On many winter days in Michigan, Lakes like Vineyard Lake are full of people ice fishing, but current conditions are causing concerns for anglers. There has been so much concern about safety that some ice fishing tournaments have been canceled.
For the manger at Knutson’s Sporting Goods in Brooklyn, ice fishing is a family business passed down from generation to generation for more than 60 years. He says the decision to cancel the Midwest Open was disappointing.
“We just did not have the ice conditions to put on a tournament of that caliber with 300 fisherman on the ice conditions that we have right now in Southern Michigan,” said Manager at Knutson’s Sporting goods, Tom Knutson.
Knutson says they need at least nine inches of ice to ensure a safe tournament. Right now the lake is only covered in four inches.
If you do decide to head out on the ice, Knutson says be sure to slam a spud to check stability.
“If it takes three really hard spuds to get through the ice you’re on ok ice. You can at least you’re not going to fall right through it,” said Knutson.
Also, try to fish with a buddy, carry rope, and ice spikes in case of an emergency.
For Knutson, the weather is really affecting his bottom line.
“Business has been horrible for us. For businesses like us that rely on this, but it’s not just us, take the snow plow guys, the salt people. Any of those people we are all in the same boat, and we understand it,” said Knutson.
He’s hoping that next winter will be different.
“We have our merchandise for next year that will be put right back on the shelf next fall for next winter’s hopefully big ice that’s going to happen.”