MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin's ice fishing season is off to an early start thanks to last week's cold snap.
Department of Natural Resources fisheries experts say people are already out on smaller lakes, bays and backwaters across the state. They say early ice fishing offers some of the best opportunities to catch walleye and northern pike, particularly on shallow lakes where the fish seem to bite better earlier in the season.
The most recent National Survey on Recreation and the Environment indicates about 590,700 Wisconsin residents ice fish. DNR officials warn anglers, though, to dress warmly, avoid fishing alone, steer clear of inlets, outlets and narrows that may have currents that can thin ice and look for clear ice, which is generally stronger than snow-covered ice or ice with bubbles in it.