Get outside, enjoy winter on Vt. Free Ice Fishing Day

NORTH HERO — Vermont’s sixth annual Free Ice Fishing Day is Saturday, Jan. 26. 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.
To celebrate, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is holding an Ice Fishing Festival at Knight Point State Park in North Hero. The festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is free and open to all ages as well as families with kids.
Vermont Fish & 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’ll also discuss fishing regulations and go over fish identification. Rooted in Vermont will also be there to talk about the importance of locally-caught fish as a sustainable source of food. And new this year, the Coast Guard will be performing self-rescue demonstrations through a hole in the ice!
Department staff will operate a fish fry station to cook up participants’ catch, and there will also be other refreshments on hand including plenty of hot cocoa. There will be several warming huts available.
“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 & 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.”
The Fish & Wildlife Department will lend equipment needed for this fun day on the ice, or participants may bring their own equipment. For more information, contact Corey Hart at 802-265-2279 or [email protected]. Registration can be completed online in advance at register-ed.com/events/view/132707 or people may register when they arrive, although registering in advance will enable participants to get on the ice faster.
Free Ice Fishing Day and the Free Ice Fishing Festival are held annually on the last Saturday in January.

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