Mild winter ruining ice fishing season

Posted at 7:40 PM, Jan 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-28 06:45:16-05

One group of people who are really hoping for more frigid weather are ice fishermen. Due to the mild winter so far, ice fishing is nearly nonexistent along Lake Erie and it is having an impact on everything from tourism to sales.

"Most of the guys are chomping at the bit and can't wait to get out there and go ice fishing," said Steve Schrecengost, owner of Sam I Am Fishing Charters.

Local fishing supplies stores say they are seeing sluggish sales of ice fishing supplies while people wait to see if the ice gets safe enough to go out on.

"The last two years, it was so arctic that a lot of people got so geared up for this year, and they are just waiting and waiting and waiting," said Steve Hawkins from Captain Bob's Outdoor store in Clarence.

Normally, the ice fishing season brings in sportsmen from around the country and the world. This winter, those out-of-state fishermen are staying home.

"At Sturgeon Point, they are normally so many cars with trailers they were backed up on Sturgeon Point Road.  This year, there is nobody," added Jim Hanley, owner of Jim Hanley's Charters.

However, the slow ice fishing season might end up having a springtime bonus as lack of lake ice could get charter fishing boats onto Lake Erie sooner.

7 Eyewitness News reporter Ed Reilly talked with local fishermen and charter boat captains about the situation.




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