Fishing with Kids on the Ice

Fishing with the kids on the ice in Madison.

We love talking about ice fishing. Our idea of ice fishing is having four bags of ice instead of the two we usually take. If you’re catching Mackerel on a cold winter day when the wind is blowing nine miles an hour and the morning temperature is 52 degrees, having the extra ice helps you keep the otherwise oily-tasting fish fresh and cold enough to ensure it cooks up delicious (after you soak it overnight in ginger ale). We know that for many of our readers, who come from places where ice actually forms on car windows and fishing in the ice means cutting holes into the ice on which you drove your truck, this may sound like we’re rubbing it in. We never ice fish here. We have palm trees that would die if it stayed below 30 degrees for more than six hours.

Yahara Fishing Club 01There are fish in that hole. This little girl was one of a few dozen children brought to fish on the (safe) ice by a fishing club in Wisconsin.

So yeah, we’re rubbing it in. But it seems that people who love fishing are exactly the same whether cold weather can prove dangerous or simply requires an extra t-shirt. We came across a story this week about a fishing club in Madison, Wisconsin. The last time I looked at national weather maps, it was dark blue-blue in that part of the planet, but that didn’t stop a local fishing club from holding a Fishing with Kids event. We hold them all the time, and a lot of other people here do as well. You can find them any time of the year in any season.

In Wisconsin? In January? Yup.

The Yahara Fishing Club

The Yahara Fishing Club does not have a chapter in Florida, but we would hope that in the 70 years since its founding, one or two of its members fished for a Redfish or Snook.

Yahara Fishing Club Logo

Old clubs like this are harder to find in these days of online fishing tournaments, “Likes” on social networks, and games on smartphones. The reality is that groups that come together and teach conservation and community and help young people learn that the reason why they fish is just as important as how to cut a hole in the ice or (in our case) how to hook a shrimp so it doesn’t die in three seconds. They have value. Reading this story made us feel good about doing what we do.

Yahara Fishing Club 02The club puts kids on the ice just like we put kids on the water.
We would probably put them on the ice if we had any.

The Yahara Fishing Club held its Kids Ice Fishing Day, giving many the first opportunity to try the sport. About 300 kids got out on the ice to fish at Brittingham Park in Madison.

Yahara Fishing Club 04MADISON (WKOW). A chilly Saturday didn't stop an annual event on Monona Bay.

"The focus of our club is to promote fishing and conservation in the area and especially in the Madison area lakes and so we want to encourage as many people as possible to enjoy the lakes and enjoy the sport of fishing," says Philip James, vice president of the club. "So this is a way to introduce kids to the sport and hopefully some of them will develop an interest."

Organizers had hot dogs and hot chocolate available for all the kids and their families to help keep warm after getting off the ice.

Fish with Kids You Know

Here at Guy Harvey Magazine’s Online Fisherman, we are constantly involved in events like this–of course without the hot chocolate or ice augers. Be on the lookout, as we will be scheduling events in your area soon.

The Online Fisherman

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