Vermont Fish and Wildlife staff, as well as instructors from Vermont’s Let’s Go Fishing Program, will be on-hand to teach ice fishing skills. These include knot tying, baiting, and using an ice fishing rod, and most importantly, how to stay warm on the ice. They will also discuss fishing regulations and go over fish identification.
Fish and Wildlife staff will operate a fish fry station to cook up participants’ catch, and there will be plenty of cocoa on hand. Participants are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather, and ice cleats are strongly recommended.
“Ice fishing is one of the most accessible forms of fishing and can be a great way to introduce people to how much fun fishing can be,” said Jud Kratzer, fisheries biologist for the Fish and Wildlife Department. “This festival will demonstrate that ice fishing isn’t just about catching fish. It’s also a great way to spend some time outdoors with friends and family. You can skate, sled, make a snow fort, and have a cookout – all while waiting for the flags on your tip-ups to signal when you’ve caught a fish.”
Fishing equipment will be loaned for this fun day on the ice or participants may bring their own. For more information, contact Corey Hart at 802-265-2279 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration can be completed online in advance at www.vtfishandwildlife.com/free-ice-fishing-day-festival or people may register when they arrive, although registering in advance will enable participants to get on the ice faster!
Free Ice Fishing Day is held annually on the last Saturday in January. The day is geared toward giving new ice anglers an opportunity to try ice fishing before purchasing equipment, but any angler may ice fish on any water body open to ice fishing statewide without a fishing license on Free Ice Fishing Day.