Yesterday we had four groups of fishermen go out and one out of the three did ok. But overall it was a little slower than it had been the last couple days. But in talking to them when they came off the ice they were happy just to get out there again.
I got the Jeep on the ice and established what will eventually roads to the limited areas we are going to for now. And I pulled the first rentals of the year. (small ones) Just north of N. Twin, Spider Islands heading NE toward the eastern shore is some very unstable ice that varies in thickness from as little a 3 inches to maybe 7-8. The edge is defined by a distinct ridge and we will not even attempt it until next week if the cooler weather holds.
There still is plenty of area to fish and all customers can get a map when they check in at the office. We are clearing off a large parking area along our driveway for portable rigs and wheelhouses that might want to come and “camp” on shore. This weekend will be ATV/Snowmobile/portable only. Only wheelhouses out have to be 1500lbs. or less and no “big” (4 person) ATV’s. Ice depth is 8 inches in most of the areas we are going but we are not taking any chances.
Today brings an end to a year i would just as soon forget as it was the first time Mille Lacs was “closed” during the open water season because of a “treaty management” program that caused the problem. They all say “politically correct” reasons of the lake’s Walleye population demise, but everyone knows what really started it. It happened in Wisconsin and it happened here. Fortunately for Mille Lacs, the two recent late ice years, (where we had ice on the lake for most of the spawning time for Walleyes so they were undisturbed), we now have one very strong year class and another normal one behind it. (The reason described for the strong year classes was that is was an “anomaly” by our MNDNR commissioner….) 🙂
I would suggest everyone this year make a resolution to contact their representative and senator in Minnesota and tell them to quit worrying about how much money they can get from the Tribal lobby every year and do something, (and they can), to stop the destruction of Minnesota’s Fisheries for the citizens that voted them into office. Tell them we want it changed, and protected! Or we will vote for someone that will!!
Keep a Tight Line!
Yesterday we went out and checked ice in the areas we are going to so far and the average depth was 8 inches. The few groups that went out had late afternoon-early evening action with Walleyes and some Perch action during the day. Today I will be establishing the beginnings of roads to those areas with my Jeep and pulling out some of our smallest rentals.
We will be letting ATV/Snowmobile/Portable traffic out for the weekend. No big ATV’s, (4 passenger-etc.) and no wheelhouses over 1500lbs. We will have a large parking area established along our driveway for those that want to park their rigs or “camp” overnight in their wheelhouse and portable. All will have to register at the office before going out.
Private house owners that have houses here will be allowed to camp overnight in them in our storage lot and portable. We just need to know who is there.
There will be limited areas as to where to go as for fishing as the ice farther out is very thin in spots and unstable. We will give all a map of the areas we have checked where we know how thick ice is. The last thing anyone needs up here is someone getting wet over a fish!
This is going to be a “difficult year” for us in this business, but in my 40 plus years in it there has been a few of them and every once and awhile it seems to show up as a reminder that nothing is guaranteed…so enjoy what we can and be safe!!
Keep a Tight Line!
Fortunately we at Mille Lacs dodged a possible season ending snowstorm overnight. A storm that brought 8-10 inches of it stayed to the south and we didn’t get any. With the 7-8 inches of ice that could have been a disaster for the lake. Now we have a chance.
Also yesterday two groups of fishermen went out. One in the a.m. and one in the evening. The fishermen in the am left about noon and did not stop into let us know what they did. But the group that stayed after dark did and they caught numerous Walleyes up to 24″. So there is hope for a pretty good season as long as we can get some cold and make more ice.
I am going to check out more ice today and if we have a little more than two days ago start grinding roads thru the rough ice sections with the Jeep.
For know it will be ATV-snowmobile-portable only until we get a more ice.
Keep a Tight Line!
We ended up with about 4-6 inches of snow yesterday. The wind didn’t move the snow too much so it’s put a layer of insulation on the ice which will slow things down in the freezing process.
Today I’m going to check ice depths farther out and see how far there is decent ice. I’m hoping to find 5-6 inches in my travels.
Update: 4:00pm. Got in from the ice checking depths and most ice was 6-8 inches to Popes, Gull Reef and Spider. So we have some good areas to portable too the next few days. Starting tomorrow we will be letting ATV’s, snowmobiles with portables out. Trails to get there are marked. Areas beyond that will need to be checked before anyone ventures out further as there is alot of unpredictable ice depths out there.The normal parking area for rigs is along the driveway as before and marked. Stop in the office before going on the ice!
Sounds like more snow might be coming the next couple days, but lets hope it stays to the south and east.
Here we go……Keep a Tight Line!
Yesterday I worked on and finished the road approach to the ice. I walked out about 200 yards checking the ice and it was approximately 5 inches thick with some slush underneath. But not near as much slush as we dealt with the first 1/2 mile last year.
The ice is rough,plate like, but most will smooth out good once I can get out with the plows. I took the ATV with small plow down in front and cleared the area in front like I do to keep the ice good at shore. and was surprised how well that worked.
This morning I woke up to about 2-3 inches of fresh snow and it’s still snowing at the moment. That is something we just don’t need right now, but it is what it is.
Hopefully by this weekend we will be letting ATV traffic out to some of the areas in the first 3/4 mile from shore as most of that ice should be 6″-8″ by then. But beyond that there will be some ice that will be less than 4″ as most area NW of a line from North Twin, Spider Island, Gull and Ray’s Reef was wide open water this past Wednesday. So it will be awhile yet. I will be updating daily from now on to keep you informed.
Keep a Tight Line and the snow away!!
This past few days weather since the last report was not too good for making ice, in fact things went backwards a little. The ice on the main lake out in front of us about a mile out disappeared to the north west with a couple days of strong south east winds. This morning after some cooler temps and north west winds it’s back. This year we are going to have some pretty rough going in spots unless the snow sinks it and floods. ( Which it could very well happen, I’ve seen it many times….).
Temperatures are forecasted to be more winter like this next week so I think the lake will ice over and stay put by New Years. I’m going to work on the approach to the ice today so it can freeze up good. Tomorrow I’m going to take a little walk out a ways and check ice depths and will let you know what I find. The last couple days there has been people fishing in isle, Wahkon, Cove and Twin Bays. All walking activity and none are venturing out farther as the ice is too unpredictable, but this week we will see some changes providing we don’t get too much snow.
Keep a Tight Line!
Well here we go! woke up this am and ice is out as far as we can see from our place. (check out the web cam) I’m sure is it far from completely froze over, but it is a start. The next 7-10 days weather isn’t looking too promising, but if it can stay below freezing up here and the snow will hold off there will be some hope for getting out there pretty soon. Right know it’s too early to say when. We will have to see how the weather treats us.
Last minute checks and improvements are being made on the trucks. Rentals just need to gassed up and we are ready. Private owners better get up here that haven’t and go thru there houses and get them ready also. This next week or so would be the time.
Also when the ice is thick enough for walking and ATV’s, private owners are welcome to come up, stay overnight in their houses in the lot and fish if they want to.
Looks like it will be a Merry Christmas after all!
Keep a Tight Line!!
Still not looking like ice making weather is coming yet. The next 10 days sound like 10 plus degrees above normal which is not going to help any. But it will come sooner or later…..
Now would be a good time for those of you with houses here to fix some of the things up on them that need attention. (Trim, runners pulls, new shingles, maybe even paint.) Some houses need it and you know who you are. They won’t be going out unless they are ready and you will be told to get it out of here. We have new customers wanting to bring their houses. So this year could be the last for some of you….
Call the office and talk to Eddy if you have questions….
Keep a Tight Line!