The Department of Natural Resources is hoping you get out on the ice and try out some ice fishing in the next few weeks.
DNR Spokesman Ed Culhane says if it's your first time ice fishing, starting small with panfish like crappies and perch is a great way to learn.
".....smaller, shallower lakes, like bluegill lakes, panfish lakes can be very good as long as you have enough ice to walk out on them....."
Culhane says you should find a popup tent or clamshell fishing shack on a shallow lake to fish for panfish....
".....and when you are inside of a shell like that, you can actually look down in the hole. It's like looking at at tv set. It's going to be as clear as a bell and you can actually watch your lure down there...."
Current numbers show that some 590,700 state residents now take part in ice fishing, up from 479,900 in 2000.
Anyone who would like to give ice fishing a try can borrow equipment from the DNR over Free Fishing Weekend January 17 and 18. You can get gear at 19 loaner sites across the state. More information is on the DNR website.