A warmer than normal November is preventing ice fishing from happening as early as some would like.  Glen Schmitt from Outdoor News joined me on WJON.  He says despite highs above freezing locally recently many of the lakes capped Monday.  Schmitt says bigger lakes like Koronis, Rice or Clearwater are partially covered.  Shallow lakes and wind protected bays will freeze first.  Schmitt says Pearl Lake south of St. Cloud was completely ice covered while deeper Grand Lake to the north and west of Pearl is still open.

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photo courtesy of Andrew Schmitt
photo courtesy of Andrew Schmitt

If you want to find ice, anglers can go as close as Brainerd.  Schmitt says on Red Lake in northern Minnesota they have 5 to 7 inches of ice.   He suggests using common sense and walking out to start with.  He says 4 inches of good solid ice is recommended for walking.  Schmitt says newly formed ice generally is stronger than old decaying ice we have in late winter/early spring.  He says when ice fishing early in the season go with someone and travel light.  Schmitt says the amount of time spent above freezing each day is small... 2-3 hours in the afternoon.  He says the rest of the day we are making ice.

The St. Paul ice fishing show will take place Friday-Sunday.  Schmitt says this is the biggest show in the country.  He says there are over 200 exhibitors this year and it increases each year.  The event includes free seminars, the latest ice fishing gear and clothing.  The event will also include appearances from top ice fishermen Dave Gentz and Jason Mitchell.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Glen Schmitt it is available below.



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