Warm December Having Negative Affects on Ice Fishing
The ice fishing season has been dealt a setback this week with high temperatures in the 40s and 50s. Glen Schmitt from Outdoor News joined me on WJON. He explained last year at this time we has high temperatures in the teens, there was measurable snow on the ground and ice covering Central Minnesota lakes. That is not the case in 2023. Schmitt says we need a stretch of highs in the single digits and little to no wind to start making ice on lakes to get back on track.
Schmitt says many lakes in northern Minnesota either capped or had solid ice in swallow areas or bays and ice was starting to form on Central Minnesota lakes. He says the highs in the 30s weren't melting the ice enough but temps in the upper 40s and 50s are a setback for making ice. Schmitt doesn't advise attempting to ice fish locally this weekend even if you find ice. He says some gave it a shot last week but that ice is either not there or no longer safe.
Ice totals as of this morning include 4 to 6 inches on small lakes and bays north of Brainerd, 3 to 5 inches in the Brainerd lakes area and 3 or less locally. Schmitt says Red Lake in northern Minnesota were allowing ATVs to go out on lakes this week. He says there was still open water on Leech Lake, Mille Lacs and Lake of the Woods as of early this week.
Schmitt expects this late ice fishing season to impact the ice fishing industry. He says many of those selling ice fishing products were still sitting on product from last year due to the volatile season last winter/spring. Schmitt says the problem last season was too much snow and the challenge of getting around the ice.
If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Glen Schmitt it is available below.