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Fishing Lines - More people enjoying ice fishing than ever this winter

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Ice conditions in our area are in excellent shape. The small amount of snow and the cold conditions have made for quality ice conditions.

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Most lakes in our area have about 20 inches and are safe for vehicle traffic.

The small amount of snow cover has also been good for ATV travel, and there is enough snow for snowmobile travel.

With the current conditions, we will continue to make half and inch of ice a day.

If we get the stretch of 15 degree below zero weather that is forecast, we will make an inch of ice a day during that period.

No worries from the couple days of warm-up and rain we had last week as the melt, rain and re-freeze has kept the ice in very good condition. It is weird to get a couple of January thaw days!

As always, a reminder that frozen lakes are never 100 percent safe, and you must exercise caution and good common sense when traveling on ice.

Not only are the ice conditions excellent, but fishing in our area has also remained very good. We have seen more people this winter enjoying ice fishing than ever before.

The good ice conditions, good fishing, excellent winter clothing, and quality gear have helped with the growing popularity of this winter sport.

We typically start to see a decline in the bite activity as we get to mid-January, but that has not been the case as of yet in our area.

When (or if) the bite does start to slow down in our area, traveling to other major ice fishing destinations can keep you on the bite. Lake of the Woods is probably the most popular destination.

This year Mille Lacs, Red, Leech, and Winnibigosh in Minnesota and Devils Lake in North Dakota have all been producing well and should continue to do so for the remainder of the ice season.

The cold front will slow things in our area for a few days, but these fronts affect the big waters and popular ice fishing destinations also.

If you are looking for something else to do when you get off the ice, the next couple of weekends will offer some great opportunities to feed the boater/angler in you.

The Fargodome will host the 21st Annual Boat and Marine Show, Jan. 25-27.

Along with all the great deals on boats, marine products, and fishing gear, they also have a couple of excellent speakers lined up for multiple presentations.

Hall of Fame angler "MR. Walleye" Gary Roach and marine electronics expert Jason Durham will each present a couple times a day for each day of the show.

The following week, Jan. 31-Feb. 3 (Thursday through Sunday), the Minneapolis Convention Center will host their Boat Show.

The weekends following the boat shows will have several ice fishing derby opportunities.

In next week's article, I will get a list of some of the derbies coming up that you will want to put on your calendar.

We never have an excuse to be bored living in Detroit Lakes.

(Laabs runs Brad Laabs Guide Service in Detroit Lakes.)

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