Minnesota Fishing Reports
"The surface temperatures were barely tickling 50 degrees before the cold snap moved in. Once is arrived, water temps fell solidly back below 50 degrees again, hovering in the 48 to 49 degree mark in most areas.
Any ill effects that the cold water might have caused were mitigated by strong winds and as a result, walleye fishing was excellent. One friend that checked in with us said that “the bite was off the charts”. For example, the guests down at Driftwood Resort reported Sunday that they’ve caught 75 walleye just off of the resort dock alone. That was late afternoon, before the evening bite even started, so the numbers probably got larger.
On the lake, we covered a lot of water and checked a lot of spots over the past few days. While there are some deep water options for walleye, we think that the shallow, rocky points are still the best option, especially for quality size fish. Don’t be afraid to ..." Read More >> KAB Outdoors Report May 20, 2019
You can probably understand why the crowd on Winnibigoshish was light this Saturday.
For anglers, the conditions were less than ideal; whitecaps churned up by a strong northeast wind at 10 to 20 MPH, steady rain falling and an air temperature in the low 40’s.
For fish, the conditions were less than ideal too, or so it appeared in the morning. The sudden temperature drop forced surface water temps back down into the 48 to 50 degree range. The low barometric pressure gave fish a case of the blahs too and fishing spots that had previously been good were now producing nothing.
At 11:30 AM I told my new friend Bob Vrklan that it was his lucky day. “Why is that, he asked?” “Because this is the day you get to ..." Read >> Winnie Walleye Fishing Update may 19, 2019
The wind was brisk, but manageable on Thursday and the walleyes did what they do best; went on a feeding binge. Since the opener, almost everybody that’s been fishing the big lake has caught fish. Thursday was no exception, but it was a little different.
Different in that it’s not unusual during the early season to hear stories about catching lots of fish, except with a low proportion of keeper size walleye. Most folks have fun catching the larger fish, but most would like to eat a few too and catching eater fish was a lot easier on Thursday.
The reason catching keeper size fish was easier on Thursday is because they ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Walleye Report May 17, 2019
After reading yesterday's report about following spawning shiners to catch walleyes on Red Lake, Estelle Palmer wrote; Q) Jeff, I always thought shiners spawned in the fall?
A) Thank you for the comment Estelle; this is a great follow up to that report and it dove tails with another question from Kent Hoerdt that we’ll get to in a minute.
It's completely understandable that you would have had that impression because shiners actually do migrate into these same shallow sand flats in the fall. Often, huge schools of them move across the flats during a warm, sunny afternoon.
There haven’t been many extensive studies about the behavior of Spottail Shiners, or at least I can’t locate any. So I’m not sure about the precise scientific explanation of the fall migrations. But I have ... Read >> Accounting For The Shiner Shortage May 16, 2019
"Finding a lightweight, durable spinning reel that has the power to wrench big fish from any cover can be a tough nut to crack. The Lew's Mach 1 Spinning Reel comes in at an affordable price of 59.99, and is packed with desirable features.
The reel comes standard with with a double anodized knurled aluminum spool, a lightweight graphite body, 10 ball bearings, a zero reverse one-way clutch bearing, a C4 Carbon Skeleton Rotor, and more. With the adjustable right or left hand retrieved this reel will do the job for all anglers, from the beginner all the way to the die-hard spinning reel aficionado.
In our latest giveaway, we are going to give 5 Wired2Fish readers a chance is to win one of these new reels. We are giving away the MH200A in this giveaway." Learn More and Enter >> Lew's Mach 1 Spinning Reel Giveaway
"Walleye fishing was excellent over fishing opener weekend. Anglers fishing in 20-28 feet of water during the day, then moving shallow (10 feet of water or less) in the evening, at night and early in the morning, caught piles of walleyes. Jig and minnow was the way to go when the walleyes were deep. As they moved shallow, minnow baits casted shallow was the top producers. Best colors were blue, purple, rainbow minnow and perch.
Northern Pike fishing was challenging for many as large live suckers were in short supply this opener. Anglers that simply changed over to dead smelt or large golden shiners reported excellent fishing. We even had one local angler reporting his family ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report May 16, 2019
Upper Red Lake was no disappointment for my long time fishing customer and good friend Craig Anderson. Craig joined me for what I’d hoped would be an instant replay of the fabulous opener I and my family had there last Saturday.
Conditions on the lake were a lot different than they were last weekend, instead of wild and wooly whitecaps, the lake was flat as a pancake. The weather forecast led us to expect a fairly brisk south wind, but that never developed. However, the predicted warm air temperature did develop and the result was a beautiful, calm day. In fact it was so nice that calling what I did yesterday “work” sort of makes me feel guilty.
