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November 2014 Reports
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image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Ice Fishing Report December 19, 2014 - Final Test Results Are In

Well, we made it through crunch week; homework turned in, final exams complete and now with that behind us, it's time to relax.
What, first you want to see the report card? Hmm.. well okay then, let's see if I can ... okay here it is.

Bluegill A Report
Crappie A Report
Northern Pike A Report
Perch Incomplete  
Walleye B Report

I KNOW! But with all of the homework that Professor Panfish gave us, then that long drive to write the paper for Dr. Walleye, then the unexpected interruptions by Dean Pike ... Well, we just couldn't find time to get over the Perch hole. I guess that we'll have to schedule a Do-Over for the winter semester.
I already wrote up the Bluegill report on December 17 and our as much as I'd like to improve on the Crappie report, outdoor writer, Dan Johnson nailed it already. You might just as well click here to >> read about our Crappie fishing experience.
The Walleye fishing exam on Upper Red Lake was on yesterday's agenda.
When we arrived at Red Lake, the skies were bright Blue and there was barely a breeze. Our transportation onto the lake was provided by ... read more >> Red Lake Walleye Fishing .
image denotes link to Pines Resort on Lake Winnie (12/19) On Lake Winnibigoshish John Seekon, The Pines Resort; "I finally managed to make my way out onto the big lake last friday. At that time, I measured the ice in several areas and found 16 inches everwhere I stopped.
Perch have been providing the best action in 13 to 17 feet, which is much deeper than normal for this time of the season.
After last weekends warmup, several cracks opened up and have since re-frozen. Lake travelers need to be careful crossing over theses areas because the ice shifts with temperature changes daily"
The Pines Resort will be oficially open for business starting december 31, 2014. In addition to more fishing reports, John and Doreen Seekon provide winter lodging, ice shelter rentals and access to Lake Winnibigosish via plowed roads. Contact The Pines Resort on Lake Winnibigoshish .
image denotes field report from a fishrapper reader (12/19) On Cutfoot Sioux, Bryan Harris Eagle Nest Lodge says; "...". - EMAIL Eagle Nest Lodge

image denotes tackle warehouse giveaway Tackle Warehouse Gift Card Giveaway (12/18) - Ten lucky readers will receive a $50 gift card to Tackle Warehouse. This card is good for any and everything you can think of. Fishing lures, soft plastic baits, fishing line, rods; anything Santa might forget this year. Click >> Tackle Warehouse Giftcard Giveaway
image denotes news release (12/19) New treatment aims to eradicate Christmas Lake zebra mussels - On Friday, Dec. 19, a contractor working with the DNR injected 1,000 pounds of potassium chloride under the ice near the public boat access on the northwest corner of Christmas Lake. The chemical – also referred to as potash – kills zebra mussels by interfering with their ability to breathe, but it does not affect fish.
The potash application is the third treatment at the lake, where a small number of zebra mussels were found in August as part of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District’s early detection monitoring program. Because the mussels were found early and were confined to a small area, DNR staff thought it feasible that treatment might eliminate them. The DNR and the district have subsequently treated .... Read news release >> Christmas Lake Zebra Mussels

image denotes fishing report submitted by Jeff Sundin Ice Fishing Report December 18, 2014 - Panfish Shrug Off "Crunch Week" Cold Front

Any fear that I had about Sunfish and Crappies failing to show up for their final exams was laid to rest early on Tuesday. School was in session and the class, well they'd become hungry, maybe from doing too much homework.
Within minutes after we drilled our first series of holes, my friend Jeff Samsel laid a slab Crappie alongside of his hole. From that moment forward, the fishing was steady. By the way, it wouldn't surprise me if Jeff has a few words of his own about the trip on his Blog, Jeff Samsel Fishing
For frequent visitors to this page, the pattern we were fishing is familiar by now. We fished the ... Read full report >> Pan-Tastic Ice Season Start

image denotes Wired 2 Fish product giveaway

We asked NetBait Owner and professional angler Justin Sward for some help on a killer selection of baits for our latest giveaway and he did it right. A great selection of NetBait products that cover the water column. Four winners will get an opportunity to win a killer selection! ENTER >> Net Bait Owner's Choice Giveaway (1/1)

