Cold, strong winds will greet anglers Saturday
If the iced-over lakes don't keep you home for Saturday's Minnesota fishing opener, the weather may have you wishing you'd stayed indoors. The National Weather Service in Duluth is predicting a morning low of about 32 across Northeastern Minnesot...
If the iced-over lakes don't keep you home for Saturday's Minnesota fishing opener, the weather may have you wishing you'd stayed indoors.
The National Weather Service in Duluth is predicting a morning low of about 32 across Northeastern Minnesota, and highs Saturday afternoon only in the low- to mid-40s.
If you get out early enough, say before 10 a.m., there's even a chance for a little snow. After that there's a small chance of rain.
But the real kicker will be the wind - out of the northwest at 20 to 30 mph with gusts as high as 40 mph, enough to spur whitecaps just about everywhere on every lake.
Conditions will improve Sunday with sunny skies and highs in the 50s. Temperatures will rise into the 60s by Monday and may approach 80 degrees by Tuesday.
The Minnesota State Climatologist's Office reports that fishing opener weather is, on average, partly cloudy to cloudy skies, morning temperatures in the low 40s and afternoon temperatures climbing well into the 60s. It rains a measurable amount on only one out of four opening days, and at least a trace of snow has fallen on five of the past 64 openers.
The Climatologist's Office notes that this isn't the first time ice has hampered Minnesota lakes for the opener, but it appears to be the most lakes iced over since 1950. In that year, lakes across the northern half of the state, as far south as Osakis and Mille Lacs, were still frozen over for the opener.
That's just about the same situation as this year, with the Climatologist's Office website on Thursday showing most large, popular fishing lakes still not open in the northern half of the state. That could change any day with forecast high winds and high temperatures.
In several other years, some far northern lakes have remained iced-over for the opener, including in 1966, 1979, 1996, 2008 and 2009.
In 2009, a few Cook County lakes, such as Greenwood, remained iced over for the May 9 opener. In 2008, popular lakes such as Rainy, Saganaga, Sea Gull and Gunflint remained officially iced over for the May 10 opener. And in 1996, Vermilion, Rainy, Red, Lake of the Woods, Saganaga, Sea Gull, Gunflint, Kabetogama and Pelican lakes were among those still officially iced over for the May 11 opener.