On a lot of lakes, smooth water conditions can be discouraging news for walleye anglers, but on Red Lake, it usually doesn’t hurt a thing. On Tuesday, I’d go so far as to say that it helped because the calm conditions allowed the water temperature to rise steadily throughout the day. As the sun came out and the water warmed, minnows began pushing toward the shoreline sand flats.
When that happens, the walleye ..." Read >> Walleye Fishing Report May 15, 2019
"Water temps around the county are hovering around that 52-54 degree mark. Still a little cold for the shiners to be up shallow so best walleye action is still yet to come after water temps start to climb and the shiners move shallow.
Anglers are catching fish pitching shiners on jigs or rigging them. Another great option this time of year is casting a small rig with a worm weight, #6 Octopus hook, and short leader. This rig can be worked through new weed growth with ease and be casted up shallow or drug around the edge of the dropoff.
Panfish action has been fantastic in ..." Read >> Ottertail Area Fishing Report May 15, 2019
"If the first few days of the fishing season are any indication of what’s to come, then the walleye fishing on Kabetogama will be impressive this summer. The bite was strong over the opener and fishing patterns were predictable.
Water temperatures are still pretty cold, 45 to 47 degrees is common and so far, we haven’t been able to document any temperatures over 50 degrees.
Walleyes are split up into 2 distinct groups right now. Larger fish, mostly females are relating to ..." Read More >> KAB Outdoors Report May 14, 2019
Q) Phil Tompkins wrote; "Jeff, I know that you always have run a tiller boat, but in your article about Red Lake you talk about spot-lock to catch your fish. Why would you need a bow mount trolling motor on a tiller boat, or did you switch to a steering wheel?
A) Phil, I’m still a dyed in the wool tiller operator. Even though I could probably fish in a “wheel boat” 80% of the time, there are still days when circumstances dictate using the tiller. As long as I continue to make my living primarily by guiding, I’m planning on using the tiller engine to control my boat.
That said the advancements in trolling motors, charting and electronics make using the bow mount an absolute necessity these days.
In the scenario I wrote about yesterday, we found the fish by ..." Read >> Bow Mount Trolling Motor On Tiller Boat, Why?
"On the south end, walleye season opened with great success. Limits of walleyes and saugers plus some big walleyes were found in the river, Four Mile Bay, main basin of the lake. The go to presentation was a jig and minnow. Reports of fish in varying depths, but 18-25' was best. Most reported limits, some in a couple of hours.
On the Rainy River, the focus shifted Saturday from sturgeon to walleyes. As predicted, good numbers of walleyes still in the river and the bite was good. Best action was between Baudette and the Wheeler's Point area. Good numbers of walleyes also reported in ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Updates May 13, 2019
On the first day of the new Spartan Angling class at Nashwauk-Keewatin high school, instructor Luke Adam asked his students, "name one fish that you would like to catch." The students voted unanimously to try their hand at catching a lake sturgeon on the famed Rainy River, something none of them had ever done before.
Who wouldn't want to try reeling in the biggest fish of their lives? A fishing date was set, and all the class had to do was wait for the day, which took place last Friday.
Luke Adam, this week's guest writer, tells of the adventure; "The Spartan Angling Team ... Read >> Spartan Angling Team Class Project May 13, 2019
Dad, what did you mean when you said that we’d be “among friends” when we arrived at Red Lake? That was the question Annalee; my oldest child asked me late in the day on or family fishing trip to Upper Red Lake yesterday.
The answer is next, but first let me explain why the question even came up at all.
I think the weather forecast changed about every 6 hours all week long. We’d been watching the predictions while we hemmed and hawed about where we’d go and what we’d do under each new scenario.
We’d already ruled out our original idea, Upper Red Lake a few days ago because of ..." Read >> Awesome Opening Day On upper Red Lake May 12, 2019
"It was one of our better openers in many years. Every boat that I talked to caught fish. Most of the fish were in the protected 18-23"
slot. But there were many reports of double digit catches per angler.
Not per boat, but per angler. There was no magic spot, either. The fish were reported being caught from Little Stony Point on the south end of the lake, all the way to ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Fishing Opener Report May 12, 2019
Paul Plinske wrote; “Q) as open water season approaches, and everyone is excited about the opener, I had a question about Bowstring Lake. It seems the lake has been in a downward trend the last couple of years (at least for us). Lakes seem to be cyclical in nature, and I was wondering if you have a gut feeling and or if you have any information from the DNR as to the numbers of fish in the lake based on past spawns?
