Oswego, NY (WSYR-TV) -
In Oswego County, they're no strangers to two things: water and winter weather. The combination of both making for the perfect winter sport-- ice fishing.
"You need to look at the conditions and not the calendar. Because it's late in January or when it gets to be early February, the thaw and stuff we've had you know you can't just say, 'I usually go ice fishing the third or fourth week of January or it's Regents week or whatever we do,'" said Chief Jeff McCrobie, Oswego Fire Department.
So it's important for the Oswego Fire Department to be ready, just in case, since the weather ever changing. Chief McCrobie says you need at least four inches of thick ice, made with an extended freeze, meaning no rain. Something he says we have yet to see this season.
"The whiter the ice, the harder the ice; if there's browning in it or whatever, even plants coming up underneath it, that means it's not as strong," said McCrobie.
But if you're going some place new and you're unsure, just ask.
"If you're in from out of town or outside the area, ask the people that know the area, ask in the bait shop, 'have you seen anybody ice fishing out there?'" said McCrobie.
Before you go out on the ice, make sure to wear a safety vest and tell someone where you are and who you're with.
Chief McCrobie also recommends bringing screw drivers or ice picks in your pockets to help get your bearings should something go wrong.
Deputies in Oswego County say the poor ice conditions were a contributing factor to the deaths of the two Baldwinsville men who fell through an icy pond in Sandy Creek Monday morning.