The warmer than normal weather in Central Minnesota has caused a late start to the ice fishing season.  Glen Schmitt from Outdoor News joined me on WJON.  Schmitt explains the temperatures are getting close to normalizing this week but the ice locally is generally not safe and he's waiting at least a week before giving ice fishing a shot here.  He says what we really need is a stretch of high temperatures in the single digits and lows below zero.  The 10 day forecast indicates that colder stretch could be coming within the next 6-10 days.

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photo courtesy of Glen Schmitt
photo courtesy of Glen Schmitt

Schmitt says many of the area lakes either have a thin film of ice or no ice at all on portions or their lakes.  He has some suggestions for anglers wanting to fish bigger bodies of water in Minnesota right now.  Schmitt says there have been incidents of people falling through the ice on Red Lake and Lake of the Woods which has led to vehicle bans on many lakes.  He says resorts and bait shops are out checking the ice depths daily and are a good resource when determining whether the ice is safe to fish on and what mode of transportation you should be used on the ice.

The Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza is still scheduled to happen at the end of January and Maple Lake is hosting an ice fishing contest the first weekend in February.  Schmitt says he expects a decision within the next week or 2 in regards to how those contests will handle their events going forward.  He says Brainerd may choose to make their event virtual this season if the weather doesn't cooperate soon enough.

If you'd like to listen to my full conversation with Glen Schmitt it is available below.



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