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Warm weather keeps anglers ashore and bait shops quiet

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Bad news for ice anglers: Minnesota's unseasonably warm weather could stick around to break some records this week.

The National Weather Service says temperatures might reach the 50s Wednesday in the southern part of the state. That won't help freeze the lakes.

Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources reports dangerously thin ice in the northeastern part of the state. Meanwhile, many lakes in the southern half of the state have no ice at all.

Lakes bordering Canada don't look much better. Lake of the Woods has 1-3 inches of ice in some of the bays. The DNR says ice should be at least 4 inches to walk on.

Despite the recommendations, Lake of the Woods tourism officials say they've seen "a few daring pike anglers" out on the frozen water.

Many lakes had been frozen over by Nov. 21 last year, according to the DNR.

No ice, no business

Some bait and tackle businesses are feeling the effects of a mild winter.

Bait shop workers told KARE 11 business is slow. People don't have a reason to buy bait since the ice isn't fishable.

Scott Peters of Nitti's Hunter Point Resort on Mille Lacs Lake told WCCO they almost had a foot of ice by this time last year. Now, the ice in bays is still too thin to support an ice house.

But Joe's Sporting Goods in St. Paul told KARE they're making plenty of sales. The station reports people are buying fish houses, ice augers and other goods to get ready for when the cold finally strikes.

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