BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Several ice shanties lined the shoreline of the Small Boat Harbor on Lake Erie Thursday morning. Many local anglers say the recent cold temps are perfect for ice fishing.

“I got two bites and they got away! It’s my first time ice fishing,” said Ernesto Alvarez of Lackawanna. “I can get into it.”

For some anglers, it wasn’t the size of the catch that mattered.

“I caught a few small ones; that’s about it. I just enjoy being out; beats being at work,” said Adam Bosch of Amherst.

The local Coast Guard says before you venture out, make sure you tell someone where you are going and take safety precautions.

“Currently, we’re experiencing lower ice levels than usual,” said Andre Clansy, LT. JG., Coast Guard Buffalo Station. “Usually we see thicker ice levels. We always want to express, ice is not an extension of land. We strongly encourage people not to go out on the ice. But, when they do, we want to remind them to bring safety equipment and to practice the safety protocols.”

You can find the Great Lakes ice forecast by clicking or tapping here.

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Angelica Morrison is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.