There's still ice up north!

By Bill Bartusek, Jr., Outdoors Columnist

After a big snow storm up north last week, the southern part of the state held its breath waiting for a big storm too. Lucky for us it didn't get here.

Now it looks like we're headed for warmer weather. The lakes in this half of the state are open but those north of the cities are not. I thought we would have an early ice out up north. Now I'm not so sure. The snow cover and cooler weather really shot down the thaw.

At the cabin last week you easily could have used a Snowmobile to drive around. We used 4-wheelers to drive out on the ice. Even the shores were still solid as we drilled through more than 20 inches of ice. There is still four inches of snow on the ice-covered lake.

All the streams and rivers are open and flowing. With the open rivers come the migrating birds. Eagles, sand hill cranes, ducks and geese are all there. The trumpeter swans that call our lake home fly around the lake each day checking for open water. They are all there waiting for spring just like we are. Our hawk is still catching birds at the feeder. We saw him catch one on Saturday. I'm sure he has been doing this for quite some time. He has quite a retrieve. He flushes the birds at the feeder and if one hits the cabin or makes a small mistake he snatches the little bird right in mid air.

On the ice we had a ball fishing. I headed for a spot I fished last April and quickly found plenty of fish. Fishing in about 10 feet of water we landed all the sunfish we wanted. Mixed in with the sunfish were perch, bass and pike. Brenda had the biggest bass - about 3-1/2 pounds. All the game fish were released of course.

Think Spring and have a Happy Easter!

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