Greg Clusiau Fishing Report (12/16) From The Iron Range, Greg Clusiau wrote; "There are the times when an about face is needed, switching from a dinky little presentation to something a lot larger. I’ve seen this strategy pay off time and time again. Just don’t get locked into using the larger bait all day long if it’s not producing.
After struggling to catch any decent size bluegills with the basic small jig offering, I upsized the lure to see if I could interest any crappie. Using a ..." Learn More >> Read Greg Clusiau's Full Report .
image denotes field report from a fishrapper reader (12/15) On Leech Lake, ice fishermen are enjoying easy access to the ice. The snow cover is virtually gone, roads leading to the access ramps are easily passible and the ramps themselves are open.
The public landing at Sucker Bay is open and on Saturday ... read full story >> Leech Lake Ice Report .
image denotes field report from a fishrapper reader (12/15) From Lake of the Woods, Mike Kinsela, Border View Lodge; "Fish are biting although we have not reached the December peak as normal.
We are a mile out from Pine Island and are working hard on the private road. We are just finishing up a warm front that we’ve had the last few days and hope to have the road available in the near future for drive outs.
Be sure to check out our new winter menu on your next visit. We have added some great new options as well as nightly dinner specials.
Temperatures in the mid-teens Tuesday and Wednesday the rest of the week will hold in the low 20’s. Chance of showers Monday otherwise very little chance of snow Tuesday through the weekend." - 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge .

image denotes Wired 2 Fish product giveaway

The Abu Garcia Orra line-up is built with both the seasoned pro and weekend angler in mind. Their spinning rod and reel combos are designed to be used for multi-species and multi-technique applications. Here's your chance to win one in the >> Abu Garcia Orra Giveaway (12/23)

image denotes field report from a fishrapper reader (12/12) On Bowstring Lake, I heard from my friend Jeff Anderes who said; "Thought I'd chime in about the Bowstring pressure ridge. We went out from the West access and hit a few of our favorite spots without much luck on a brutal Monday. Did take a run at the pressure ridge and it looked pretty active, it pushed up 2-3 feet in many places. It appeared to run shore to shore from somewhere around the north landing due south- between the south access and cow bay.
image denotes question from a reader (12/12) from Dave Pruin; Q)1 "I see by the latest crappie picture that your using a spring bobber now, that St Croix guy got to you last year. I still think you should do a piece on when to spring bobber when not to.
A) Dave, I agree and I will. But for now, the short answer is that the spring bobber has helped me catch more Crappies and Sunfish. The spring bobber is especially helpful in ... read full answer >> Ice Fishing Report December 12

image denotes question from a reader (12/12) from David Green; "Why does my Strikemaster auger 6 inch grab just before breaking through ice?"
A) Dave, the blessing about Strikemaster's Lazer style blades is that they cut very fast. They are very sharp and the cutting angle is very aggressive. The curse about Strikemaster's Lazer style blades is that they ... read full story >> Strikemaster Auger Blades
image denotes link to Pines Resort on Lake Winnie (12/11) On Lake Winnibigoshish John Seekon, The Pines Resort; "15 inches of ice seems to be the average on Lake Winnie. Walleyes are being caught out on the humps out from the Birches Landing, in a mixture of sizes from too small to too large. Perch are being caught in 10 to 14 feet in tamarack bay. The pike spearers are reporting good success out in front or Bowens. Traffic is fairly light on the lake, I think alot of people must be at the shopping malls". Contact The Pines Resort for lodging and ice shelter rentals on Lake Winnibigoshish .
image of Gus' Place Logo (12/11) Gus' Place Resort, Ball Club Lake; "We are finally closing in on a good 12 inches of clear ice on the lake in front of the resort.
There is thicker ice on the South end off the public access, with no snow and no slush.
Fishing is very good for Perch & Northerns and fair for Walleye. Walleye are 25 ft. deep along the drop offs and the Perch & Pike are 12-16 feet. The last time we were out the Perch were only interested in small jigs and minnow heads. They would come in for the whole minnows, but would take the minnow parts.
The previous day on the lake the pattern was opposite. The fish are always there you just need to find the right trigger to get the bite." - Gus Sheker, Gus' Place Resort .

