The Flag Outdoors Expert Steve Carney has your weekly Outdoors Angle right here!

     As we get into the beginning of the ice fishing season, anglers are stepping gingerly on just a few inches of ice so far this December. This is the time of the winter I pare down my gear and travel as light as possible as most of the early fishing is via foot travel.

     I bring along just a couple of rods, electric drill with auger, very small minnow bucket and my electronics and that's it. Most importantly are the safety items needed such as a life vest, ice picks around your neck and most importantly, ice cleats. We have been experiencing glare ice conditions with no snow so ice cleats are a must have item. It's easy to fall and break your leg or elbow on glare ice so having a good quality set of ice cleats is imperative. Don't buy the budget cleats as they fail within a couple of months. Go for the industrial models which are expensive but well worth the extra cost. Look for the stainless steel teeth on the bottom. Expect to pay around 70.00 for a pair but this is probably the most important piece of early ice gear in your possession.

     Keep the faith! Ice is starting to get better as the days go by. Be patient... the best ice fishing is yet to come!

Steve Carney is The Flag WZFG Outdoors expert. He can be heard every Thursday morning at 8:05 on AM 1100 WZFG. Check out his weekly podcast on am1100theflag.com and hear his Outdoors Angle reports every Friday on AM 1100 WZFG. You can also visit stevecarneyoutdoors.com for more information.

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