SUV falls through the ice on Waubay Lake

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Going ice fishing without doing any research or preparation may leave you walking on thin ice.

"It was good ice for the most part all the way around the ice," said Calvin Meyer, a Conservation Officer with Game, Fish, and Parks in Webster.

A small SUV fell into the water at Waubay Lake after the ice cracked.

"It looked just like this ice, and they went in and they only had about an inch or less of door clearance top get out, otherwise they would have had to get out through a window," Meyer said.

Although everybody made it out of the situation safely, it's a scary reminder that anything can happen when ice fishing.

"You hear the good fishing stories so they're chomping a the bit saying 'I want to get out there, I want to get out there," said Zach Flakus, a longtime fisherman.

Zach Flakus has been fishing in Northeast South Dakota for decades. As much as he loves the sport, he understands that preparation is key to success.

"A lot of it is just common sense. You've got to know what the temperature has been, what is the reports from other people on what the ice is like, and then you've got to be smart enough to know the difference between good clear ice. If you can hear the ice cracking that's good ice because it's making more ice," Flakus said.

But if you aren't able to fully prepare, GF&P Officers say at least be smart about where you're going to fish.

"Make sure you're letting people know where you're going, I always like to bring rope with me," Meyer said.

Meyer and the rest of the GF&P Officers hope they don't see this happen again for the rest of the season.