ST. CLOUD -- The cold weather is good news for bait shop owners and ice fishermen looking to get out and catch their dinner.

Ice conditions are improving across area lakes, albeit more slowly now that recent snowfalls have insulated the ice and slowed the process. Stop Light bait, Tackle, and Guns owner Aaron Kreller says the snowpack isn't helping the lakes freeze as fast as most anglers would like.  He says the ice just isn't ready for driving on in most cases.

Kreller says he's hearing reports that there is sufficient ice for walking, however. Anglers are reporting most smaller lakes in central Minnesota are seeing 6-8 inches of ice, but others like Clearwater Lake had only four inches of ice prior to the weekend cold snap.  Kreller says no new reports have come in yet because most anglers didn't venture out into the frigid conditions.  He's hopeful the weekend temps helped add another inch or two of ice

Kreller says always make sure to bring a chisel with you to check the ice thickness every few feet. He also says have ice picks along in case you fall through. They will help you climb out of the icy water and to safety.