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Whether or not you’re ready for frozen lakes and snow shovels, they’re almost here.   In fact a lot of the smaller sloughs in my area had been frozen for a week or so, before the warm weather opened them back up.

Not anymore.

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As last nights cold weather and calm conditions moved in, most bodies of water had a thin ice formation on their surface.   Whether it will stay or not is yet to be seen, but with forecasted temperatures staying at or below the freezing mark for the next week, we could be in the first stages of “making ice”.

Good news if you like to ice fish, bad news if you’re a water fowler.

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It’s not completely bad news for our duck and goose hunters as it will concentrate birds on the larger lakes and rivers that have current.  Find those locations that freeze up last or stay open all year, and you’ll find birds.  Scout out their feeding locations to develop that pattern and get ready to put a bead on ’em.

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The cold conditions and freezing temperatures will make it more difficult to pattern geese however, as sometimes they’ll feed only once per day, opting to keep their hole in the ice open as long as possible until the warmest part of the day before heading to the grain fields.

That’s not always a bad thing either, as it allows you to set up in the daylight and when it’s a bit warmer.   Late season will be filled with more afternoon hunts than morning hunts, so maybe even a half day of work is allowed if necessary.

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If you like to ice fish, your time is coming.  Some reports of fishable ice have been trickling in from northern Minnesota and North Dakota.  For the most part though, most ice is NOT safe and I’d advise giving it a little more time before you head out.  There will be plenty of time to yank some fins out of the hole.

We’ll talk about getting ready for hard water fishing on this weekend’s radio show, find a station to listen to by clicking on “MNSJ RADIO” on the left.


The cold weather could also mean a hot opening weekend for the Wisconsin deer season for those traveling east to chase whitetails.  I’ll be in the north woods with a bag of cheese hoping to fill the freezer with enough meat for the next year again.

Good luck to everyone this weekend, stay warm, but stay outside!

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