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Adults can fish free this weekend through Take a Kid Fishing

Minnesotans age 16 or older can try ice fishing without purchasing an angling license if they take a child younger than 16 fishing during Take-A-Kid Ice Fishing Weekend this Saturday through Monday.

"This is an opportunity to get outdoors with friends and family and connect with nature," said Mike Kurre, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) mentoring program coordinator. "And there are a number of opportunities for people to learn how."

Several Minnesota state parks, including Lake Bemidji State Park, are offering Take-A-Kid Ice Fishing opportunities during this special weekend.

Kids ages 8-15 can join the Lake Bemidji State Park naturalist for an afternoon of perch fishing on Lake Bemidji. Participants must register for events by contacting the appropriate state park. A daily or annual vehicle permit is required to enter state parks.

Unlike summertime shore fishing, ice fishing presents some unique challenges. Dressing in layers is the best way to deal with winter's icy chill. Layers keep people warm by creating pockets of warm air and helping moisture evaporate.

Plopping an ice shelter down in the middle of ice shack city doesn't guarantee success because noise and traffic often spook fish, so find a private hole. If that's not an option, keep to the outside ring of these "cities on ice."

Try different jigging styles. If a slow, methodical jigging motion isn't working, try an aggressive one, or try a lift-and-drop technique.