Two upstate anglers fall through ice, reminding us that winter fishing can be dangerous
News that two ice fishermen fell through Channel Lake’s ice Sunday afternoon should serve as a reminder that hard water in Illinois can be elusive – and dangerous.
After a cold snap that froze a majority of lakes and ponds in the state in early January, warmer temperatures and rain opened up much of the water south of I-80 this past week. Flooding even hampered some rivers and streams.
I’m not yet sure what led to the incident on Channel Lake, which is one of the northern-most bodies on the Fox Chain. I’m sure we will learn more as the week goes on. Let’s just be thankful those two anglers are still around.
Meanwhile, it looks like river fishing will be turbulent for awhile. I tried to hook some walleye and sauger on the Illinois River near Ottawa this morning (Jan. 23). The river is a bit shifty right now, and the water level is very high. I did land one walleye in the 18- to 20-inch range using a white jig.
The water level was a bit too risky, and I will probably wait a few days to see how it plays out before trying it again. Colder temps are predicted for this coming weekend, so maybe I will head north and find some solid ice.