As we move toward the end of March, people are definitely getting antsy for some open water. I think it is especially true this year because mid-March last year my wife and I sat on the deck in 70-degree weather and watched the ice disappear on Big Spirit Lake. This year I am still ice fishing. However, since the rain, the smaller lakes are getting pretty shaky along the shorelines. On the big lakes, I am definitely past the vehicle on the ice thing. It’s much safer to hoof it!
I must admit that last year’s early ice-out was a rarity, when the average ice-out is nearly three weeks later. So, just what constitutes normal, early and late? According to data collected by the Iowa Great Lakes Water Safety Council, the normal ice-out dates for the lakes are as follows:
East Lake-March 31
West Lake-April 5
Big Spirit–April 4
As early as ice-out was last year, that was not the earliest. Here is the earliest date for each lake:
East Lake-March 3
West Lake-March 7
Big Spirit-March 6
Here is the last date recorded for each lake:
East Lake-April 26
West Lake-April 28
Big Spirit-April 28
If you are looking to try some open water fishing, good reports are coming from the river at Ft. Thompson north of Chamberlain, SD. Big walleyes and lots of walleyes are being caught.
As I write this, however, only one boat ramp is open, so the wait to launch and load can take quite a while. Once all of the ice goes out of the main campground boat ramp and the ice is gone all the way to Chamberlain, access will be much better.
Iowa Great Lakes Fishing Club Spring Swap Meet
Over our 41 years of marriage, my wife and I tease each other about our piles. I look in her closet and just shake my head at all of the clothes and shoes. She comes to my domain, the garage, and just shakes her head at all of the fishing equipment I have collected. My wife does whittle down on her piles by taking clothing to consignment.
As for me, I will give some stuff to the boys and the grandkids, but for the most part, it just builds up. You know how it is when a new rod or reel hits the market.
That’s what makes the Iowa Great Lakes Fishing Club Spring Swap Meet so interesting. What a great place to sell some of my stuff and YES maybe come home with some more fishing stuff!
The Swap Meet will be held in Arnolds Park at the Amusement Park Pavilion on Saturday, April 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Admission to the show is only $1. If you want to rent a table to show off your fishing equipment, cost will be $7.50 for club members and $10 for the general public.
Gary Biederman, president of the fishing club says the swap meet is open to the public. “You don’t have to be a club member to rent a table and show your wares.”
However, everyone is reminded that only rods, reels and other fishing related items can be on display.
All proceeds will go for Iowa Great Lakes Fishing Club youth fishing programs. Lunch will be available.
This will be the perfect time to get rid of those items that you no longer use and the perfect time to buy something you can use. Remember, one person’s “junk” can be another person’s “treasure!”
To reserve a table contact the following:
Barry Kruse (712) 330-0382
Dennis Phillips (7112) 363-4948
Larry Slota (712) 260-0241
Kendall Mead (712) 262-7084