AP NEWS

Shopping at the hole food market in Sterling

January 9, 2018

Ron Meister of Rock Falls passed the time Monday afternoon with some ice fishing at Oppold Marina in Sterling. Meister said he had good luck fishing there before, and was hoping for a repeat. While the rest of us may have been grumbling about the recent stretch of cold weather, it’s put a smile on ice fishers’ faces. The mercury’s fallen in the past few weeks, and it’s had a hard time getting back up, making for ideal ice-fishing conditions – but anglers may want to be careful in the coming days, with temperatures gradually warming to the upper 40s by Thursday. After that, they’ll drop below freezing again, and keep dropping through Monday, when the high is forecast at 12 degrees. If you’re wondering how thick ice has to be for some frozen fishing, according to the Illinois DNR, 4 inches is safe for fishing, 5 inches will support a snowmobile or ATV, 8 to 12 inches will support a car or small pickup, and 12 to 15 inches will keep a medium-sized truck high and dry. But, the DNR cautions, these guidelines are for new, clear ice; you’ll need to double those numbers for white ice or “snow ice,” which is only about half as strong. Go to ifishillinois.org/programs/ice.php for more ice fishing tips.