Ice Fishing

Open Your Sense to an Exciting Winter Event

People enjoy it for the solitude of being out on a frozen lake and the challenge of the sport. Why not try ice fishing and open your senses to an exciting winter event. You must carry your license with you when you're fishing, whether it's summer or winter.

Be sure to get a copy of the current Illinois fishing regulations to find out about restrictions, special regulations, new changes, and general statewide regulations. It is your best guide to staying within the law and having the most fun out on the ice. Look below to find information to help you get ready for your ice fishing adventure.

Stay on Top of It

All ice activities on Evergreen Lake are at the visitor's own risk. The department does not designate any specific areas of the lake as safe for this activity. Winter activities are always safer with a partner. Make sure someone knows where you are going and when you'll return.

You don't want to be walking on thin ice with this sport. A rule of thumb is to be sure the ice is at least 4 inches thick. Be sure and check ice conditions before heading out and follow a path if there is one. Because ice thickness can vary across an area, check more than one spot.

In spring, rotten ice, no matter how reliable it looks under that fluffy snow, can give way easily. Watch out for holes in the ice or open water. Remember this rule of thumb: Thick and blue, tried and true. Thin and crispy, way too risky.

Who's Hot & Who's Not?

The object of choosing clothes for ice fishing is to dress to stay warm in any type of weather. As the old saying goes, you can always peel off layers if you're too hot.

Creature Comforts

Ice shanties are small shelters which can help keep you out of the wind and blowing snow as you fish. Only portable shelters are permitted on Evergreen Lake and are required to be removed at the end of each day. Inside, some anglers use heaters to keep warm. Others use small burners outside on the ice to warm their hands or to keep them warm as they sit to fish. As always, use caution with any heater.

Remember, moving around can help you keep warm. A well-insulated jug of hot chocolate or soup is always a great treat out on the ice and it will keep you energized to stay out if the fish are really biting.

Source: Portions of the above content are courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

For More Information

If you have any questions, please contact the McLean County Department of Parks and Recreation at (309) 434-6770.