Author Topic: When to end the season  (Read 1435 times)

Offline waterwalker1

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When to end the season
« on: Mar 22, 2019, 08:02 PM »
I always wonder how to decide when to quit. What's the thickest ice people have had break under them?

Offline filetandrelease

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #1 on: Mar 22, 2019, 08:14 PM »
First and last ice my spud does the job , it’s the quality not the quantity of the ice that matters , not everyone has the same comfort level
 

Offline fishinjohn

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #2 on: Mar 22, 2019, 08:55 PM »
Once walleye season closes I lose my drive.. That's when I start working on boat and getting my softwater gear around

Offline niceout

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #3 on: Mar 23, 2019, 10:19 AM »
l agree with quality of the ice disk
walking the plank doesn't bother me
the plank is a late season accoutrement

Offline SLAYERFISH

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #4 on: Mar 23, 2019, 10:28 AM »
Been out on the boat last Saturday. Gonna be 75F this Wednesday!  I'm done- ;D
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Offline Kopower

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #5 on: Mar 23, 2019, 11:16 AM »
Still a good ft of ice in central MN. Ice has yet to pull away from shore, but the temps gonna be in the 50's and 60's next week, so this will most likely be my last weekend.

Offline Royalwapiti

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #6 on: Mar 23, 2019, 06:50 PM »
Today, near Brookings, SD, ice is 26" thick but chunky when you drill.  The shore is busted up and open from ATV's.  People walking find a new route, the ATV's follow them and ruin the ice there...  Spent the day and it got mushy, take a step and fall four inches in...

I am done.  Could likely go tomorrow but need to do house chores. 
You can't get the fruit if you don't go out on the limb.

Offline perch chacer

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #7 on: Mar 23, 2019, 08:14 PM »
Most of the time the shore ice decides for me.  If I can access the season ending ice by using a plank I continue to go out on the ice with spud and picks and a buddy.  When a plank doesn't reach anymore I put my ice fishing gear up in the barn.

Offline vaughan

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #8 on: Mar 23, 2019, 09:10 PM »
Agree, quality over quantity!!!  You can have 8” of rotten ice and it will give way in the afternoon but 3” of black ice will be fine.  Best to remember to bring and use your spud and always have your widow picks ready and a good dose of common sense will be an asset.

Offline RuttNutt

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #9 on: Mar 25, 2019, 11:47 AM »
I was out on 6+” of ice last Wed(3/20)
after work that was getting very sketchy! A buddy fished there 2 days before and it was 6.5” but SOLID! 2 days of sun did major damage. Shore was still tight, but I got halfway out to where I wanted to fish and the ice started flexing and making noise with every step!  :o

Wish I could explain the noise- it wasn’t cracking but almost a creaking noise. And you could tell the ice was “giving” with every step. I backed off about 100’ where ice was better and fished there for 2 hours. But when I got up to leave, it was even starting to flex there. I was probably the last one to fish that lake(on ice).

Also, when I drilled holes there were big chunks instead of fine shavings.
You might be able to see it in this pic.


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Offline RuttNutt

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #10 on: Mar 25, 2019, 11:55 AM »
Last year on this same lake we got a warm spell the end of Feb and the shorelines eroded. Then we got a couple weeks cold snap in March that froze one spot on this lake. I fished it for about 8 days before the shoreline eroded again. I have a good 8’ aluminum plank that I am not afraid to use if the main ice is good.


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Offline RuttNutt

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #11 on: Mar 25, 2019, 12:06 PM »
There was open water not far from this sheet of ice, but it was solid 3.5-5”. But I used a spud everywhere I went!


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Offline Snitch#8

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #12 on: Mar 25, 2019, 12:59 PM »
Planking onto the ice in the spring, many be one of most productive times of year.  As for when I quit, that depends on the ice conditions.  Good dark ice usually isn't around as spring arrives.  But there still may be some along with other good ice.  Depth of the ice may have nothing to due with if it is safe or not.  I have been on ice that was almost a foot thick, that you really shouldn't be on, because it was honey combed.  It just so happened that the ice was clear and dark.  You could see where the water laying on it started draining down though the ice making it to where one hit with a spud would go through easily!  I have also been on whiter slushy ice the was fairly thick and ice couldn't support me either.  The safest way to decide when to quit is to spud your way onto the ice and check it.  If I don't like what I'm on, I get off of it.  lol  If going out early am, I make sure I check the ice periodically to see how its doing.  Getting on the ice is only half the trip, you still have to get off and doing so after sitting eight hours in the sun and warm weather, may make getting off tricky!  Take Care and Stay Safe.

