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This weekend's ice and fishing report

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I wanted to try some new lakes, so I did a little driving. Started out at rock lake by maple lake, west metro. Drilled my first hole about 30 ft from shore, a good 7-8" of clear ice. So I just started walking out to the middle to try and find some craps. My buddy says, "hey, let's drill another hole just to be safe." So I put the hand auger down and with 3/4 of a crank it went through the ice!!! We instantly dropped to all fours and crawled back to the car. It turns out that I wasn't paying close enough attention and didn't notice the ridge in the ice where the wind had kept the water open. It literally went from 7" to 1/2" in a step.

On the way back, we stopped at dean lake by buffalo. This time we were alot more careful, drilling holes about every 15 ft. The ice was like nothing I've ever seen before. There were patches where the snow had blown off and exposed the slush, and in these areas there was anywhere from 1 1/2" to 7" of good, clear ice w/ about 3-5" of slush ice. As soon as you stepped off these blown off areas, though, and found deep snow with unfrozen slush, you'd be sitting on 1"-2" of ice. Talk about scary! We were well prepared, though, with life jackets, picks, and a rope tied between the two of us, and we both were carrying a 10' stick to catch us if we went through. Luckily we stayed dry, but the fishing was terrible. One 7" sunny after 4 hours of fishing. We did mark a few big schools of fish -i think they were craps, we missed a couple- that moved through, and I think you could do well if you drilled a ton of holes and kept trying to keep on the school, but by this time I'd drilled about 50 holes with dull blades and I was pooped. All in all, a very exciting day on the ice! Several times had the adrenaline going.


I don't recommend doing this if you aren't completely prepared. Make sure if you're gonna venture out on ice that is even a little questionable that you take ALL the proper safety steps. Also, like I said earlier, if you find good ice, keep checking, cuz it varies from 10" to 1", and it was literally inches apart. Stay safe!

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