Environment
10:45 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Ice Fishing in the Shadow of Downtown Milwaukee

Local fishermen have discovered they can ice fish, close to home. They set up gear and cut holes in Lake Michigan's ice - off the Summerfest grounds.

Wisconsin's new state park there created a small bay that can freeze in winter. This year, you can nearly always spot a few people ice fishing.

Many of the anglers haul their gear on sleds, ferrying it down the big rocks you might sit on, during summer, to watch fireworks or listen to a concert.

A trio of Jeremy Christian, Big Dave and Leo Principe staked out a spot a few mornings ago, dug holes and submerged their lines. Principe says the bay provides world class fishing with trout, salmon, walleye, northerns and perch swimming below.

The three say they won't venture out on lake tops, unless the ice cover is at least 10 inches thick. According to their measurements, the ice now reaches down nearly 16 inches, but they remain aware of changing conditions in the huge lake.

Robert Zalewski set up his blue shanty a few dozen yards away, with a heater inside for warming. He hasn't caught anything in the four hours he's been out on the ice but says he will return. He expects the bay to remain thickly frozen on top, at least through February because of our cold winter temperatures.