The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

February 4, 2014

Ice fishermen enjoy an afternoon of fishing

Staff Writer

— The technology has changed, but the scene remains as small shacks dot area harbors when the weather gets chilly and fishermen get restless.

Old wooden shacks are long gone and more high tech portable warming structures are on the market to keep fishermen from getting too cold.

“Everything is sophisticated now, and expensive too,” said Lou Vivo of Niles after a morning of fishing just off the Conneaut Public Dock on Monday.

The relatively warm weather the last two winters has lessened ice fishing activity on area bodies of water, but they are reappearing as quickly as the water turns to ice.

“This is the first time (in two years) I have seen shanties in Conneaut Harbor,” said Boatswain Mate 1 E6 Adam Lutes of the U.S. Coast Guard station in Ashtabula.

Ice fishing can be extremely dangerous because it is very difficult to make sure the ice is thick enough to hold people and equipment.  

“Most of the time we say no ice is safe ice,” he said of the potential danger when people think ice is safe when it is not.

Vivo made his second trip to Conneaut for ice fishing during this winter season. He said he and his fishing partner caught one steelhead trout and had three bites that were lost.

Hugh Wood said he spent two hours ice fishing and didn’t have as much luck. “I didn’t catch anything,” he said while fishing without any protection other than a coat and hat.

Vivo took multiple trips from the fishing hole back to public dock to transporting equipment ranging from the shelter, to fishing pools to tools used to dig holes in the ice.

The National Weather Service indicates the water temperatures on the southern portion of Lake Erie are between 33 and 34 degrees.