Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)-- It's a Northland tradition with perseverance. Men and woman perched over holes drilled into many of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes.
There's a noticeable silence surrounding the shores of Pike Lake in the waning days of December.
That is until anglers start drilling, searching for that first catch of the day.
"Trying to see what we can catch, if we do catch anything but usually we don't on Pike Lake."
Navy Core Man Landon Lallor is enjoying the short time he has back home, catching nothing.
"I just about hanging with friends and coming on the ice and trying to see what you can catch, if you do catch anything," said Lallor, standing outside of a portable ice house on Pike Lake.
He's not the only one hitting the lakes this winter.
"I was surprised going over the books, it was looking a little bit like May there, and I'm pleased."
Ice Fishing outfitters are reporting higher than average sales.
"It's a nice year with good, thick ice and not a lot of snow on it. That really makes a big difference," said Sue Chalstrom with Chalstrom Bait.
Fisherman are stocking up on tackle, rods and all kinds of live bait.
"There are years the ice gets ruined with too much snow so it's just great that everything works out," said Chalstrom.
Taking advantage of a year fit for a fisherman.
The Department of Natural Resources estimates there's close to 4,000,000 acres of fishable water in Minnesota.