Ice time approaches on Lake of the Woods

The recent cold snap is like an early Christmas present for ice fishing enthusiasts, and a few die-hards already have taken their first steps onto frozen water on small lakes and shallower bodies of water such as Upper Red Lake.

“Caution” remains the word of the day, though. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recommends at least 4 inches of clear, solid ice for foot travel, 5 inches for a snowmobile or ATV, 8 to 12 inches for a car or small pickup and 12 to 15 inches for a medium-sized pickup. Two inches or less — stay off.

Sportsman’s Lodge north of Baudette, Minn., posted this photo from earlier today on its Facebook page showing Four-Mile Bay.

In Lake of the Woods country, Lake of the Woods Tourism reports Zippel Bay, Four-Mile Bay, Morris Bay and the Northwest Angle all are frozen over. Morris Point Lodge is expecting to allow foot traffic on Wednesday, the report said, and Adrians Resort is checking ice conditions daily. A few people were tip-up fishing on Four-Mile Bay this weekend.

I don’t have any first-hand reports from the Devils Lake region, but apparently upper basin lakes such as Morrison are drawing foot traffic. If this cold snap continues, it won’t be long until winter fishing hits high gear on Devils Lake, as well.

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