Getting Close to Ice Fishing in the St. Cloud Area
The weather cooling down isn't what everyone wants but if you are an ice fisherman it's what the doctor ordered. Glen Schmitt from Outdoor News joined me on WJON today. He says we've been making ice over the past week locally and with the wind dying down many lakes are iced over but most aren't likely to 3 to 4 inches of ice depth quite yet. Schmitt says it is possible that some lakes will meet that threshold by this weekend. He says 4 inches it recommended to walk on the ice with around 8 inches for an ATV and 12 inches to drive a larger vehicle.
Schmitt says knowing the lake locally you start to fish on is important because lakes typically freeze in a similar way each year. He says Red Lake is allowing for people to drive ATVs and side by sides on the ice. Schmitt says his contacts on Lake of the Woods are saying they are putting fish houses out on the south shore. He says the main thing is to keep the snow off the ice and to keep making ice. Schmitt says even if the high temperatures go above 32 degrees they don't stay there for long each day so that doesn't negatively affect ice depth.
Schmitt suggests fishing shallow water because that's where he's finding walleyes this time of year before moving out to deeper water. He says he'll be looking for crappies suspended over deeper water near basin areas. Schmitt says when looking for blue gills he'll find them typically by vegetation. He plans to use jigs and spoons to catch walleyes and Tungsten jigs for panfish.
If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Glen Schmitt from Outdoor News it is available below.