Water remains dangerously cold, life jackets a necessity
Memorial Day weekend signals the start of the summer boating season, but boaters should keep in mind water temperatures remain spring-like. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources urges boaters to wear life jackets no matter the water temperature or season, but it’s especially important this time of year, when wearing a life jacket is the one action that significantly increases the chances of surviving a fall into cold water.
Though temperatures continue to rise, water temperatures across the state generally are around the 50-degree mark, which is cold enough to cause a gasp reflex and incapacitate even the strongest swimmers in less than one minute.
“Cold water affects everyone the same – it reduces your swimming abilities,” said Lisa Dugan, boating safety representative with the DNR. “Even the most experienced swimmers will have trouble within seconds of an unexpected fall into cold water. Wearing a life jacket gives you a fighting chance to get your head above water, stay calm instead of panicking, and call for help before hypothermia sets in.”
In Minnesota, more than one-third of boating fatalities occur on cold water, and accident records show the victims are disproportionately male. Of the 14 people involved in boating fatalities in the state last year, all were male. And during the past decade, there’s been a trend that men between the ages of 20 and 60 are the most likely to drown while boating and are the least likely to be wearing a life jacket.
“It’s pretty clear that wearing a life jacket could easily prevent a significant percentage of boating deaths,” Dugan said.
Before the first launch of the season, anglers are also reminded to review boating regulations, inspect their watercraft and gear, enlist a mechanic to check exhaust systems for potential carbon monoxide leaks, and verify motorboats are equipped with the following:
U.S. Coast Guard-approved wearable life jackets for each person onboard (children under 10 must wear a properly fitting life jacket while underway).
A throwable flotation device on boats 16 feet or longer.
A horn or a whistle.
Type B, U.S. Coast Guard-approved fire extinguisher.
Navigation lights in working order.
Valid boat registration, with numbers visible.
Watercraft can be registered in person at any deputy registrar of motor vehicles, at the DNR License Center in St. Paul, or online at mndnr.gov/licenses.
Further details, including boater education requirements and information on preventing carbon monoxide poisoning while boating, can be found at mndnr.gov/boatingsafety.
Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
We will be up at the cabin this weekend and would like to get my two young boys and their cousins some fish. They see others with fish and get so excited. Will you please recommend one of your spots for us. We have small boats and big boats. I would feel more comfortable away from the holiday traffic
By no means am I a Rainy Lake expert but we have Been fishing a few days a week since opener and have found the walleye fishing to be very tough. Seems like the fish aren’t where they should be and we have searched high and low and the only place we’ve found any concentrations of fish are in deep holes next to shallow points. These fish will bite but the ratio is about 10 dinks for every keeper. On the way in in the evenings we always stop in some shallow bays to pull cranks and there wasn’t anything until the last few evening and now a couple bigger slot fish have started to hit the boat each evening so I think that’s a good sign. My best guess is with the late cold spring we’ve had the fish probably spawned late and are in some kind of post spawn/super cold water funk. I think if we can get some warm sunny days to heat the water up things should start to fire up. Like I said I’m no expert just what I’ve noticed.
Water just isn't warming up!
Spent a good portion of the last three days chasing panfish on a few lakes just north of St. Cloud. One particular lake I fished the last weekend of April and water temp was ~50-52 degrees (depending on the side of the lake.)
The last 2 days I fished the same lake (~almost 4 weeks later) and it's running a temperature of 53-54 degrees!--4 weeks and only 2 degrees difference in temp is fairly insane for May.
The lake bottom and reeds around it still look just like after ice-out...
While we located quite a few sunnies/crappies/bass in the shallow water (like 1-3 feet), they showed very little interest in biting. Lure/bait options (flu flus, tube jugs, nightcrawlers) didn't seem to make any difference...
I usually find the panfish bite is HOT around memorial day but I'm not predicting much improvement with the continuing cloudy/cool weather forecast.
I'll be fishin' in the Bemidji area over the weekend and the last few years for me Memorial day means Fish Fry; this year it might mean pizza.