So far the ice season of 2019-2020 is starting out with some very serious slush problems statewide.

We got the combination of heavy snow on top of very little ice, and this combination produces lots of slush and very inferior ice. Even our cold snap from a few weeks ago didn’t make much ice as the heavy snow has insulated the ice – making only a couple of inches during the cold spell. 

I have run into slush on several lakes this past week, and we need some very serious cold temperatures to solve the slush issue.

On the other hand, if we get a warm up, the slush will become even a bigger problem.

The way things look so far, the snowmobile will be the only viable means of transportation on the ice, as even the ATVs are having a tough go of it. This could very well mean that the larger wheel houses and heavy permanent ice houses will be on dry land for the entire season.

It is very important to always hit the ice with a partner, as many anglers have been stranded in the slush with frozen tracks on their sleds and ATVs that won’t start.

Always have a wingman this season for safety reasons.

For this angler, it looks like road trips are in the future, heading to extreme northern lakes or far western lakes as the snow and slush issues are minimal there.  

I have seen many winter ice seasons where the unusual conditions we now face could threaten the entire ice fishing season. It’s about trying to get where you want to go and mostly settling for areas that are secondary mainly because of the ability to access all points is limited.

Steve Carney is a Minnesota fishing guide, outdoor writer and guest speaker.

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