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gilliweed

Ice thickness reports - driving?

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gilliweed

Let's reserve this thread for ice thickness reports for the area. Many of those who would like to fish the area, travel a good distance, and need drivable ice. If you have current ice thickness on a local lake, please post it here. There are many who will appreciate it.

Thank you, and good fishin...

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Jarrod32

Saw the first vehicle of the season out on the ice yesterday. There was a small truck out a ways on Otter Tail. I would say that the main (middle) part of the lake isn't ready for driving yet, but I suspect that with 10-11" of ice that there will be quite a few people driving out to the first break on the east side.

Other than that, I haven't seen any vehicles on the ice...all ATV's and snowmobiles...

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Guest

I was on Otter Tail most of Saturday, about 2.5 miles out on ATV. While trekking out we found one area of ice that was 5-6" thick. Where we ended up fishing it was 11".

We watched a car drive (fast) within 50 yards of us and the ice was cracking really bad and water overflowing through our holes. My buddy and I thought they were gonna go down. Out jumps a father and some children!

The ice is not ready for vehicles yet. Like someone said last week, OT had holes of open water just over a week ago!!

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Jarrod32

I would echo what CD said.

I was out on Sunday and there were a few vehicles driving out, though most people were still on ATV's/Snowmobiles. I was on about 12" of ice, but that was in a spot where the ice formed early, and was only about a half-mile out.

When the cars drove past, you could really hear the ice cracking and see the waves in your holes.

If you have a snowmobile or ATV, USE IT. No reason to have to drive on the ice just yet.

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jcbh

Fished Ottertail Yesterday, saw 2 full size trucks. I am set up in the middle, on the west side, where there was open water and geese not too long ago. 6 1/2" where my house sits. Good thing none of the trucks drove by there.

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Guest

East Battle-I heard from my local friends that an ATV went through the ice near the island?? I think they were speaking of the narrows. I guess the guy went under the ice and is lucky to be alive.

Truck have been driving on the edges (in the shallows off the deep breaks) of West Battle since December 5. I couldn't believe it myself, but these guys did the same last year.

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gilliweed

Hey all, there are a million opinions on what is safe when it comes to ice. Bottom line - everyone is responsible for his or her own saftey, and that of anyone riding with them. We all know that ice forms at different rates on different parts of lakes due to current, wind, etc. The DNR puts out guidelines as to how much ice it takes to support people/atv/vehicles. I believe their guideline says 12-14" for full size trucks. That is a guideline, not a rule. The driver is always repsonsible, like it or not.
Personally, 12" is the go/no go for me with my truck. And if there is a lot of veriation in depth of ice, I check it as I go. Frequently. Be safe, live to fish!
Thanks to all who are posting ice depths, does anyone know the location of the thin ice that froze late. I heard it was off the point on the north side, can I get verification? Also, what about snow depth. Is it a problem yet? Water coming up holes, impeding trafic, etc. How much snow is on the lake?

Thanks for all the info...

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Mark Christianson

What lake are you asking about gilliweed?

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BarTender

East Battle only had about 6-7 inches on sunday. I did see a truck on the south side of West battle. You wont see me on the ice with my truck untill I see 20"

Good luck , Be safe.

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gilliweed

Biglakeba$$ - sorry, I was refering to Ottertail. I will be up there Saturday & Sunday.

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Mark Christianson

No reason for a 'sorry'.
I thought you were referring to E Battle.
My parents are on the "point" on the north side of East Battle. (Not much of a point, but the part the sticks out a little from the north shore east of the launch.)
There we have had some odd ice for a few years. There is a seem that has opened up early in the winter after its iced over for a few weeks.

Darn, I was wanting to come up this weekend too, but I'll be darned if the wife isn't making plans for me.
Geez, I was only up there darn near every weekend from Early Goose season until the second weekend of muzzleloader.
Now she thinks she can schedule something for me on a weekend. Ice fishing is here, what is she thinking?????

