My first time ice fishing was a truly 80's experience.

Probably the thing I remember the most, was thinking how cool it was that a tire could burn for hours. Someone's dad built a fire right on the ice, inside the middle of an old tire. Can you imagine the can of worms you'd open these days if you tried to start a tire fire on the ice? It would be pure chaos.

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash
Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

The only fish I caught that day were a yellow perch and a sucker. Obviously, neither of those were worth keeping. But I do have a lot of fond memories of that day. I've only been ice fishing a handful of times since, because I hate the cold so much, hahaha. But among Maine's outdoor traditions, ice fishing is by far one of the best.

You and your family can try it for the first time for free in February.

Maybe you've been a few times and own a bit of the gear necessary to do some ice fishing, but your friends next door haven't. In a couple weeks, they can try it for the first time without the hassle of having to get all the necessary license. If you get one every year for summer, who cares. But if you're on the fence and don't want to spend the money, this is your chance.

Ice fishing trap waits patiently for fish under the ice.

According to a press release from Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, the weekend of February 17th and 18th, folks can head out on the ice and do some winter angling, but not have to get their license. The MDFIW also does a similar event in the spring for open water fishing.

Senior man flyfishing in river
Stephen Schauer

For a regular person, a fishing license would cost $25. If you're a non-resident, it's almost double that. Multiply that by the number of people in your fishing party, and you've all saved some good money. So if you've ever been on the fence about watching some flags, this is as good a time as any.

Maine winters have had record lows at -50, and record highs near 80. How do other states stack up?

LOOK: The most extreme temperatures in the history of every state

Stacker consulted 2021 data from the NOAA's State Climate Extremes Committee (SCEC) to illustrate the hottest and coldest temperatures ever recorded in each state. Each slide also reveals the all-time highest 24-hour precipitation record and all-time highest 24-hour snowfall.

Keep reading to find out individual state records in alphabetical order.

Gallery Credit: Anuradha Varanasi

Biggest snowfalls recorded in Maine history

Stacker compiled a list of the biggest 1-day snowfalls in Maine using data from the National Centers for Environmental Information.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

LOOK: 50 Beloved Retail Chains That No Longer Exist

Stacker takes a look at 50 major retail chains that no longer exist and the reasons for their demise.  

Gallery Credit: Madison Troyer

More From WWMJ Ellsworth Maine