Snow a welcome sight for outdoor enthusiasts

By Bill Bartusek

Usually March signals the approach of spring, and it probably still will. But right now, it may not seem that way.

Most of the northern half of the state had no snow on the ground all winter. That has finally changed with all of Minnesota getting snow over the last two weekends. Many areas went from nothing to three feet of snow in just 10 days.

For snow enthusiasts, as well as bar owners, this is a welcome sight. Business owners had a very slow winter because of the lack of snow. They are now excited to be welcoming the recent snows. They need to take advantage of the snow because we all know it won't last long. It could be gone by the end of the month.

Anglers almost got their houses off the lakes with ease. The snow came right before the February 28 deadline to remove houses from the ice. Those who waited until the last minute definitely had a more difficult time doing so with all the snow.

Ice fishing hasn't ended by any means. Just driving by the lakes last Sunday, I saw quite a few vehicles out on the lakes. That tells me the late ice bite is going strong. That's for panfish, unless you travel to the Boundary Waters area or get out of the state.

Panfishing usually improves as warmer weather comes in March. Ice is usually the thickest it has been all year and should be safe for another month or so. It's easy to see what's going on in each lake by the number of people or cars on the ice. Anglers usually are more willing to share success when it comes to panfish. They will tell you what's going on and where the fish are biting.

If you're tired of the ice, you have to head south. My son, Bill, and friends did just that. Their trip culminated in Texas where they targeted bass while there (more on that later).

Another friend of mine is headed to Florida in a few days. He'll be fishing there, and I can't wait to hear about it.

Don't forget that new shelter and fishing licenses are due now!

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