Warmer than normal temperatures over the past month has caused a major setback for the ice fishing season in Minnesota.  Glen Schmitt from Outdoor News joined me on WJON.  He says ice locally is either not there or not safe.  Schmitt explains the stretch of warm and rainy weather eroded what ice we did have on area lakes.  He says ice anglers would have to go north of Brainerd to have any chance to find safe ice to fish on.

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Schmitt explained to me today that if we received a significant amount of snow on the ice that could derail the ice fishing season all together.  He says we need a stretch of high temperatures in the teens or less and lows around zero to make some ice.  If that is coupled with a 6-plus inch snowfall that could make it difficult to get around the ice and may cripple the ice fishing season.  Schmitt indicated last year's ice fishing season wasn't good due to a constant freeze and thaw and heavy snowfalls that made moving around on the ice difficult.  He says slush was a major deterrent last season.

Schmitt says he and many ice anglers are very frustrated and those working in the ice fishing industry are suffering.  He says many selling supplies, wheelhouses and bait are having a tough time.  He says even those who work on snowmobiles are feeling the effects of no snow and not enough snow to snowmobile anytime soon.

Ice festivals scheduled for late December and early January have already cancelled or postponed their events and Schmitt is concerns ice fishing contests scheduled for Brainerd in January and Maple Lake February could be affected by this warmer than normal weather.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Glen Schmitt it is available below.



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