image denotes link to Humminbird Electronics

Humminbird Family Values Video Contest

Do you have any great family fishing videos in the can? Or, maybe you've been waiting for an opportunity to use your smartphone or camcorder to take a family fishing video? Now's the time to show off your talent! You could win a trip for four to the Bassmaster Classic! It's easy: load your video onto your Youtube channel, paste the url into the entry form found here: and get your friends to vote for your video! ‪#‎Bassmaster‬ >> Click Humminbird Family Values Video Contest

image denotes field report from a fishrapper reader (12/11) On Bowstring Lake, I stopped to look at the South landing on Tuesday and found out that there has already been some light truck traffic from that location. There's a small, but manageable pressure ridge at the ramp, but no visible sign of any cracks or ridges on the South side of the lake.
Fishing reports about Bowstring have been mixed, indications are that Walleye fishing has been slow. There are a handful of folks giving Bowstring Crappie fishing the thumbs up.
There will definitely be more news coming from Bowstring this weekend as the ice fishermen begin exploring.
Note: There is a rumor about a big crack somewhere in the mid-section of the lake. These are the perfect conditions for developing pressure ridges, so if you do venture out there, keep your eyes peeled.
image denotes field report from a fishrapper reader (12/11) From The Marcell Area, Frontier Sports' Paul Larson said; "Ice conditions in the Marcell area are generally good. Most lakes have at least 8 inches of ice or more with the exception being several of the large deep lakes. There is little vehicle traffic, only 4 wheelers and sleds are venturing out. Most fishermen are walking out. Pulling a small sled loaded with your equipment is a pleasure as there is very little snow on the ice. Crappie fishing has been fair and Walleye fishing about the same. It has been difficult to locate fish in any quantity. Spear houses have been out for a while now. With milder temperatures in the forecast for this weekend, there should be lots of folks out on the area lakes. The season is upon us and the tackle department is fully stocked for ice fishing with many new items for 2014. Reels, like the new 13 Fishing inline reels, the CGI and the Black Betty 6061, rods and combos, portables and pop-ups as well as electronics and augers. We also carry the Digger Auger Carrier along with many other ice accessories. A wide variety of jigs and plastics are in stock now along with a large selection of lipless rattle baits by LIVE TARGET, RAPALA and SALMO. This type of lure is becoming increasingly popular with Walleye anglers and they are very effective when teamed up with a jig and minnow on a dead stick set up close by. It’s like “CALLING ALL FISH”. The bait shop just got a fresh delivery of minnows, waxies and spearing decoys. We’re all set, are you? Be sure to drop by when you’re in the area. Have fun and be safe out there!".
Frontier Sports features a complete and fully stocked Sporting Goods department and Bait Shop, Gas, Grocery, Deli and Gift Shop. Frontier Sports is an authorized LIVE TARGET and SAVAGE GEAR dealer. Frontier Sports 219-832-3901 or Email .
image denotes field report from a fishrapper reader (12/11) On Cutfoot Sioux, Bryan Harris Eagle Nest Lodge says; "We had a couple spearing groups stay over the weekend and they had good luck on Cutfoot Sioux, right in front of the resort! It was easy for them to haul their portables out and come and go. The water was pretty clear, and they got lots of nice northerns. The biggest was 9#, but they got several 4 and 5 pounders. The ice is over a foot thick and in great shape. We have cabins available throughout the winter...nice rates". - EMAIL Eagle Nest Lodge
image denotes field report from a fishrapper reader (12/10) In Grand Rapids, Cub Reporter, Brian Castellano wrote; "A buddy and I hit an oxbow off of the mighty Mississippi River, in the Grand Rapids area.
When we got to our spot, we saw the ice sheet had dropped 2 to 3 feet, since this past Sunday.
We wondered if there would be any gators left in this skinny water.
We got set up and found 3' of water along the middle of this oxbow and it was game on from the get go!
We iced a dozen or so gators, with the big fish of the day being twin 30 inch fish. Action was fast and furious right off the bat and fizzled out by 2:00 pm.
It was funny setting the tip ups with only 1.5' of line hanging down. Live suckers and dead suckers were the bait of choice and both seemed to work equally well. There looked to be about 8-10" of ice".
image of caricature of jeff sundin Auger Wars: Update (12/10) For everyone who's been wondering; the Nils auger that I wrote about last week did an impressive job on its first fishing trip this Tuesday.
I ordered mine from Cabela’s on line where the item description is a wee bit confusing. So it wasn’t until after I had already ordered the unit that I fully understood how the Nils augers are marketed.
