Boundary Waters ice fishing for free

ice fishing in the BWCAThis weekend you can go ice fishing for free if you bring along a child younger than 16 years of age. This is a great opportunity to get out at least once during the winter fishing season.

While Josh was home for Christmas break he and a friend went spearing. They set up a dark house but didn’t need a heater since it was warm enough without.  It was early in the season so the ice wasn’t too thick yet. As the ice gets thicker there aren’t too many people who venture into the BWCA to spear since you can’t bring a power auger.  It takes quite a bit of work to hand drill and chip but they made quick work of cutting a spear hole. Their efforts paid off as they were able to spear a few northern pike perfect for a meal.

Josh is back at College and older than 16 years of age so I’ll have to find someone else to take fishing if I want to go for free.

Minnesotans fish free with kids Jan. 18-20

Take proper precautions on the ice

Take a Kid Ice Fishing Weekend is this Saturday, Jan. 18, through Monday, Jan. 20.

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.”

Events happening during the weekend include:

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 percent safe ice. Always check local ice conditions before heading out to a lake or river. Visit for ice safety guidelines and the DNR’s learn to ice fish page for more information about ice fishing.


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