Join Colorado’s new craze: ice fishing | SkyHiNews.com

Join Colorado’s new craze: ice fishing

Courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife

OAK CREEK — Fishing remains one of Colorado's most popular of all outdoor warm-weather activities; however, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife managers, a growing number of people are heading out over the state's iced-over reservoirs and lakes each winter to try their hand at ice fishing.

To help introduce aspiring ice anglers to the joys of catching fish over frozen water, Stagecoach State Park is offering the free rental of ice fishing kits to anyone that wants a to see what the fuss is all about.

"Like many other outdoor activities, you want to be sure you have the right gear," said Park Manager Craig Preston. "This is a great deal for anyone that may have thought about ice fishing but is not sure about investing in all of the proper equipment just yet."

Made possible with a grant through the Foundation for Colorado State Parks, the kits include the basic equipment necessary to get started, including two rods designed for ice fishing, tackle, an ice scoop and an ice auger upon request.

"I'm sure that once people try it, they will probably head out and get their own gear," said Preston. "It really is a lot of fun, especially when you share the experience with friends and family."

To take advantage of the opportunity, head to the park's office during regular business hours. Renters must possess a valid Colorado fishing license. All equipment must be used at the park and returned at the end of the day.

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"Don't let a little cold weather keep you from enjoying our state parks to the fullest," said Preston.

CPW reminds everyone that whenever venturing onto ice, use caution, bring a partner and always drill test holes to determine ice thickness. Each angler should also wear a life jacket and carry ice picks, 50 feet of rope and bring a cell phone. Stay away from cracks, pressure ridges and slushy or darker areas that signify thinner ice.

To learn more about ice fishing and safety,visit http://www.cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/IceFishingSafety.aspx

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