When you order one, you are going to receive a hand auger. That’s what they make, that’s all that they make, hand augers. Yes, there is an engine, a very good one, but that is sold as an accessory. The engine comes separately and includes all of the tools and adapters you'll need to fit it to the auger. Mine was very easy to assemble.
On the ice, it appears that the Tanaka engine is going to be a little bit cold blooded. Starting the motor after a pause lasting more than a few minutes required using the choke to start it. But start it did and when it's running, it sounds great. It has a lower pitch sound than most augers I've used, very business-like and easy on the ears.
Drilling holes with this auger was literally effortless. The 6 inch blades cut with the speed of the Lazer style blades that I used to use, but without the sensation that I'm being dragged into the hole behind it. Granted, the blades are new, smaller and the ice is only 15 inches thick, but I think that this auger is going to be really fun to use.
For years, I’d been intrigued by augers that drill smaller holes. For someone who spends most of the time fishing for Panfish, the 6 inch holes are perfect. They are large enough to pull a fish out even when the transducer is still in the hole. That said; I can see the time coming when I will want the extra size of an 8 inch hole. At some point, I will add the 8 inch size to my arsenal and be ready for any scenario.
Now, let’s see how she holds up. Learn More >> Auger Wars
image denotes question from a reader (12/9) Ice Auger Carrier for Snow machines? On Monday, I got an email asking about a rack for carrying an ice auger on snow machines.
A) My experience with auger carriers is limited, but as it happens, picking one up for myself was part of my mission at the ice show this weekend.
I talked with everybody I know and the consensus among those experts was to go with the one manufactured by Digger. Following their advice, I stopped in at the Reeds Sporting Goods booth, they had one and I bought it.
I looked it up and this link will take you right to it. >> Digger Auger Carrier
Greg Clusiau Fishing Report (12/9) From The Iron Range, Greg Clusiau wrote; "I thought of the days when we didn’t have the luxury of ice fishing electronics. It makes one wonder how in the world we ever caught any fish, especially when they were suspended.
I remember fishing late ice crappie on Buck Lake, off of Anderson’s Point, when the depth to fish was considered to be ..." Learn More >> Read Greg Clusiau's Full Report .
image denotes fishing report from Reed Ylitalo (12/8) From the Grand Rapids Area, Reed Ylitalo wrote; "On Friday I was out on a two different lakes in the deer River area fishing for walleyes.
First lake I showed up on had 11-1/2" of solid black iceand very minimal snow cover so you must have tracks or chains on it wheeler to get around.
Second lake we arrived with over 14 inches of ice in most all spots. Fishing was good finding Great variety of size of fish from 11" to 24" we were fishing structure anywhere from 19 to 25 feet of water.
A green glow jig seem to be the best on both lakes with a full minnow on a dead stick set up. - " Reed Ylitalo, - Wings and Walleyes Guide Service .
image denotes field report from a fishrapper reader (12/8) From Lake of the Woods, Mike Kinsela, Border View Lodge; "The winter season is here! We have houses out and have started fishing. We plan to have a couple sleepers out today. Our houses are set in 25-28 feet of water and we have about 12 inches of ice. We had some people out fishing last week and this weekend and they did well.
The guides have been working hard to smooth out the trails. We have not opened our private road to vehicles yet, the ice is very rough.
We are excited about our new menu items for this winter! Some of the new items are Walleye Cakes and Prime Rib bite appetizers. We have also added Big Salads with your choice of chicken, steak or shrimp. But that’s not all we have added some tasty new sandwiches and burgers, try the Smokey Brisket sandwich or Spicy jack Burger!
Make sure to get your winter reservations booked, February is filling in fast so call to reserve you dates!
It looks as if we have a warm-up coming our way. Wednesday it will get into the mid 30’s and continue thru Monday. Temps seem to be mild with little to no chance of rain or snow." - 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge .
image denotes question from a reader (12/5) "Hello Jeff. I'm looking to buy a handheld GPS unit for Xmas for my dad. Once a year we go to big Winne, and fish open water. Whenever we can, we fish hard water here in Wisconsin.
I'm looking to get a unit that we can use to start marking spots where we find structure, catch fish, etc. I would assume if I wanted detailed lake maps of Minnesota and Wisconsin I would have to buy that after correct?
Don't need the most expensive on the market but I would like a decent unit that will help is ultimately catch more fish.
A) While I'm thinking this one over, I wish that you would weigh in with your ideas too. Do me a favor and check the post (12-5) on the Fishing Reports Minnesota page and then add your ideas to the discussion.

