First ice fishing expo draws thousands

By KBJR News 1

December 13, 2013 Updated Dec 13, 2013 at 7:43 PM CDT

Duluth, Minn. (NNCNOW.com) -- The first ever ice fishing and Winter Expo kicked off on Friday at the DECC.

Sitting out on the ice with a line through a hole is part of the Northland's culture, and one of the biggest expos in Duluth is dedicated to that culture.

"People are really excited about all the new products all the safety that's available for people that go out on the ice and even if they don't," said Ron Murphy, floor manager for the event.

About 100 vendors from across the country showcased their ice fishing gloves, poles, and shacks. Some venders showed that sitting on a bucket in the middle of a frozen lake is a thing in the past.

"Stuff just evolves, so you start putting wheels on it and now people got a fish house and now its evolved into this. People use them as campers fpr ice fishing, hunting grouse it's kind of a no brainier which route to go," said Nick Buckentin, General Manager for Roth RV.

Before you grab your fishing pole and your ice shack it's always important to remember safety first.

"In general what you want to do is make sure that you are checking the ice before you go out. Basically what I'll do is walk my way out with a spud bar and if you poke the ice and don't go through your safe for walking," said Chris Granrud, a guide for Rainy Day Guide Service.

Experts say the ice needs to be at least five inches thick for an ATV or snowmobile and 10 or 12 inches above for a vehicle.

"Everybody is excited this time of year to be on the ice, it's vitally important to be safe. I always say being the first guy on the ice isn't the most important but the last guy on the ice gets the most fishing in," said Granrud.

The expo starts again at 9 am Saturday until 7pm and wraps up Sunday at 5pm.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.