Ice house dates wrong last week; Mar. 7 and 21 are deadlines
I have to start this week out with an apology. Last week I had stated the shelter off ice dates for the inland waters south of the highway lines from Moorhead to Duluth was Mar. 1, and north of that boundary line the removal date was Mar. 15. Those were last year's dates! I had stated next year the dates would be extended about a week. It is next year!
The true permanent fish house dates for removal are Mar. 7 for the inland waters south of the boundary line. For north of the divide line, the removal date this year is Mar. 21. Sorry! I am a little embarrassed. I seem to have forgotten the fact that after Dec. 31, we are into a new year! It wasn't my first mistake and I am positive it won't be my last. I hope I didn't mess up plans for too many of you. You still have some time to make your arrangements for getting your shelters off the ice. It was good to find out some people are reading this article, as I did receive corrective feedback from several people that noticed my error.
With the cool down we are experiencing now, and with the long range forecast, we should still have plenty of ice fishing in our area into March, and you'll be able to continue fishing out of your permanent shelter for a week longer this year.
Most fishermen in our area are chasing pan fish and perch now. The walleye bite has been inconsistent for most. We are also getting to the time of season that the tullibee and whitefish fisherman look forward to, as that bite starts to heat up as we get into these longer days with warmer temperatures.
For those wanting to get in walleye and sauger action, you may want to consider making a trip to Lake of the Woods sometime over the course of the next three weeks. Current reports are that 30 to 50 fish days are not uncommon. Some of the fish will run small, but there is no problem getting your eaters. When you are ice fishing at Lake of the Woods this time of year you always stand a chance at a trophy fish, and will most likely catch some picture size fish.
For me, this is the time I start to look forward to open water opportunities that will occur at Rainy River. The open water fishing already exists on pools four and five on the Mississippi. The Missouri River is also open now at Bismarck, N.D., but the report is that the fishing is slow. That bite report can change in a hurry as we get closer to spring. March brings lots of options to fisherman.
(Laabs runs Brad Laabs Guide Service in Detroit Lakes.)