The warmer than normal temperatures are cutting short the ice fishing season and will likely cause the earliest ice out on area lakes.  Glen Schmitt from Outdoor News joined me on WJON.  He says this is the earliest ice out in his lifetime and likely the earliest ice out on record.  Schmitt says the 3rd week in April is the average ice out for Central Minnesota lakes.  He says we are about a month or more ahead of schedule.  Schmitt says any ice that's left is going to go quick.  Schmitt indicates people he knows who were ice fishing last Friday west of St. Cloud noticed that same location on the lake didn't have ice on Sunday.  He says ice conditions north of Brainerd aren't much better and Schmitt expects that ice to be gone there pretty soon.

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Schmitt says we are entering a unique time for anglers where they can pull the boat out of storage early and fish for panfish.  He suggests going to locations on lakes where you'd normally be ice fishing right now.  Schmitt feels fish will likely be in shallow water near vegetation.  He says traditional late ice fishing spots would be the first to check.  Schmitt suggests using jigs, minnows, plastics and look outside bays.

The Deer and Turkey Classic opens this weekend Friday-Sunday in Shakopee at Canterbury Park.  Schmitt says it's a great show that includes seminars, outfitters, information and kid friendly activities.  He says deer and turkeys have been very active this time of year and continue to move in large groups.  Schmitt says wildlife have come through the winter pretty well.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Glen Schmitt it is available below.



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