Every stinking year people start to drive out on the ice too soon. We had a chilly start to the season with some pretty cold temps earlier in December which made some quick ice. BUT, as averages tend to do they leveled it off with some warmer weather recently. I've been aware of at least a half a dozen vehicles going through the ice this last month, and I'm sure there are plenty more.

Some of the Northern lakes may be ready, but the best thing to do is to ask the guides or people who know what they are doing. For the majority of the state, it is just too early!

I belong to a Facebook group called Ice Fishing Minnesota, and it seems like daily we are seeing trucks or sometimes cars sticking halfway through the ice. I've even seen ice houses that have broke through.

Rule of thumb for ice safety is 12 inches of new clear ice before you drive out. Ice that has thawed and refrozen isn't as strong. Also it is very important to understand that lakes do not freeze over uniformly. Some areas may be much thinner or even open water, so you need to check ice thickness as you go. No ice is ever 100% safe.