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Happy New Year, 2023

If you have followed my blog for a while, you know that my first day on the ice each year is a day to be celebrated!  In fact, I proclaim that day each year as “New Year’s Day”.  It is the first day of the new ice season, first day of the next year’s season.

I celebrated New Year’s Day 2023 on “black Friday”.

Yes, I know that was a couple of weeks ago.  I did not blog about it until now because, well, there have been other things to blog about.  In addition, I hesitate to proclaim that I have been on the ice fishing when there is little safe ice.  As a matter of fact, on that weekend, my son and I checked ice on several waters and walked away from them because there was not enough.  But my cousin knew of a small pond, down in a valley, protected from the afternoon sun, and we found 7 inches of ice there!

For only the second time in my life, I was on the ice on Thanksgiving weekend!

We spent a lot of time with family over Thanksgiving, and that first day on the ice was a “kid’s day”!  As it should be!  There will be plenty of time later for hard-core efforts.


We caught fish.  The girls slipped on the ice and fell on their backsides.  A great time was had by all.  I am not going to tell you that we caught and released a bunch of big fish, most were small, but a couple of 8-inch bluegills hit the ice as well as a couple of 13-inch largemouth bass.


The bite actually slowed towards evening; just the opposite of what we expected.  So, we quit early and goofed around looking for raccoons and deer.  It was all good, we were with family in Nebraska’s great outdoors!

My son had spent some time on the ice prior to Thanksgiving.  He caught fish that were much more representative as “New Year’s Fish, 2023”.


Still not much if any safe ice in most of the state right now.  Wait for it.  Make sure you are safe, Annual Ice Safety Reminder.  Soon enough we can all be celebrating the New Year!

About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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