Ice fishing season heats up in the suburbs

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Some of the area lakes and ponds may look frozen and it's certainly been cold enough lately, but not all are safe to walk out on, especially Lake Michigan.

Out in the suburbs, though, it’s a different story.

Many bodies of water are already frozen and ice fishermen are taking advantage. It may look lonely and desolate, but to them, it's peaceful and quiet.

All over Silver Lake in DuPage County you will see manmade holes, usually 6-10 inches wide in the ice, created by fishermen like David Rosinski. He is a veteran ice fisherman and said the winter hobby can be dangerous.

Rosinski said you can't let your guard down when you are at the mercy of Mother Nature.

“I've fallen before, it's not fun,” said Rosinski, explaining he was close to the shore and got out on his own.

Jay Johnson with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County said looks can be deceiving when it comes to walking on the ice and on area lakes.

It's fish at your own risk.

“You always want to test it, have an auger or a spike so that you can put a hole in the ice and check that thickness as you go,” he said.

The five inch ice blanket started about a week and a half ago on the Silver Lake, but he said smaller bodies of water freeze much faster than say, Lake Michigan, which right now it only about 10 percent frozen.

Johnson said if you are new to the sport, go with a veteran who knows how to read the ice and has the proper tools.

"You should carry things around your neck, ice picks in case you do go in,” said Dennis Subach, who's a veteran of the hobby.

If you are an avid ice fisherman, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is hosting the annual “Hard Water Classic” tournament on Silver Lake. It takes place Saturday, February 13 in the Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville from noon to 3:30 p.m.

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