By Troy Treasure
Biting cold breezes swept across Hunnewell Lake, but 14 anglers did not seem deterred as a Missouri Department of Conservation ice fishing seminar concluded Saturday, February 8.
Visitors came from as far away as Putnam County and Spain … sort of.
Jaume Garcia de Sivatte and Carlos Pena Carvallo de Cora are student-athletes at Hannibal-LaGrange University.
“It was a good mix of folks from all over. I think it turned out really well,” MDC angler education assistant Tony Messina said. “I think the youngest one is five and the oldest; I think he’s probably pushing 80.”
Before going outside to fish, indoor presentations were given. Safety was the lead subject. MDC volunteer Bob Leake of Hannibal emphasized no one should ever walk on ice-covered water until surface ice is at least four inches thick. He also demonstrated how to hang ice picks around one’s neck to use in the unfortunate event a person was to fall through ice.
The use of hand and power ice augers along with Tip-Up and Tip-Down fishing devices were discussed.
Leake also spoke about proper attire, including use of panty hose on the legs. The hose act as an insulator of body temperature, which will drop quickly in ice-cold water.
Shelby County Conservation Agent Kevin Lockard was on hand to talk about fishing rules and regulations. During his detailed presentation, Lockard indicated writing tickets is not a thrill but he took an oath to preserve nature and wildlife for future generations.
MDC provided rods, reels and bait for visitors once the group went outside. Previously-augered fishing holes were dock-side.
The fish were not biting, likely searching for warmer temperatures in deeper portions of the lake.
Still, Garcia de Sivatte agreed when it was mentioned there are not many ice-fishing opportunities in his hometown of Barcelona, a coastal city located on the Mediterranean Sea.