Sunday, December 23, 2012

honey, i think the ice machine is broken?

After a lackluster 2011-2012 ice season last year, many hardwater enthusiasts have been left anticipating this season more then others of the past. The unseasonably warm winter last year, wreaked havoc on developing any significant amounts of ice for any significant amount of time. Just when you would think that the ice was solid a new warm front would push through and take it away faster then it had come. This scenario replayed enough times to actually make me ill when thinking about it. Thank God for the Green bay trip we took to fish whites, that trip salvaged the entire season.

The 2012-2013 had started in almost the exact same fashion. An unseasonably warm early December plagued local ice addicts again, and the feeling of deja vu was in the back of the minds of many. Well, I'm ecstatic to report that the cold weather is here and looks like it is sticking around for a little. Local lakes really have just capped over for the first time and some of the ponds have up to 1.5 inches on them, at least in my area. While I won't test the local lakes for thickness just yet, I drove past Fox Lake this morning just to see how it looked. The entire lake was capped and the only thing open was the current area right under the Route 12 bridge. A few more days of this weather and I'll venture out a tad further to get some idea of thickness.

a nice cap on fox chain of lakes
Ice anglers, please exercise extreme caution this year when venturing out on early ice. It's hard to forget the angler who lost his life last year on Pistakee Lake, one of my favorite early season haunts. Failing to plan is planning to fail.

Don't forget these tips for early season-
  • Give it until 3 inches solid
  • Fish in a group, save those more remote spots for later season
  • wear creepers
  • bring ice picks
  • pack a length of rope in your sled
  • avoid springs and current areas


  1. I've always felt like there is no fish swimming in the world worth my life... so I don't take chances. I hope people listen to your advice and words of caution. Ice fishing can be fun - but safety should always be the #1 priority. I hope the hardwater season cooperates this year.

    1. Agreed, looks like we will be hitting the ice in a few days.

  2. I have never been ice fishing, I wouldn't even know where to start.

    1. Technically not the most difficult but safety wise its always good to go with someone experienced

  3. Blake
    The last time I saw ice covering Grenada Lake in Mississippi was 20 years ago---so I guess that tells you I haven't experienced ice fishing but I wouldn't skip on it if I had the chance. I hope you get to do a post on your trip. Thanks for sharing

  4. Never Ice fished but I'll agree that the ice deserves alot of respect.
    Good luck. I'll be looking for a post or two.

  5. I did not get out at all last year. Our forecast looks a little promising in the next 10 days. I can only hope. Good luck.