It seems like every year, someone has to get rescued from Upper Red Lake while ice fishing. The location is a hotspot for the entire Midwest for fishing as soon as ice starts to form. Wouldn't it be smarter to just wait until there's plenty of ice locked in? Why do people risk losing their lives and their gear to go fishing on this body of water in December?

Rescues take place frequently, but that doesn't stop people from trying.

Just the other day, the Beltrami County Sheriff's office and nearby agencies had to go out with an airboat and rescue 35 anglers who floated away on an ice chunk. At first, it was about 50 feet of open water for the stranded fishermen. But, in the next two hours, the open water expanded to 200 feet.

Aggressive early walleye bite.

Upper Red Lake walleye fishing is at its best before the 1st of the year. Upper Red Lake is shallower than Lower Red Lake. In December the walleyes hang around in Upper Red Lake and aggressively bite. But, as the season progresses, they migrate to Lower Red Lake and go deeper. Lower Red Lake isn't accessible to the public as it is a part of the Red Lake Reservation.

Related: Watch Anglers Rescued From Upper Red Lake

Nice Eater Size Walleye

There are a lot of good eating-size walleyes in Upper Red Lake. You can possess up to 4 walleye, with only one of them being over 17 inches. Check out the regulation page from the Minnesota DNR.

Listen to the resort's advice, and get off the lake before dark.

The best way to stay safe is to listen to the local and resort's advice. They know the lake, and they pay attention to shifting ice and conditions. When on early ice, make sure you bring a spud bar and test the ice as you walk. Floatable clothing and ice picks are a good idea as well.

You can find some useful fishing tips and more from a great article I found from Virtual Angling.

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Gallery Credit: Dom DiFurio & Jacob Osborn