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magnum mike

Weather / ice outlook

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This post is for Matt, Lucas or any other of the renowned Canadian outfitters. The guns & decoys are cleaned and stored for another season. It’s time to start thinking about augers & tip-ups. The problem is the current and forecast weather. The lakes here on the Iron Range are in sorry shape and likely won’t improve soon. Yesterday we had 2 layers of slush & ice before the 6+ inches of wet heavy snow. This season is shaping up to be late and challenging to say the least. My boys are calling and want to plan the first ice trip of the season and I don’t know what to tell them. We usually start the season in Canada and this year should be no different. I’m sure Manitou will be fine since it can’t be ice covered yet but trout don’t open until the New Year. How about the smaller lakes that offer choices other than lakers? Are you building good ice and ahs the snow made any impact yet?

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Hey Mike,

Your right about the manitou, it should be just fine for opener being that we had a late fall and it didn't have any ice on it except for some bays when all the snow came. Hopefully it will stop snowing and get cold and this early snow/slush with be long forgotten on the trout lakes.

The small lakes in my area might be ok, depending on it the water/slush push through the snow back to the surface. Most all the smaller lakes were frost over when the snow it, so they have only a couple of inches of ice with alot of snow on top. On alot of them however the snow is all discolored which tells me the water is pushing through - we just need cold weather to freeze it from the top down. The ice this year on alot of the small lakes will look like and oreo, ice-water pocket-ice. It will look just like it did 5-6 years ago.

Anyways good luck on the search for fishable ice, it you need place for trout opener, just let me know. We have 2 new cabins setup for ice fishing, so it will be good.

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The snow is still coming down. There is alot of time yet before we know exactly what it will be like. It currently is poor to say the least for the lakes already froze over. I would guess that they will be slushy for the winter. They will crust over and be good for snowmachine travel, but not if you want to tow a heavy sleigh off of a hard packed trail. The trout lakes shold be good, but pretty soon everyone will be wondering if they will freeze good enough in time for opener. I think your ealy plans will have to be postponed. We need some bitter cold (-30/-40) temps now to fix everything up.

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Thanks for the input Lucas. That's depressing but more than likely what will happen. I'm sure you will be watching closely. Let us know when things are safe and you have things dialed in. Happy Holidays to the Adams family and we hope to see you soon.

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Greg, now that the mayor of Keewatin is out of a job, I have more trips to plan. The problem is it will probably be February before we can go anywhere other than Canada. Keep us posted on the local lakes ice conditions.

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It is still snowing again today. We just need it to stop and get some -40 temps for week or 2.

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Here is a good reason to stay off the ice until it good and ready:

From the KSTP channel 5 HSOforum

Quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A 59-year-old man is dead after a witness reported that his ATV went through the ice.

It happened just after 6pm Saturday night on Lake Alexander, near Camp Ripley in Morrison County.

Deputies and Firefighters say they found Gary Deppa of Cushing face down in the water at the edge of a 20-foot-hole. He had broken through thin ice.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

This didn't happen in our area, but it could happen anywhere if you go on unsafe ice. Be sure you know before you go.

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-10F right now, the forecast looks decent for the next week or so. It looks like quite a few days below 0F. Keep your fingers crossed we don't get anymore snow.

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We got another 4-5 inches yesterday, giving us a total snowfall so far this year around 37"+ - more than we had at the end of Jan. last year.

We are expecting -20+ the next few nights, so that will help.

As of 2 days ago Lower Manitou Lake was still open, so with all this cold weather it will close and then hopefully the snow will stay away and at least that part of our system will have really good ice.

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Was wonderin if the lakes around loonhaunt are startin to freeze up - We usually come in from clearwater to pipestone and into loonhaunt. I'm guessin with the snow you have that the shallower bays are probably really slushy. The cabin in question is in one of those bays.

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You are right on it will be slushy. It is all froze over now. The last section to freeze is the area from Sand Point to Line Bay on Pipestone. My guess is it will be slush scattered all the way up unless you are a packed trail. Best advise is pack a trail one day and take your gear up the following morning. It will save you alot of grief. I am planning on going up Pipestone shortly to see what it is like. Probably just before Christmas.

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I talked to Gordy in Nestor Falls yesterday. Much to my surprise and disapointment he reports 6" of weak composite ice in the back bays and 3" of clear ice in the bigger water. NOBODY has been out on the ice yet.

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Thanks superbee- Would like it if you could keep us posted- was going to try early January trip. Landin on skis might even be tough for awhile if there is alot of slush.

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I can keep you posted on the conditions in the area. If you go early January, sleds might be best and pack a strip to freeze good and mark it with boughs. A plane stuck in the slush is alot worse than a snowmachine. Alot could change by then if we get the right conditions, but that might be being a little to hopeful.

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Does anyone have any new reports? The northern MN lakes were in pretty good shape after Christmas but this New Years storm did a number on our lakes. We have water and slush well over a foot deep again. Now that all the ice fishing gear is out I'm ready to go.

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Things were just fine on Whitefish Bay (LOTW) on the weekend. 11-14" of ice with some slush spots, but nothing crippling.

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