Helping your fellow ice fishermen and women stay abreast of the ice conditions in your area is good for everyone and it's easier than you think!
Fishing Reports Minnesota is the Facebook counterpart to this page and it's open to the public.
Be like me, become a duly deputized "Cub Reporter" and post your own pics and comments. It's good for fishing! Click >>

image says become a duly deputized Cub Reporter

image of ice auger on ice

Auger Wars? NO! Just Drilling For Answers

When the going gets tough, some augers quit going.
We found that severe cold temperatures worked against our 4 Stroke models, idling them just when we needed them most.
Sundin says; "Luckily, every manufacturer has some tried and true models, machines that have been around for a while and have a proven track record. I believe that there are plenty of good choices out there. Answering a reader's question forced me into ... >> Drilling Down Answers About Augers

image denotes fishing question from reader (10/29) Kevin Scott asks about Ice Fishing Line; "Hey Jeff, I have a question for you! I am re-spooling my "ice fishing" reels and what do you feel is the best fishing line out there for my panfish reels and also my walleye and perch reels? There are many options so hoping you can give your thoughts.
A) Kevin, I use and love Lindy's Ice Line. I have 2 lb test on my panfish rods and 5 lb test on my Walleye rods. I've suggested it to people before and sometimes they report that it can be tricky to find at local tackle shops. I checked Lindy's website and at the moment, they say that it's out of stock.
A very good alternative is to use a line produced by Silver Thread that they call "Silver Thread Trout". It's a copolymer line that resists being saturated by the water, making it much less likely to freeze up during the cold weather.
The Silver Thread is readily available online through the Lurenet website so here's a link to Silver Thread Trout fishing line.

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More ways to connect! Sign up to receive the Free "Insider Newsletter". Don't forget, you can always catch up with Jeff Sundin on the radio program too! Listen every Thursday at 6:20 AM and get additional fishing reports and information. KAXE 91.7 FM Grand Rapids - 105.3 FM Bemidji - 89.9 FM Brainerd . Want even more? Get HANDS ON Fishing Tips. Book your own Guided Fishing Trip !

