The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources shared a reminder of the current ice fishing regulations on their Facebook page. Some anglers use these posts as a way to communicate their questions and requests to the department. A recent question had a surprising answer that could soon change how we ice fish.

The DNR posted the regulations with a feature also highlighting the angler, Andy Choe, on the cover.

Andy is a Minnesota-born, first-generation Korean American who loves fishing. His favorite way to fish is on the ice and loves the peace of the outdoors. He was featured on the cover of this year's regulations which you can find here.

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One of the comments caught my eye on the post. An angler asked the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, "Why are auto hook setters illegal if they lip hook when regular tip-ups gut hook the fish?"

What is gut hooking with a tip-up?

A tip-up is a fishing device in which you put your bait on a hook and drop it down the hole. When a fish bites the hook and takes the bait, a flag pops up letting the angler know they have a fish on. Many times you catch a fish this way, and the hook ends up gut-hooking a fish, which can be very damaging to the fish. If the fish is not legal, out of the slot, or you just want to release it, it may not survive.

What is an auto (spring-loaded) hook setter?

These are different than tip-ups and are legal in every other state besides Minnesota. The way it works is you set up the automatic hook setter and place your rod and bait in the device. When a fish bites it automatically sets the hook and you can then reel it in manually. It's a very popular method in other states besides Minnesota.

Minnesota DNR Says They Are Rewriting The Rule.

The DNR in the comments said that they agree that automatic hook setters are no worse than tip-ups, and that they are actually in the process of writing a permanent rule to allow the use. They hope that it will be in place for next year's season.

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People have been asking for a regulation change for years.

While doing research for this story, I actually found petitions from as long as 10 years ago that were asking for this rule change. Many anglers will be happy with this change if it indeed comes true.

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Gallery Credit: Meagan Drillinger