Winter activities in Saskatchewan are abundant and there is no greater outdoor activity as synonymous with our province during the cold months as ice fishing.

So what are you waiting for? Time to pull out your ice auger, wind your fishing line and prep your tackle box. Get ready to hit the ice for great fishing around hotspots close to the city.

There are several lakes in and around the Regina including: Long lake, Mission, Echo, Pasqua, Buffalo Pound and Katepwa to name a few; where perch, walleye, burbot, pike, whitefish and trout can be caught.

You may want to check first to see if the ice on your favourite fishing hole is ready as this winter certainly has been mild. I just saw an image of a truck stuck halfway through the ice – so exercise caution.

Take your choice of fishing from a stool, especially if it’s nice out as it offers the ability to appreciate the white winter panorama and bright prairie sky; or, you could always fish from the open door of your vehicle. But, if you are the serious type, you will enjoy the comfort of your own shack (or a rented one).

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The ice fishing season lasts about three months, finishing up mid to late March when thawing often begins.

New to the ice-fishing scene? No need to worry, as it’s easy to get started. To be well prepared for a day out on the ice you need some basic equipment and warm clothing. If you need guidance, hire an outfitter. They can offer a range of services and make your ice fishing experience easier and more enjoyable. Regina Outfitters is one I have used in the past and I recommend their services, especially if you are new to the ice fishing game.

Sporting layers is definitely a must. Be sure to pack an auger, rod, line, tackle and some bait, and you should be set. Most importantly, remember to buy a fishing license and pack a camera to capture your record setting trophy fish! Oh, and don't forget the hot chocolate.

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Try embracing winter this year and give ice fishing a go. Fishing In Saskatchewan is another great resource that will provide you with all the information to make your ice fishing adventure a great one.

Bonus: To celebrate National Fishing Day, February 13-15 is a free fishing weekend in Saskatchewan, which means no fishing licenses required. Happy casting!

As the temperatures are always changing, use common sense and be safe! Here is a general guide from Fishing in Saskatchewan on when to stay off the ice.