BY: RACHEL WUMKES
Alright stop, collaborate and listen!
Folks, we are officially into the part of the year where the air hurts. It literally hurts. My face. My fingers. Any exposed piece of skin to the outside elements… hurts.
I don’t like it.
Because of that, I was all set to write up this blog full of my winter complaints and how it’s too early for the frigid temperatures and arctic blasts of air. I’m still longing for my afternoons in the sun on City Beach, back when the air made me feel happy and carefree. Not in pain.
So what does this mean?
Well… it means ice. Our beautiful, crystal blue lake has turned to ice. And while thousands of fisherman are jumping for joy, organizing ice shacks and taking inventory in their tackle box… I am not.
I am opening a bottle of wine and dreaming of sunny days.
And when I saw the official word from our Water Plan Superintendent, Adam Theiss, that the lake is officially iced-in as of Tuesday, November 12th, the despair settled even deeper. Really? How could this be happening already? It’s just too soon, right?
Apparently the summer in Clear Lake does an exceptional job of erasing the pains of the previous winter. Filling our brains with memories of lake time fun in the sun. Of live music and carnivals and corn dogs dripping in mustard. Deleting all recollection of any bitter cold and snow.
I know this for a fact, because I could have sworn the lake froze over much later last year. No way was it this cold, this early, or I would’ve remembered it.
Again. Wrong. Last year’s official ice-in date was November 13th.
Yet, as temps this time of year tend to ebb and flow, I’m sure you’ll see portions of open water again at some point. That being said, it brings up a very important bit of information in need of some awareness.
Stay. Off. The. Ice.
It’s thin, people. Definitely too thin to hold the weight of a person. It literally JUST completely froze a day ago. Which certainly does not mean it’s ready for anything larger than a small bird at this point.
Our friends over at Clear Lake Bait & Tackle recently posted some helpful tips on their Facebook page to ensure ice safety, and stressed the need for proper tools when navigating the ice.
For example: Everyone needs a spud bar, ice creepers, and safety spikes. Using these 3 items properly will help keep you on top of the ice. They also recommend a float suit. If you happen to fall in while wearing a float suit, it will help keep your head above water, as well as help get you back out of the water.
Incidentally, they are having a sale on said ice safety items, so if you’re planning to go out on the ice this winter, now would be a good time to shop.
There will be plenty of upcoming days to enjoy fishing and such on our frozen tundra. But for today… just keep off the ice.
And stay warm, friends.