change in state fishing regulations, anglers need to be aware the daily bag limit of crappie and bluegill in combination has been reduced to fifteen on DeSoto Lake in 2011. Additionally, anglers on DeSoto Lake are limited to no more then two lines while fishing. The refuge is open ½ hour before sunrise until ½ hour after sunset and a refuge entrance fee permit is required. Daily fee permits are available at each refuge entrance or an annual permit is available at the Visitor Center. A federal duck stamp also serves as a fee permit.

 Anglers are encouraged to test the ice before proceeding out onto the lake and to stay away from pilings, snags, etc. that may have weak ice around them. Remember, a minimum of four inches of clear blue ice is recommended for a single angler on the ice. Have a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience.

DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge is located 25 miles north of Omaha, Nebraska on U.S. Highway 30, between Missouri Valley, Iowa and Blair, Nebraska. The visitor center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, except federal holidays. For more information contact 712/642-4121 or look us up on the web at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/desoto/ or email the refuge at desoto@fws.gov


Inexplicable as it may seem to many "normal" Nebraskans, there is among us a dedicated coterie of people who relish long, cold winters -- people who religiously watch the 10 o'clock weather and are cheered by the prospect of below-zero nights and cold, gray days.

These are the people who can spend a long autumn afternoon in the workshop inventing a new, improved, collapsible shelter, who haunt garage sales in search of broken fishing rod tips, and who will pass up a comfortable couch and a football game in order to spend a January Sunday afternoon sitting on an upended drywall bucket in the middle of a frozen lake.

The name of their dementia is ice fishing, and it is only fair to offer this warning: Ice fishing is a contagious and wide-spread madness. Its signs hunched figures staring down into holes in the ice, rambling communities of shanties, shelters and tents covering frozen lake surfaces-are likely to be seen on U S West Lake at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park in eastern Nebraska, on Box Butte Reservoir in the Panhandle, on Holmes Lake, a snowball's throw from downtown Lincoln or on Oliver Reservoir near Kimball, more than 300 miles to the west.

Nevertheless, a knowledge of ice fishing tackle and techniques, equipment, baits, lures and safety on the ice does not automatically accompany the disease, and for the newly infected as well as for the old enthusiast who wants to brush up on equipment and techniques.

Ice Fishing-Jigging Motions with Daryl Bauer

Ice Fishing-Line Discussion with Daryl Bauer

Ice Fish Pike-Quick Strike Rigs with Daryl Bauer

Ice Fishing & Modified Teardrops with Daryl Bauer


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