Is there anything to support the idea that the lake may now start an uptick in action and quality of fish?
A) Paul, I didn’t think I could do justice to your question without first scheduling an appointment with the Grand Rapids Fisheries Supervisor, Dave Weitzel. During that discussion, Weitzel shared the management plan for Bowstring, along with the most ..." Read >> Bowstring Lake Walleye Fishing Outlook May 10, 2019
"Rainbow minnows are king up here in the Ely area and as usual this time of year, supplies are limited. Once the water warms up a little, we expect our local trappers to start catching more, but for now we currently have a limited supply of nice big, fat and colorful rainbows.
Anglers also use their fair share of shiners and they also work great. We are well stocked with golden shiners and they are in great shape! We even have some big golden shiners for the trophy walleye, pike and lake trout anglers. Last but not lease, leeches. We are very well stocked with leeches right now and don’t expect to run out anytime soon.
At a certain point, even the most mild-mannered bait shop manager reaches their limit of how many calls they can handle, especially after a full day of answering the same question over and over. It doesn't much matter whether the calls are from a tourist in Owatonna or from your favorite Cub Reporter; Staff #003, inquiries about shiner supplies have not been well received.
I get it, they're working their tails off trying to get ready for the opener and they're frazzled, the last thing they need is more phone calls. I’ve been in their position before and that commotion gets old fast! That's why I'm going to ..." Read >> Minnesota Fishing Opener Bait Supplies May 9, 2019
We’ve still got a little work to do, but the groceries are in, the liquor store is getting stocked today and we’re keeping an eye open for the rest of our live bait deliveries too.
We’re expecting the fishing opener to be fairly typical, but the water temperatures may be a little bit colder than average. Most walleyes are already finished spawning, but there may still be a few in the finishing stages of their run.
Anglers should expect most of the walleyes to ..." Read More >> KAB Outdoors Report May 8, 2019
Personally, I believe that fretting about the shiner supply is hardly worth the hassle. That's because I already know that supplies of alternative minnows like fatheads and rainbows are good this spring.
As long as I can get any minnow in the 3 to 4 inch range, I’ll feel confident that I can catch fish, no matter what type of minnow it is. This is especially during the opening week of fishing because this is the period when fish are hungry and baitfish supplies are close to the lowest levels of the year.
I know too that many of you don’t share my faith in alternatives; for you it’s gotta be shiners or nothing. That’s why I’ve spent the past couple of days asking bait shop owners the perennial question; “how is your supply of Spottail Shiners stacking up for the fishing opener?”
The range of answers was ..." Read >> Shiner Supplies Tight But Available For the Fishing Opener May 8, 2019
Steve Penkoske wrote; “Jeff, do you have a preference when it comes to electric trolling motor batteries?”
Steve, this is a question that I still struggle with when I rig my own boats. That's because a big part of my answer to you depends on your budget. If I assume that you have an unlimited budget, then I’d answer the question one way. But if you’re like me and you’re watching every nickel that goes into getting a boat from the dealer to the lake, then there’s a second answer.
AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) Batteries are reported to hold their charge better than typical wet cell batteries do. For folks who don’t fish every week, this could be important. Let’s say for example that you keep your boat at the lake, maybe on your dock, on a lift. It would be really nice to ..." Learn More >> Trolling Motor Batteries; Which Ones Are Best? May 7, 2019
"The fishing opener is finally here, and it’s been a long wait for many, with that miserable winter robbing us of a good deal of our fishing time. Now it’s time to make up for it!
What time will you be hitting the lake? The sunrise/sunset table shows that the “official” sunrise will take place at 5:49 am, but you can more-than-likely see good enough well before that, so figure that into your plans.
Many start the new season at midnight, something that I’ve done a time or two. I don’t like it. Yes. Fishing can be very good but by the time the sun comes up I’m shot and usually cold. I never did like working midnights.
However, if you’re thinking of the midnight opener, then ..." Read >> Clusiau Report Greg's Guidelines May 7, 2019
"An old fashioned Texas rig has been catching bass forever and remains one of the most versatile presentations in your arsenal. While it's common practice to peg the weight with a bobber stop to prevent it from sliding up and down your line, Hall of Fame angler Shaw Grigsby explains why this is a mistake in his opinion.
