Brad Laabs: Get your new fishing license; and move those fish houses
Ice fishing will continue for a week or so in our area with anglers focusing on gils, crappies, perch, and tullibee. Ice conditions are good, but stay to plowed roads and trails on the lakes.
DETROIT LAKES — March is here, and you now need your new 2023 MN fishing license.
Your license will be good from now until March 1 of 2024. Also very important to note, is the inland season for walleye and northern pike is now closed and will not reopen until May.
Ice fishing will continue for a week or so in our area with anglers focusing on gils, crappies, perch, and tullibee. Ice conditions are good, but with the additional inches of new snow, and blowing and drifting with the high winds, stay to plowed roads and trails on the lakes. Drifting on area lakes has been an issue all of the ice season and just got worse with this last major snow followed by the high winds.
Many of the community fishing spots are plowed out thanks to Mike Witt of Quality Bait. He has been maintaining access to several area lakes and community fishing locations all season at his own expense. Help say thank you with a financial contribution to help defray all the expenses of time/gas/repair/and maintenance when you stop in to buy tackle and bait. This season has had many snow events with blizzard conditions, lots of snow, and many days of high winds and drifting that required all the roads and pull out areas on area lakes to continue to need to be re-opened.
This is a time of the ice season when the need for shelters is not as important. Anglers will be able to enjoy “bucket” fishing in the open for many of the remaining days left with our ice season. Low-wind days with temps in the 20’s and some sunshine are great days to be on the ice.
Portables can come in handy if needed when the temps drop, or on the higher wind days. When the wind is blowing across the snow and ice, it can feel much cooler even when the temps are mild and the sun is shining.
The sun is powerful this time of the season and some wet, heavy snow and slushing can occur even when the temps are slightly below freezing, but the sun is out and the skies are clear.
Remember that fish house removal dates are here for lakes south of highways 10 and 34, and you will need to remove your house soon if you are on lakes north of highways 10 and 34. If you have a house up on Lake of the Woods you have until March 31 to get that off the lake.
You can still use hard houses as long as you put them on and take them off, and not leave them on the ice unattended. Weather and conditions this time of the ice season are always a consideration. Use common sense and make good decisions.
(Laabs owns Brad Laabs Guide Service in Detroit Lakes)