Louisville ice fisherman offers tips for safety and success
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It takes a true fisherman to stand out in the cold and wait for the fish to bite, but recreational fishermen say ice fishing is one of a kind.
Willow Pond is right in the middle of Louisville, but in the middle of winter it doesn't see much action; only the occasional visit from Frank the fisherman.
Frank Delbridge has been catching fish his whole life.
"They usually don't bite that hard in the winter. It's just a little tug," he said.
He has a day job but when he can, he sneaks away to the ice.
"Your hands get so cold you can't close them and of course your toes go numb, but there's just something about being out on the ice and being able to fish in the winter. Not many people do it, but they're missing out. It's enjoyable," Delbridge told WDRB.
He says when it comes to standing on the ice, he relies on a few guidelines but mostly common sense.
"Four inches is the rule for ice fishing for people to be on it. But when I first get on it, I usually thump it to listen for the sound of the ice. If it's got a hollow sound, it's questionable. But this has got a real nice hard ping to it. It's in good shape," he said.
He seemed knowledgeable, so WDRB ventured out for the full experience.
"The five degrees overnight doubled the thickness," he assured.
A fire crew even stopped by during the shoot to ensure safety.
"I've never been under except for getting a foot under," Delbridge said.
He uses an ice auger to drill a hole and then it's hook, line and sinker.
The state stocked some urban ponds with rainbow trout over the summer, which is what he was catching.
"Once you find them, you're right on top of them. In the summertime, this lake here you're not allowed to have a boat on it so it's all bank fishing. To cast a bobber from there to the middle is almost impossible," he explained.
He caught fish after fish after fish.
"Atmospheric pressure has a lot to do with it. I don't know. The cold might have something to do with it," Delbridge said regarding his luck.
Delbridge says the conditions Tuesday were perfect for the sport.
The sun was shining, the ice was just the right thickness and the hungry fish? Well, they're going home with Frank for dinner.
"The fish taste better. I think. That's just my thinking."
Metro Parks and DNR officials don't encourage you to be on the ice.
You have to have a special license on top of a regular fishing license to keep trout.
For a video about safety from the Indiana Department of Natural resources, click here.
Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All rights reserved.