The 2013 Minnesota Fishing Opener on Mille Lacs Lake was unbelievable to say the least. But this year it wasn’t because of the spectacular walleye bite, it was because of what Mother Nature threw at us. On Friday, May 10th, generally the start of the Fishing Opener the lake was still blanketed with ice. Normally the highways would be congested with vehicles and boats in tow headed North for the tradition of fishing walleye and northern pike. This year the case wasn’t so because Mille Lacs, as well as many northern Minnesota lakes, still had ice on them.
The forecast all week was calling for 20-30 mph NW winds and those of us who reside on Mille Lacs Lake know what that could mean for this big body of ice cover. It meant the ice was going to move but the question was where and how bad. Shortly after 10:00 pm on Friday night the winds started to pick up. My guess is that everyone went to bed anticipating what tomorrow would bring. When day break came you would normally see boats wall to wall but this year mostly ice was seen. A few brave one’s ventured out in to the bay and North end areas where some open water could be found and reported catching some fish.
As the morning went on the winds increased and the ice began to move. It steamed on to the south shores of Mille Lacs like a locomotive and upsetting everything in its path from landscaping to trees and docks along the shoreline. Eventually moving in to houses and settling in their living rooms. Probably the hardest hit was the south shore at Izatys Resort. They are no stranger to this phenomenon and have witnessed the ice’s wrath before. The ice had already reach several of the lakefront townhomes and was wreaking havoc, sounding like breaking glass as it moved and eventually breaking glass. A front end loader was brought in to clear a path of ice to stop or at very least slow the destruction. Facebook lite up with photos of the event and people ventured out to see how amazing it was.
By 10:00 pm the winds had subsided and the ice movement calmed and the south end of the lake breathed a sign of relief. South wind is forecasted for Sunday which may steer the ice to the North end of the lake but hopefully not with such force.
2013 will definitely go down in the records books for Mille Lacs with record ice out and amazing ice movement!
This video shows the whole amazing event at Izatys.