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Houston's fishing report: Getting closer to safe ice conditions

Jarrid Houston

A few weeks ago it looked like we might be in for some early ice fishing this season. But the weather is as unpredictable as the ice, and now things are shaping up to be routine. Smaller, shallower lakes, ponds and narrow areas are ice-covered with walkable ice. However, extreme caution should be taken when venturing out. Always check for local reports on current conditions. We encourage everyone to just hold on a little longer, and we will get there.

May I point out that it is a long winter up here in the North, so there will be plenty of great opportunities for the next several months. I forecast that ice fishing will be in full effect by the second week of December; this coming week's forecast looks very favorable for ice-making conditions. In the meantime, this is the time of year to get out and enjoy the ice-fishing shows. Next weekend (Friday through Sunday, Dec. 8-10) will be the Arrowhead Ice Fishing and Winter Show at the DECC. And yes, our team will be in attendance. So come down and say hi.

Here's the rundown on local waters:

Lake Superior has nothing to report for fishing.

Ice can be found in the back bays of the St. Louis River, but for the most part things are still very unstable and not ready for traffic. The lower sections of the harbor are wide open as of this report.

Inland lakes for the most part have ice. The shallower areas are better ice-capped than the deeper waters. Fishing has begun in select waters, but again, extreme caution still needs to be practiced. It is wise to seek out information from bait shops, resorts or guides before venturing out. If you are not sure of the ice conditions, please use your best judgment. We are getting closer.

Jarrid Houston of South Range is a fishing guide (houstonsguideservice.com) on Minnesota and Wisconsin inland waters, the St. Louis River and, in winter, on Lake Superior.

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