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As hard water season winds down, those keen to grab the fleeting opportunities of the upper ice belt regions will be closely monitoring conditions relevant to ice thickness and keeping watch for the potentially hazardous areas.

With lots of warmer water entering lakes through cracks, abandoned holes and shoreline drainage, those shallow weed beds will be thick with panfish. Just make sure your route to and from remains safe.

In this video, Ice Team pro Matt Breuer describes one of the most common trouble spots—a “heave” formed by converging ice masses.