Arctic Air Blast Kicks Off Maine’s Ice Fishing Season

With a blast of arctic air, Maine's ice fishing season is off to a solid start.

Jan. 1 marks the official start of the season, and dedicated anglers braved temperatures nearly 20 degrees below zero to ice fish on Sebago Lake Monday morning.

"It's not bad if you're moving around," said Aaron Cieslak.

He said the cold temperatures can't keep them away from their favorite winter past time.

Cieslak said typically they have to wait until February to ice fish on a body of water as large as Sebago Lake, but subzero temperatures helped freeze the water faster this year.

"People wait all year for this lake to freeze," he said. "It froze for the first [of the year], and everyone is excited."

The Maine Warden Service warns people to check ice thickness often, especially if it is the first outing of the year. It takes two inches of ice to support a person standing on a body of water, but it's not safe to ice fish unless there's around four inches. It takes several more inches to support the weight of a snowmobile or vehicle.

Late last month, a Warden Service plane crashed through thin ice when a pilot attempted to land it on Eagle Lake.

On Sebago Lake this New Year's Day, the only thing they're landing is fish -- and a lot of them.

"With these cold temperatures I think we're going to have a good time," said Brian Sullivan. "We'll be ice fishing into April."

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