GRAFTON, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Anglers of all ages braved the frigid weather, with wind chills well below -20º at some points, for the 36th annual ice fishing tournament at Grafton Lakes State Park Saturday.

“Yeah it’s cold man,” said Adam Winter, who went fishing with his friends.

While brutally cold, the frigid weather allowed the ice to finally hit 6 inches on the ponds at Grafton Lakes, the so-called “magic” number according to the park manager.

“We actually hit it just yesterday. Every night we’ve been making ice, just crossing our fingers,” said Melissa Miller, the park manager.

The ideal thickness allows anglers of all ages to get their lines in the water safely, “It’s just kind of an escape. You just get to be out here, fish and just spend time with buddies, family, and friends and just have a good time really,” said Winter.

Park staff also made sure everyone was aware of the dangers of the extreme cold, including recognizing the signs of frostbite and hypothermia.

“If you start to feel confused, that could be a sign that you are starting to get hypothermic. We also have staff out there, that are doing fish checks and also make sure the patrons are feeling well and being checked on,” Miller explained.

Anglers also made sure to take several precautions to handle the elements.

“Bringing hand warmers, having the right gear. I use my hunting gear, just need a windbreaker, having a shanty with a heater in it, especially at these temperatures frostbite is a really good possibility,” said Winter, who participated in the tournament for the first time this weekend.

With people back on the water, Miller is reminding New Yorkers that parks are open year-round across the state.

“Come on out, it’s a great time if you’re feeling stuck inside. There’s snowshoeing, there’s ice fishing, there are tons of fun things,” she said.

If you’re considering getting out on the water for ice fishing, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation reminds everyone that 3-4 inches of ice are generally safe, but that thickness is never uniform on any body of water.