Man finds way to ice fish without stepping on ice

Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2002

OWATONNA, Minn. (AP) -- Brian Wilson is a fish out of water. He likes to scuba dive when he is not fishing. He can't stay away from the lake, even if the ice is too thin to walk on.

Wilson found a way to fish this winter without walking on the ice. He fishes from the dock at Lake Kohlmier. Every day after 3 p.m., Wilson drives out to the lake. He breaks a hole in the ice with a special chisel he made. Wilson welded an arm onto the chisel to prevent it from falling through the ice if he drops it.

Also in Wilson's fishing arsenal is a pole fitted with a special bobber that he made himself out of a special polystyrene. The bobbers last longer than ones bought in the store, Wilson claims.

The fish love Wilson's wax worm, which he used for bait in the 14-foot depths of Lake Kohlmier.

''Just as long as I do some sort of fishing, I'm happy,'' said Wilson, wearing a fur hat, blaze orange coat, jeans and boots.

People want to get on the ice so much, Wilson said, he has heard people are strapping wooden planks to their feet. Wilson said he wouldn't go that far to catch fish.

Wilson is a 15-year ice angler. He has been featured in ''In Fisherman'' magazine three times for the Master Angler Award.

''I catch fish for the numbers,'' Wilson said baiting his hook, throwing it in the water and watching the bobber. Wilson added he prefers practicing the catch and release method.

''It's something in your blood.''

The peace and serenity keep Wilson coming back for more fishing night after night. He said he also likes the challenge despite the cold.

''I can handle the cold real well,'' Wilson said.

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