I hate to start this thread early, but this ice doesn't have much of a chance this season. It's about half as thick as it should be, there is no snow cover to protect it from the March sun, and it continues to be abnormally warm. Let's hear those ice-out predictions.
I expect the smaller bays to be open by the last weekend of March with the main lake soon after, likely prior to April 1st. Earliest ice-out on record is March 28th, 2012.
On the plus side, the spawn be done long before fishing opener. Combine the reduced walleye harvest with the longer growing season, and this should translate into a better walleye class for the lake.
I walked into my place late Friday night. It was beautiful - a full moon, no snow and single digits so the lake was making all kinds of noise, wolves howling, and the kicker.....no wind. The only difficult component to walking was the ATV and snowmobile impressions left in the ice. Every once in a while my foot would catch a rise in the ice and I would stumble and almost fall. Besides that, it was a perfect night. Unfortunately I had a schedule to keep, otherwise I would have started a midnight bonfire to stay out and enjoy the evening even longer.