Jarrid Houston, for the News Tribune
The aftermath of the extreme cold temperatures have changed the regional ice reports greatly. The landscapes of many areas on Lake Superior have changed overnight. We now have ice in most shoreline areas of the biggest freshwater lake in the world. If you are from the region, you know how rare this is.
Old man winter was sure angry last week. Ice fishing conditions have been challenging to say the least. Some resorts even decided to stop operations on ice roads, etc., because it was so cold. Along with schools, governments agencies and select businesses closing on account of the extreme cold, fish also seemed to have shut down. Most area waters saw little to no pressure during the deep freeze.
Brutally cold temps and aggressive wind chills have caused us to hunker down recently, with shelters an absolute necessity. The mid-week warm-up actually was a relief compared to last weekend's weather and what's forecast this weekend... and not a lot changing in the future forecast. Being mobile when it is so cold is certainly a challenging chore, everything freezes and sometimes equipment does not cooperate.
The real cold has finally arrived. I for one am actually glad we are now in the coldest days of the year. This frigid weather will help build ice and that's especially important for Lake Superior anglers. We still need to be cautious of several changes that come with the ice building. It is very probable that we will see shorelines expand and fresh new cracks taking place as ice needs to release pressure. Be very cautious when venturing out.
The bite was up and down last on account of the changing weather.
What an awkward spell of weather conditions we are already into this New Year. Back-to-back snow storms made ice fishing challenging last week. The brutally cold temps that followed helped to firm up the ice. Unfortunately the cold also caused a huge case of "lockjaw" with fish in a lot of lakes.
Hope everyone had a great Christmas and now we want to take an opportunity to say thanks so much for all the support in 2018. Happy New Year, anglers! The unstable atmosphere slowed fishing last week. Unfortunately those are the cards we are dealt sometimes. Before the recent storm system arrived we were having some fair weather and successful fish outings. But last week the fish seemed to have a case of "lockjaw." That's the way it goes sometimes.
We want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. Hopefully some of you find some time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors over the holidays. Fishing has been good recently but last week's warm weather slowed ice progress. A few weeks ago, I was hoping we were going start to see some vehicle traffic on select area lakes. Unfortunately, I don't think that will be the case as temperatures above freezing on several days halted ice making.
We are seeing more and more anglers taking to the ice across the Northland, especially around the Twin Ports with its many fishable opportunities.
We are in the midst of the Duluth ice fishing show and are excited to get back the water on a regular basis. As we've had more time to check more ice we're finding that conditions are getting safer in some areas. As always, use best judgment and utilize proper safety when venturing out on the ice. Smaller lakes, shallower areas and back bays of larger waters have walkable/fishable ice.