The Lake Ice is Leaving...by Capt Juls on 03/11/19
On Saturday, March 9th, 2019 there was ice on the lake, but not safe ice...which was the reason 46 of 146 ice fishermen had to be rescued off Catawba after a crack in the ice opened up and left some stranded.
100 of those were able to walk off the ice on their own, but the other 46 were not so lucky and were rescued by airboat and USCG helicopters.
That night, big SW winds appeared along with some warmer temps and some rain. I took a drive around the lakeshore yesterday morning to see what the ice conditions were like, and was pleasantly surprised to find that there was open water for as far as I could see, west of the islands.
A drive around Catawba island showed the same. Sure, there was floating ice out there, but for the most part the big sheets of ice were no longer in the passage or east of the bass islands. I'm sure there was still ice up in the triangle, between the bass islands and Green and Rattlesnake islands, as a SW wind would be pushing right in there.
This week, we are expecting above freezing temperatures, so hopefully that will help open up the ramps. However, I am not one to play with floating icebergs, so I won't be one of the first ones out there. We're still dealing with gusty winds, and when the water temps are what they are, I don't take chances just to make a buck or catch a walleye. One mishap could mean someone's life at this time of year, and when I am responsible for my customer's lives, it's something I take very seriously. Besides, my dogs wouldn't understand why I never came home...and, that thought helps me make better choices. ;)
My first trip is scheduled for next Monday, but if the winds don't die down...it won't be until the following weekend...23/24.