The small lakes are ice-covered and there's a good chance you'll be able to fish them by this weekend or early next week. Lakes such as Reno and Mary would be likely first-ice options. The big lakes were still open earlier this week, and it may take a couple extra days for them to completely cap with ice.
Earlier this week, a handful of anglers had begun "sneaking" on a couple of small lakes where three inches of ice was found. By this weekend, most small lakes and even the bays on the area's larger lakes should have enough ice on which to walk.
Look to the small lakes by this weekend where one to two inches of ice had taken hold by Tuesday morning. The big lakes also skimmed with ice Monday night, but the small, wind-protected lakes should be your first option, maybe by this weekend.
Most small lakes and wind-protected bays were ice-covered earlier this week. With more cold weather expected throughout the week, there should be several spots to ice fish by this weekend. Look to the first weedline or the shoreline breaks of most small lakes to be holding panfish, walleyes, and northern pike.
With the exception of a few larger bodies of water, ice is completely covering area lakes. Two to four inches is common on the small lakes and bays, and ice fishing is expected to be an option by this weekend.
The small lakes capped with ice last weekend, and the big lakes froze over on Monday night. Look for the bays and small lakes to be holding ice anglers late this week or for sure by this weekend.
Most small lakes should have enough ice to walk on by this weekend. A few anglers were fishing on three inches of ice at Rice Lake and Fish Lake earlier this week. No reports have been offered as far as a bite, but the ice is in good shape.
Some of the small lakes and ponds already had enough ice to walk on last weekend. Temperatures dipped below zero earlier this week so there should be plenty of ice-fishing options in this area by the weekend.
GRAND RAPIDS AREA
The ice looks good in this region. Some lakes north of the area have been ice-covered since early last week. Sylvan Bay on the Mississippi River is kicking out walleyes in 20 feet and crappies in 40 feet of water. Anglers also have started walking on Splithand Lake, and ATVs will be an option on the small lakes within days.
There was still open water on the big lakes as of Tuesday morning, but the smaller bodies of water were ice-covered. Although there hadn't been anyone fishing earlier this week, the small lakes are expected to have enough ice to walk on by this weekend.
The shorelines have ice, and most shallow bays are completely ice-covered. If the cold weather sticks throughout the week, there's a good chance spear houses will be in the bays by the opener.
LAKE MILLE LACS
While open water still exists on the main lake, the bays are ice-covered. If cold weather persists throughout this week, ice fishing could be an option in the bays and a few shoreline areas by this weekend.
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Ice had started to take shape until strong winds broke most small lakes open on Monday night. The key in this area will be light or no winds. If that happens and it stays cold, there's a chance some of the bays and small lakes will see ice anglers by the weekend.
LAKE OF THE WOODS
The Rainy River was open as of Tuesday morning, but skim ice had formed in the bays, creeks, and along most shorelines. Look for the south shore to cap by midweek if the wind stays down and it remains cold.
Despite strong winds on Monday night, most of the lake capped with ice. As far as the eye could see, ice had taken hold. Given the cold temperatures predicted for the rest of the week, ice fishing should be an option soon.
LEECH LAKE AREA
There's a good layer of ice on the small, wind-protected lakes. Ice fishing should be an option on these lakes by this weekend. On Leech Lake, open water was still quite evident as of Tuesday morning. Steamboat Bay and Sucker Bay were ice-capped, but the rest of the lake had nothing more than skim ice earlier this week.
Big Stone Lake capped Monday night and most small lakes were covered with ice prior to that.
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