Good morning, that awkward transition didn’t take long as the ice fishing season is upon us!  Had a handful of anglers in the bait shop yesterday buying bait for some early ice tip up action.  With the colder weather we have had and lack of snow, conditions have been great for making ice.  I am hearing 3-4″ of good ice around most shorelines on a lot of lakes in the area.  Even bigger water such as the Chip and Namakagon are iced over.  I don’t have details on depth of ice on those lakes but lakes like the Spider chain, LLL and Teal, and Moose lake are all in the 3-4″ range close to shore.  A slight warm up weather wise with temps in the mid to upper 30s all week, then back down to just below freezing.  It won’t affect the ice much as the high temps dont last long during the day, and we get well below freezing each night.  I’m seeing very little chance of snow until next weekend, and they are only calling for around an inch then.  

I won’t even go into a report by species for a couple of reasons…..this is going to be more of a PSA about being safe on the ice and the best ice fishing to be had right now is using Tip-ups on shallow flats or very near shorelines around dusk when fish are coming in shallow.  No need to push falling through by fishing out on mid lake structure or the basins to find fish.  

Start slow and check ice every 3-5 steps.  It may seem like way too much but ice can change quick.  Always be mindful of lakes that have stream/creek/river inlets and outlets as any kind of moving water can cause ice to have thin spots.  Deep water lakes may also still have open water with just decent ice around the edges.  No need to bring any machines out onto the lakes right now either…shouldn’t even have to say that but I will just put it out there.  Now is the time to go through your ice gear, put new line on reels/tip-ups, stock up on new jigs and plastics and get ready for a great ice season!  We are off to a much better start to this ice season vs last year and with the current weather pattern it looks to continue that trend!