Forestville, WI: Dryer Lake in Kenosha County, WI came alive on Saturday February 3, 2018 when over 44 Boy and Cub Scouts, 8 scout siblings and 29 parents from the Northeast Illinois Council, were educated on the fine science and art of ice fishing by Mike McNett and members of the USA Ice Team. They were joined by Steve Klubertanz, BSA Certified Angling Instructor (NPAA #1014) and Robert “Nick” Schmal, Executive Director, Future Angler Foundation (NPAA #123) and BSA Angling Educator.
Before hitting the ice, the scouts and family members were treated to hot chocolate at the Main Lodge at Scout Camp Oh-Da-Ko-Ta, then given a safety briefing on hypothermia, ice thickness, and behavior while on the lake ice. Each scout was given a NPAA Future Pro t-shirt and a Wildlife Forever State Fish Art Contest brochure. There were morning and afternoon sessions, each lasting 2 ½ hours. Hot chocolate, hot dogs, and cookies were provided to all participants.
When on the lake, all were taught how to use ice fishing combos, including how to tip the lures with live bait. USA Ice Team staff also showed scouts and parents how to use electronics and underwater cameras. Many of the young anglers caught fish including northern pike, largemouth bass, bluegill, red ear sunfish, and yellow perch. One large black crappie was also landed. Ice Team staff also explained how to rig standard tip-ups with live minnows for catching larger fish species.
It was a cold, windy, and overcast day but all enjoyed the experience. At the close of each session, the NPAA and Future Angler Foundation treated each angler with a brand new ice fishing rod/reel combo to take home and try their luck on their next fishing trip.