Get ready for the biggest snowfall of the season.
That's what weather forecasters are predicting for Friday through Saturday.
Who knows how much white stuff we'll get? 3, 5, 8 or more inches? Even the best weather prognosticators don't know or can't predict. What's knew?
What I do know is that ice fishing action has slowed in the past few days. I have struggled to find more than a dozen or so ice anglers concentrated in one central area. Anglers are far and few between in other so-call traditional ice fishing hot spots.
Slow ice fishing traffic is probably due to the rise in the Mississippi River. Several anglers have told me it's tough getting onto the ice because of open water near shore.
That should change in the next couple of days with frigid temperatures setting in and snow on the way. I guess we'll just have to wait and see... just like our local weather meteorologists tell us.
Meanwhile, deer and turkeys are showing up more often thanks to fresh snow cover. Bird watchers are also getting more traffic to their feeders.
Skiers, snowmobilers, skaters and snowshoe enthusiasts are enjoying the white stuff, too.
Chad Knapmiller posted on his website at Schafer's River Rentals on Brice Prairie last Friday, that ice conditions continue to improve with the average thickness on the north side of Lake Onalaska around 8 inches.
"I saw some ATVs drive from here to the lights yesterday," Knapmiller posted. "Please use caution if you are going to do that." Knapmiller said fishing has remained steady from last week with crappies biting the best. Bluegills have moved around some, but he said anglers shouldn't be afraid to try different areas.
"Northerns have really started to take off and some big fish are being caught," he said. "Perch have been harder to come by. There was a school off of the Sailboat Club, but that seems to be over for now. Stop in and get the latest news!"
Across the Mississippi River, Minnesota DNR conservation officer Tom Hemker, stationed in Winona, reports the river rise has made for poor ice. In one case, three anglers who had driven back a path along the river found themselves in the water after a day of fishing. The water had risen throughout the day and was over the knee boots of one of the anglers. They were able to get all three vehicles out of the area.
Tyler Ramaker, a Minnesota DNR conservation officer in La Crescent, checked ice anglers and followed up on cases from the hunting season. Ramaker said panfish fishing has slowed some across the area. Ice conditions in Pool 9 have been variable with decreasing water levels leaving areas where ice is suspended above the water and newly-formed ice.
Until we meet, have a great day outdoors.