MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s DNR put out a thin ice warning on Friday, encouraging people to stay off lakes until temperatures remain more consistently cooler.

However, on Saturday, several people were skating and fishing on White Bear Lake and DH Custom Rods and Tackle in Wayzata saw record sales on ice fishing gear.

“This is some of the busiest we’ve ever seen,” said Russ Towers, a long-time employee at DH’s.

Their custom made ice fishing rods were mostly sold by Saturday night and they were busy making more.

Many of those rods are likely being used by the dozens of fishermen spotted just down the road on Black Lake on Lake Minnetonka.

Towers says small bays like Black Lake have thick enough ice to fish on.

“It’s just open water in the big part of the lake. The smaller bays it’s 5-6 inches some of the bays,” said Towers.

However, he warns the ice on the bays is not thick enough for vehicles, 4 wheelers or snow mobiles yet.

The DNR says ice should be 3-4 inches thick to walk or skate on it, 5-7 inches to drive small vehicles and 8 inches or more to drive large cars on the ice.

Some Minnesotans don’t mind the mild temperatures keeping the lakes unfrozen.

“We love the fact that mild temperatures provide just another opportunity to go and enjoy the outdoors in Minnesota,” said Dean Pospesel, who was dining outside with friends along the open water on Lake Minnetonka in downtown Wayzata Saturday night.

Marielle Mohs