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Guest

There were LOTS of open water holes in the middle of ottertail, at least 15 the day I drove around the lake to check. It's impossible to say exactly where they all were, other than "out towards the middle". But they existed from the east end all the way to the west end. If you're having to drive a long way to get to Ottertail, you'll be better off waiting until the middle of January after some serious below zero temps. Fishing has been very slow on Ottertail also, only the dinks are biting.

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ChuckN

findyourownspot,
I thought it was only 1% of the lake had open holes?

"The ice is plenty safe to drive on right now. Ottertail has 11 inches Everywhere, except where the open water holes were, which is probably less than 1% of the whole lake's surface. As long as you don't drive on one of those spots, you'll be fine. Most of the other area lakes have 10-12 inches, which according to the DNR is more than enough for a car or small truck."

There's no way to tell where the thin ice is, so do not drive a car or truck yet. I know from experience that there is ice on Otter Tail that is way too thin for vehicles!! We've since had over 4 inches of snowfall.

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BarTender

biglakeba$$

Are you talking about that small point east of the landing next the the litte run off??

Did you ever duck hunt E-battle lake??

My folks live on the South East side. From the lake they are the forth house north of the Big blue house(Neighbergs(sp))

We fish strait out from their house and have been doing alright. right now there are three houses there.

Question, do you icefish the side of the lake your folks live on?? I have yet to do it, I'm looking for crappies.

Please let me know if you know where to find them through the Ice.

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Guest

1 % of Otter Tail's surface area equals 137 acres, which could be 15 spots of 9 acres of thinner ice. If you saw the lake within 3 days of it freezing over, you'll know where the holes were.

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Mark Christianson

Dads place is the 8th cabin east of the access(I think its the 8th one).
Yeah, we have a house out now. Its straight out front of the cabin. Not so much that its a great spot to fish, but more because Dad likes the short jaunt out there. We mainly get pike. Dad did get an 8.5 pound walleye out there a few years ago, but it was the only walleye he got all winter.
No clue where those darn crappies go in the dead of winter. The last few years I have not gotten a lot of time on the ice, but when I want crappies, I go over to W Battle(straight out from the Shoreline Cafe) in March and April if ice allows.

Oh, and no I do not duck hunt East Battle. I have in the past, but we have private land in the Vining area we hunt, so there is no sense in racing to get up at 4am to beat people to public waters.

[This message has been edited by biglakeba$$ (edited 12-18-2003).]

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jt24

Just got back from a trip to the Ottertail. Didnt find any really thin ice but i guess we really didnt stop all the time and drill. Every where we went it was 10-12" and that was out in the middle. Did see a few spots where it must of broke up and that looked alittle spooky but you could tell by looking that it was thick enough for what we had. Did see a few driving out towards the middle when we left today but we stuck with a 4 wheeler. We had a 6 1/2x12 thats well built and didnt feel to bad about the ice. Sure was alot of houses moving out farther with the nice weather today. Bite was fair at times to good. Plenty of perch to pass the time until the eyes would move in.

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Brett Meyer

I think i saw the stupidest thing a person could do ever today out on ottertail. Two guys in a couple full size trucks were out in the middle of the lake racing, they must have been doing at least 60. lucky they didn't fall through, or worse yet spin out of control and hit someones house, it's really glassy out there. Word to the wise, use some common sense when driving on the ice. I guess some people will never learn.

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Gissert

I was on OTL on Saturday, and I could not believe how many full size trucks I saw driving around.

I had 13 inches where I was.

I MIGHT think about driving my old Bronco on that, but the 4-wheeler is soooo easy right now.

[This message has been edited by Gissert (edited 12-22-2003).]

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Guest

Couldn't agree with you more gissert. I had 13" where I was also and it was next to an old pressure ridge where some chunks of ice were a foot in the air. Actually saw a snowmobile hit one and flipped on its side and they were only doing about 20 or so. It may be a busy winter for the wheeler.

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