Breaking the ice when the fish bite: Local competitions highlight Grand County as an ice fishing destination

Breaking the ice when the fish bite: Local competitions highlight Grand County as an ice fishing destination
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Local fishing guide Austin Howard has succeeded in keeping his life in fishing one way or another, whether it’s making rods, competing across the country, or showing anglers on his trips the sense of accomplishment that reeling in a catch through a hole in ice can bring.
Austin Howard/Courtesy Photo

The beauty of Grand County is that when temperatures drop, the fishing doesn’t stop. The area is home to 80 lakes and reservoirs, including Grand Lake, Colorado’s largest natural lake. Many of these vast bodies of water are prime ice fishing spots. The area’s frigid temperatures create a long ice fishing season. Once lakes froze over in mid December this year, many anglers headed out with augers, poles and tents, ready to catch some fish. Among them was Austin Howard of Granby.

Since he moved to Grand County from Wisconsin in 2008, Howard has fished year-round. For some, casting a line is a pastime — for Howard, it’s a sport he’s built his life…

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