Ice fishing season has begun

December 17, 2018 GMT

It’s been a relatively warm December, but not so warm that anglers aren’t venturing onto ponds and reservoirs in southeast Minnesota.

Ice is 6-8 inches thick on most bodies of water around the Rochester area, and this week anglers have been catching panfish on the flood-control reservoirs. Jigs tipped with waxworms have been producing sunfish, crappies and perch, with the best crappie bites coming after the sun sets.

Anglers are advised to check ice thickness frequently, however, as the presence of springs and current can create pockets of thinner ice. As recently as two weeks ago, geese were swimming in open water on the reservoirs.


On all flood-control reservoirs around Rochester, the daily limit is 10 fish, with no more than five crappies and one northern pike.