MANTUA, Utah (ABC4) — It’s cold, it’s a little bit dangerous if you don’t do it right, and it’s also a lot of fun if you do — ice fishing is back in Northern Utah, and we took a trip to Mantua Reservoir to face the subfreezing temperatures and see what makes ice fishers brave the elements.

As one family celebrates another catch, a family on the other side of the reservoir prepares for a friendly competition.

“When we catch a fish, I like to hold them,” Hunter Greenwell told ABC4. Hunter spent the day ice fishing with his dad and sister. The Greenwell family was all smiles, but don’t be fooled, they are each hoping to get bragging rights.  

“She’s really good at talking crap too,” Tyler Greenwell told ABC4 while looking down at his daughter. “She’s really good at rubbing it into her brother.” When asked what he would do if he caught the most fish, Greenwell replied, “I’ll brag a little bit. She usually wins though.”  

“When we catch a fish, Dad gets really excited,” Emily Greenwell said. “Last time when we were out ice fishing, we caught close to 30 perch, I think.”  

Taking Safety Measures

Along with the Greenwells, dozens of families made the trip to Mantua Reservoir for their first ice fishing trip of the season.   

The small reservoir in Box Elder County is now fully capped with ice. However, before finding yourself on thin ice, Utah State Parks has a reminder for fishers.   

Always use caution and know that no ice is guaranteed to be safe. Never venture out on ice that is thinner than four inches. Don’t take an ATV on the ice if it is thinner than nine inches. And drill a test hole to double check thickness. These are just some of the most basic safety tips, although you can read more to keep yourself safe

“I want safe ice,” Greenwell told ABC4. While he would have liked to go ice fishing sooner, he waited until the ice was fairly thick before loading up the gear and taking the kdis. “I don’t want to worry about a kid falling in or me falling in. That ruins it.”  

It was a slow day on the ice for most fishers. About half of the people who spoke to ABC4 Reporter Kade Garner had sadly gone without a single catch. However, that’s just part of the fun. Many enjoy sliding on the ice, eating snacks, and spending time with family.  

“It’s just something to do. You know?” One fisher said. “Take the dog out of the house.” 

With this being the first ice fishing trip of the season for the Greenwell family, hopes were high. They hoped to beat their record of 30 fish, and each wanted to outperform the other. “Yeah, I would probably want to catch like, 12!” Emily exclaimed.