Good ice-making but challenging fishing
It seems like a long time since we have gone into a new year with no snow on the ground. Every season seems to have a new twist making them all unique. With the lack of snow cover and the recent extreme cold snap, the lakes have had a chance to c...
It seems like a long time since we have gone into a new year with no snow on the ground. Every season seems to have a new twist making them all unique. With the lack of snow cover and the recent extreme cold snap, the lakes have had a chance to continue to make ice. We have great ice conditions now and they are getting better. With the lack of snow cover, anglers have been able to get to some mid-lake structure that typically doesn’t get plowed to in most years.
With the early ice, the bizarre warm melt and re-freeze, lack of snow, and now the severe cold snap, ice conditions are in solid shape heading into the 2015 portion of the ice season.
For the winter anglers that like to move around and explore, conditions could hardly be better than right now. Just make sure that if you move your permenant house to a distant off shore location, you keep in mind that things will probably not stay like they are now. Getting houses set up is sometimes much easier than getting them removed.
At some point we are going to get some snow, so make good decisions and use common sense on the ice as you test out new water.
The holidays are always a busy time. Many are busy with holiday celebrations, travel and visiting, holiday tournaments, bowl games, and year-end work projects. Some are able to get out for some ice adventures during the holidays, but for many others, the next several weeks become the winter ice prime-time, as schedules return to normal, and outside demands and distractions lessen.
Unfortunately, this is also the time of the ice season that the bite can become more challenging and can slow down compared to the early ice experiences. But, like always, the best time to go fishing is when you can.
I hope you received some of the ice fishing goodies you were hoping for in your Christmas stocking this year. You will still have, at minimum, a good six weeks to enjoy your ice adventures.
The next few weeks also bring the start of the ice fishing derby season. These derbies have become great fundraising and social events that can take the edge off any winter blues.
Personally, this year has been limited ice activity for me compared to past years - just one of those years. Projects, commitments, travel and visiting, has limited my time on the ice so far. I also know that I am now done for the rest of the season, as I am having shoulder surgery next week. Just another example of how sometimes life interferes with life. There is no good time to be laid up for me, but this stretch probably works the best. I am grateful I have a choice, as many times the issues life deals to us don’t give us a choice. That is why, again, the best time to go fishing is when you can.
While this winter season up to this point has been good for ice fishing in our area, it has hurt many of the area businesses that depend on the snow. When we don’t have snow, we don’t get as many visitors to our area for the recreational opportunities. That hurts our local economy and robs some winter outdoor enthusiasts of their sports. Minnesotans are creative when it comes to winter activities, and snow plays a major role in many of them. Let’s hope and pray for a little snow in the next couple weeks so we have a good balance for all winter activities for the rest of this winter. Happy 2015 to all!
(Laabs runs Brad Laabs’ Guide Service in Detroit Lakes.)