Free ice fishing weekend

Published: Dec. 21, 2019 at 6:55 PM CST
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If you've never tried ice fishing, there's a great opportunity coming up.

North Dakota has two weekends a year when residents can try fishing without first buying a license. One is in the early summer, and one that opens the doors to ice fishing is coming up soon.

"We figure having it this time of year is a good opportunity for people to get out fishing when they perhaps have other friends and family in town. It's also a great opportunity for some of maybe our more experienced ice anglers to serve as a mentor for someone they know who might like to experience ice fishing and learn what it's all about," said Paul.

The free ice fishing weekend this year is December 28-29. If you want to give it a try, there are some things you need to know before heading out on the ice ...

"Even though it's a free fishing weekend and residents 16 and older do not need to purchase a license anyone fishing still needs to follow all the North Dakota Game and Fish department fishing regulations," said Paul.

All anglers can also participate in darkhouse spearfishing during the free fishing weekend.

"But one thing to be aware of is that those anglers will also need to register to darkhouse spearfishing, which they can do for free on the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website," said Paul.

Ice conditions are never 100 % safe, but the recent cold weather is helping.

"We are dealing with a real cold snap here in mid-December, which is improving our ice conditions across the state and as long as we don't have a big snow event coming up before the free fishing weekend, we anticipate ice conditions being pretty good as well as access being pretty good," said Paul.

And if you're looking for a place to fish….

"Our Game and Fish website also has a wealth of information on which lakes have which different fish species and maybe good lakes to target this winter," said Paul.

Again, the free ice fishing weekend for residents is next weekend, December 28 and 29.