Offline ship of fools

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #13 on: Mar 25, 2019, 03:12 PM »
  If going out early am, I make sure I check the ice periodically to see how its doing.  Getting on the ice is only half the trip, you still have to get off and doing so after sitting eight hours in the sun and warm weather, may make getting off tricky! 


Well said - a lot can change in 8 hours with marginal ice.
Goin' where the wind don't blow so strange,
Maybe off on some high cold mountain chain.

Offline Ice Scratcher

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #14 on: Mar 25, 2019, 05:28 PM »
I've left a good walleye bite behind after I determined the 2ft of candled honeycomb was turning into slush right in front of me... (Three miles out on big Erie)

I could literally kick a hole down to the water, once water was reached, the sides of the hole could just pushed into the water with my boot... Be

With ice like that, picks aren't going to do anything.. The only thing that might help you is the Good Lord...

<°)))>{

Offline waterwalker1

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #15 on: Mar 25, 2019, 06:40 PM »
Reading the various reports and opinions has helped me be willing to call it quits even tho yesterday I was measuring 7.5". Bright sunshine today and tomorrow with temps above freezing and I can't get back out until Wednesday. Quality yesterday certainly was not what I've been on all winter and instead of shavings from drilling the holes it was nothing but chips, some over half the length of the thickness. Definitely candled. Thanks for responses. I really have a hard time ending the season..lol.

Offline fishermantim

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #16 on: Mar 26, 2019, 10:28 AM »
"When the ice goes grey, it's time to stay away"

That's a visual queue that can be seen before you even step onto the ice.

I've been on rotted ice, that I knew was going south quite fast. Even with "solid" ice underneath, the risk factor is usually too high.
I've stepped on a few rotted pockets in my times, and those times were my call to leave...PRONTO!

On the flip side, I was up on the big lake in NH this weekend, and the section I was on had close to 2' of ice, 20" of which is solid clear ice, they may not see ice out until late April...
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Offline RuttNutt

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #17 on: Mar 26, 2019, 11:08 AM »
Somebody sent this to me and it reminded me of this thread!  ;D



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Offline Northern_MN Outdoorsan

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #18 on: Mar 26, 2019, 11:10 AM »
Still 30+ inches of ice here. Always fun this time of year to hit the morning and evening bites and collect and make maple syrup during the mid day lull and after dark.

Offline sra61

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #19 on: Mar 29, 2019, 01:46 PM »
When you step and water comes up in your footprint like a sponge. That's when I'm done!

Offline eriksat1

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #20 on: Apr 08, 2019, 01:03 PM »
I was out Saturday got into some nice Crappie. We still have about 18” of ice, bottom 12” still clear ice. Calling for 8” to 10” of wet snow coming this Thursday. That might put the kabosh on it for the year.

Offline 52isntbigenough

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #21 on: Apr 22, 2019, 09:14 AM »
When April rolls around and the ice looks OK, I always drill a few holes around the landing to see what I'm getting for ice depth and ice type. If I get 2" at the landing, I'll move out 20 yards and drill again, if I'm at 2" yet, I'm done. Sure the ice may be fine at a mile out, but after 8-10 hours in 50-60° temps, you don't know what that landing will be like when you come back.

I fished last wed, started with 2" about 10 yards off the landing in 2ft of water, but as I made my way out I had 14" within 50 yards of the landing. I knew what the water depth was and also knew that if I broke through at that 50 yard mark, I'd get wet, but wouldn't even be in up to my waist.




Offline eriksat1

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #22 on: Apr 23, 2019, 10:31 PM »
I’m throwing in the towel. Most under 1000 acre lakes are now open water. And I bet all lakes will be open water here by opener May 4th.

Offline 52isntbigenough

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Re: When to end the season
« Reply #23 on: Apr 24, 2019, 11:12 AM »
I’m throwing in the towel. Most under 1000 acre lakes are now open water. And I bet all lakes will be open water here by opener May 4th.

Just two by me in Vilas that won't be. Black Oak and Trout Lake. I'm with you, every lake less than 1000 acres will have no issues being open.

 



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