Saturday, November 30, 2013

Here Comes The Ice

It looks like the ice season is on us already, I know a lot of people have been getting out and popping holes and it isn't even December yet! 

I'm getting excited too, I just got the call from my local shop that my auger is ready to pick up after having the gas tank replaced. I find myself needing to take a quick pause and temper that excitement, though. The average ice thickness I've been hearing is 3" in the cities and 4-5" as you go farther north. That's just not enough for me to be comfortable with yet - thankfully I still have plenty to do before I hit the ice. Northstar Angler posted a few weeks ago about hard water prep, and the article can serve as a nice checklist for making sure that you are prepped and ready to go once the ice is at a thickness that's right for you.

As long as we're on the topic of ice thickness, there has been a chart floating around for a while that shows how much ice forms at different average air temperatures.  Remember, though, it is a rough guide - so take it with a grain of salt.  Some folks need to be told, there are all sorts of factors that affect ice development; water current, snow cover, springs, sand and rock bars, and, of course, air temperature.  Here is the chart:
 

The Minnesota DNR also has a lot of good ice safety information, so while you're chaffing in your seat, give it a quick read.  Who knows, you may pick up a new tip that could save your life - or another person's. 

Of course, in the meantime, you can always find one of those rare MN hot pond gems and get your smallie on!

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