The air boats are rolling and the augers are drilling holes on Lake Erie's Western Basin. Ice anglers are loving these cold temperatures.

For the first time in years, Lake Erie is nearly covered with a layer of ice.

Cleveland Metroparks fisheries biologist Mike Durkalec has been checking the ice at the Gordon Park boat ramp. It's decent, but iffy around the edges.

Remember, currents mean danger.

"Anywhere you have inflows/outflows things like that, that's where you have to use extra, extra caution," Durkalec warns.

Even though the lake looks solid from the top, it may not be so underneath. Ice Charter Captain John Gribble says there are a lot of variables that can change ice conditions fast, regardless of thickness.

"You still gotta watch it every day whether it's the changing in the wind direction or a slight increase in temperature, those cracks are the biggest thing when they open," Gribble explains.

You can wear your life vest, have your ice picks ready if you go in, but if you aren't experienced, Durkalec says it's never a bad idea from a safety and best use of your time standpoint to consider hiring a guide.

It may save you from making a fatal mistake.