Ice fishers have definitely had a few months of excellent (if freezing) weather for their fishing season this year. That’s one of the reasons I have mentioned the sport more than a few times over the last couple of months. With blistering cold winter storms, the ice on many great fishing lakes has been perfect for ice fishing. As I have said before, these intrepid fishermen must use portable shelters to shield themselves from the rough weather that they have faced this year.
However, Wisconsin officials are telling the fishermen to start removing the shelters soon, according to WTAQ News Talk 97.5:
“It’s almost time for Wisconsin’s ice fishers to get their winter shanties off the water. The DNR says shanties must be removed by Sunday at the Wisconsin-Iowa boundary waters – by March 1st at the Minnesota border – and by March 15th on the waters near the Upper Michigan border. Shanties must be removed by March 6th on the inland waters north of Highway 64, and by March 13th on the inland waters south of Highway 64. Those who don’t meet the deadlines can be fined up to $263. Ice fishers can still use portable shelters after the shanty deadlines – but they must be removed each day.”
I would say that other states that allow ice fishing will soon be following suit with orders to fishermen to get their portable shelters off the ice as soon as possible. With temperatures in the Northeast reaching 60 degrees on some days, the great thaw is just beginning. The last thing you’ll want to do is figure out how to get your shelter out of the lake after the ice cracks. More importantly, you don’t want to get caught in it either!