Saturday, November 16, 2013

Anticipating Ice

With more cold temperatures creeping into the North Georgia forecast and plenty of other signs that fall is giving way to winter, I probably should be scouting opportunities to travel to Florida to fish for bass or maybe South Louisiana to chase redfish or speckled trout. I suppose I'm not that sensible, though, because instead I find myself looking at 10-day forecasts in places like Deer River, Minn., Erie, Pa. and Granby, Colo., hoping to see good ice-forming outlooks and wondering how the lakes are coming along.

I like to watch fishing reports posted by Jeff Sundin, a northern Minnesota fishing guide who gets regular reports from other anglers and always begins driving the countryside and checking ice conditions first-hand around this time of year. Jeff is careful about where he walks and doesn't fish before it's prudent, but once he starts seeing ice, he'll begin stepping onto shallow margin areas and may check the thickness with a chisel, and he has a lot of eyes around the area that contribute to his annual "ice watch."

Meanwhile, back in Georgia, I find myself dreaming and scheming about possible northern excursions to fish through the ice as I re-spool little spinning reels and restock ice lure boxes. Maybe it's my native Minnesota blood, but I'm awfully fond of bundling up and walking out on the ice for someone who grew up in Florida and calls Georgia home. No ice plans have been in stone for this winter, but I suspect it won't be long.


  1. Jeff, there was ice on the farm ponds and puddles in NW PA the other morning. And I hear Dave Lefebre was out practicing his drilling technique with his new ice auger in the large mud puddles!

  2. You could say I was practicing, too, Darl. I had my 5-year-old out in the johnboat vertical fishing with worm-tipped ice jigs for bluegills yesterday.