Lack of snow helps ice fishing

By Bill Bartusek

Though many are sad because of the lack of snow, area anglers celebrate. The cold weather, coupled with little or no snow, is a great combination for lake ice. Right now most area lakes sport about 15 inches of good ice. It’s a great start and it should continue throughout the rest of the angling season.

This scenario also leads to pretty good angling success. I think this is directly influenced by the lack of snow. People are able to stay very mobile. They are driving everything the own onto the ice. Travel is pretty safe and easy because of the lack of snow. The ice isn’t overly thick so power augers make short work of drilling several holes until you find a good spot or actually see fish.

Many lakes are having a good winter. In the Waterville area, Washington has been mentioned several times. The bite there includes panfish as well as walleye. In the Faribault area, several lakes are giving up fish. French Lake has been putting out some good crappie and walleye action. Cedar is doing well on the walleye action too. Mazaska has been hot for crappies while General Shields is holding its own for some nice sunfish action.

As we head north, Prior Lake is giving up some dandy sunfish. After dark the walleye action picks up too!

Way up north the action has been steady also. Lake of the Woods is having another great year. That is a heck of a fishery. Red Lake has been just hot for those big crappies. Mille Lacs Lake is holding its own for walleye and the perch there have grown up some. Winner perch are doing well and numbers of fish are being taken there.

I have been sampling the area fishing with good success. I should know a little more after this week. Maybe I’ll see you out on the ice.

Be smart when on the ice and make sure you don’t leave any garbage on the lake when you leave.

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