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DNR warns anglers during this early start to ice fishing season

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Deer hunters might have been hampered by a recent cold wave, but ice fishing enthusiasts are enjoying an early start to their season.  

The state DNR says folks are already putting lines through holes in the ice on smaller lakes, backwaters, and bays.  

Experts say the early part of the season provides the best chances to catch northern pike and walleye -- especially in shallow lakes where the fish are more likely to bite better.  

Another cold wave is moving into the Upper Midwest Thursday, with lows Friday night expected to be around 10-below in parts of the Badger State. Still, officials say there's a risk of anglers and others falling through the ice and drowning this time of year.  

DNR officials suggest that ice fishers stay clear of inlets, outlets, and narrows that might have currents. They say clear ice is best, because it's generally stronger than ice that's covered with snow, or has bubbles.  

One national survey indicates that almost 600,000 Wisconsinites are into ice fishing. 

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)