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Today December 19, 2014

image of Dan Johnson holding Walleye in Red Lake Rental Shelter
Photo Lindy Blogger Dan Johnson: The idea of catching Walleyes like this while you're Ice fishing in your tennis shoes could grow on you!

image of Dan Johnson holding slab crappie on ice
Lindy Blogger Dan Johnson showing off what happens when you up-size your presentation for Crappies. This one fell for a 1/16 ounce slick jig dressed with a Whatsit tail. Read >> Crappies in the Great Depression

December 17, 2014

image of Jeff Samsel holding Crappie on the ice
Within minutes after we drilled our first series of holes, my friend Jeff Samsel laid a slab Crappie alongside of his hole. I'll bet that Jeff has a few words about the trip on his blog >> Jeff Samsel Fishing

image of Lindy Tungsten Toad
Ice fishing in deep water requires plenty of weight to help maintain contact with your lure. On Tuesday, #10 Tungsten Toads, tipped with 3 or 4 wax worms were the preferred bait.

December 2014 Reports
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December 16, 2104

Early ice on Lake of the Woods is the time for fast action and great eating. Join Fish ED host Jon Thelen for this weeks episode >> Lake of the Wood Early Ice Walleye

image of ice fisherman walking on ice with standing water
Photo courtesy Greg Clusiau: The scene was a wet one for most ice fishermen this weekend. Water standing on the ice is seldom seen until late spring. Read >> Greg Clusiau's Fishing Column

December 15, 2014

image of an ice fisherman standing in the fog
Once I walked away from shore, there was no sign of anything or anyone, all I could see was the ice below me. The Fish Liked It That Way! read >> ice fishing report december 15

December 14, 2014

image of vehicle traffic on Leech Lake
At the Sucker Bay landing on Leech Lake, the concrete ramp is open and there was vehile traffic on Sucker Bay this Saturday.

image of Leech Lake access ramps
Popular Public Access ramps for Leech Lake are accessible this season. Barring a major snowfall, anglers will enjoy better access to the lake this winter.

image of ice fishermen on Sucker Lake
Small lakes around the North side of Leech Lake received heavy fishing pressure on Saturday. I counted 13 rigs at Lower Sucker Lake, with more arriving as I drove away.

image of ice fishermen on Middle Sucker Lake
Warm weather and easy access combined to provide anglers with an opportunity to fish even the most remote lakes.

December 13, 2013

image of Arne Danielson with Bluegills on the ice
Arne Danielson shown entering full-scale production mode for the 2014 Early Ice Twin Spin Panfish Expedition.

image of Arne Danielson with Crappies on the ice
Using the Glow Red Frostee Jigging Spoon tipped with Wax Worms was equally productive at the Bluegill hole (above) and later, at the Crappie hole.

image of lakemap showing Crappie hole
The Crappie hole was about 21 feet deep, surrounded by a mid-depth flat ranging in depth from 15 to 19 feet. The flat lays adjacent to an even shallower feeding area that features depths from 5 to 10 feet of water.

December 12, 2014

image of Crappie on the ice
Photo Reed Ylitalo; "The crappie fishing here in Northern Mn has been great we have been fishing 24 to 28 fow and seeing fish suspended 4 to 6 off bottom.

image denotes insider fishing news


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Jeff Sundin is a full time, professional fishing guide, outdoor writer and photographer. Book Jeff for guided fishing trips, for fishing seminars, fishing promotions and media events. Click here >> learn more about Jeff Sundin.

The Early Bird Fishing Guide, Jeff Sundin - 44076 Co Rd 128, Deer River, MN 56636
218-246-2375 Email copyright©2014 Jeff Sundin All Rights Reserved - last revised 12/19/14