The Itch Begins

Posted by MNAngler On March - 16 - 2010

As I was driving home today, I saw my first open water on a nearby lake. So begins the thaw that gets all anglers itching to get out their boats, kayaks, or float tubes to wet their first line of the season.

“Ice out” is defined differently by each person, but is generally the term we Northerners use to indicate that open water fishing season is back. Kayakers and float tubers, especially, jump in the water as soon as there is enough open water to get around.

The University of Minnesota has a list of lakes with their earliest, latest, and average ice out dates. The lake I’m most interested in on this list is White Bear Lake because it is closest to the lakes I now fish. The U of M chart states its average ice out date is April 12. That means Mark will be on the water in about 3 weeks. I’m not sure if I’ll be out with him or not as the seasons of my species of choice don’t open until May. We’ll have to see how much the itch grabs me this year.

The U of M also posts the current status of ice out around the state as well as a cool map that you can hover over for the more common lakes. You can also view historical data. If you click on the first link, just change the last two digits in the URL for the year you are interested in.

For a more interesting Ice Out Watch than just charts and numbers, follow the Basspastor as he tracks the U of M pages above.

Patience, Grasshoppa. We’ll all be on the water soon.


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