Whether you prefer flipping, pitching, casting, or a combination of the three, consider forgoing the bobber stop peg with your Texas-rigged baits. As Shaw explains, leaving your weight free-floating on the line provides a higher hookup ratio and landing rate; the free-sliding weight allows a more natural action to ..." View Video and Learn More >> Why You Should NOT Peg Your Texas Rig Weight
The ice had been off the lake for a couple of weeks already, so we missed out on any sort of “post ice-out migration” into shallow water. On Sunday, the fish didn’t show any interest in shallow water. They were located in about 18 feet of water, on a sharp breakline adjacent to the lakes deepest water.
They showed a definite preference for structure, if we moved onto the shallow flat, the screen of my Humminbird showed no fish. The same thing happened if I moved deeper, over the center of the mid-lake basin; my screen showed no fish. As long as I straddled the breakline, we encountered schools of fish.
Every school of fish had a slightly different attitude, some were located high in the water column; 6 to 8 feet above the bottom. Other schools of fish hugged tighter to the bottom and there were typically less than 2 feet above it. The variations in depth didn’t seem to impact their feeding behavior though, we could catch them as long as we ..." Read >> Our Crappie Pre-Season Warmup may 6, 2019
Big Winnie has been open for a while now so we’ve been able to get into the lake to repair docks before the season opens.
We’re watching for signs of an early minnow run into the shallows, but so far we’ve been in the only living things in the water. Until today, it’s been wet and grey outside and that doesn’t get them moving very well. There are shiner traps showing up around the shoreline today and there’s been some sunshine too, maybe that will get the bait supply flowing.
Early this week Chad visited the DNR crew up at Little Cutfoot to see the walleye traps. It was an impressive sight, there were lots of fish in the net and a lot of them were good looking eater size fish. There were some big ones too, but it looks like our guests should have a good chance to ..." Read >> Pines Resort Lake Winnie Update May 4, 2019
One really encouraging signal was the number of “keeper size” fish we saw at the DNR walleye egg harvest this spring. There were lots of fish in the 13 to 17 inch range in the trap and while there were lots of larger fish too, it appeared that ratio of small fish to large ones has increased.
Encouraging us to exercise caution, DNR large Lake Specialist Gerry Albert reminds that it isn’t practical to form an opinion based on a one time sighting at the traps. Still, we’ve been there numerous times over the years and anecdotally, the fish we saw there this spring left us itching to ..." Read >> Lake Winnibigoshish Cutfoot Sioux 2019 Fishing Season Outlook May 2, 2019
"Join along for a largemouth bass smashfest with Seth Feider as he experiences the Tokyo Rig for the first time. His confidence and knowledge flow (along with his stash and hair) as he gets on a solid shallow water flipping bite then takes the battle to offshore bass relating to bluegill and deep grass.
Feider discusses attributes of the Tokyo Rig that make it stand out from conventional Texas-rigged plastics and jigs, a plus when dealing with educated fish. Most notably, its unique rigid dropper wire coupled with a tungsten weight keeps the bait and hook slightly suspended off the bottom and independent from the weight.
This translates into a more bait action and ..." View Video and Learn More >> Piscifun Phantom X Casting Reel Giveaway
Q) Todd Olson wrote; really enjoy your site and fishing information you share - GOOD STUFF!! I would like to try wiggle worming when my dad & I come to the lake in June. What rod(s) do you and John Thelen suggest for wiggle worming?
Rereading one of your past articles, you had suggested TFO's model number GTS DSS 632-1. Any info on rod selection would be much appreciated.
A) Todd, choosing a great rod for wiggle worming is actually really easy, but there are a few key features that I insist on when I’m shopping for new ones.
To begin with, I use 1/16 ounce jigs for Wiggle Worming almost exclusively and I have every reel spooled up with 4 pound test line. Occasionally, I will ..." Read >> QnA Which Rods Are Best For Wiggle Worming?
In preparation, it’s time to share the fishing outlook the 2019 fishing season on Kabetogama.
If there was ever a time to use the term “typical ice-out”, it would be now. The median ice-out date for Kabetogama is April 29th and according to the MN DNR Official ice-out map, "KAB" joined the list of ice-free lakes on, you guessed it, April 29, 2019.
Walleye spawning for the most part will be wrapped up before the opener and typical migrations will be occurring. Anglers should expect to find fish in ..." Read More >> Lake Kabetogama 2019 Fishing Season Outlook
Q) Jerry Kray wrote; “Hi Jeff. I was hoping to visit the walleye run at Cutfoot this spring so I've been checking your reports. On Tuesday, I followed the link from your page and read Bowen’s Walleye Stripping at Cutfoot report about already being all wrapped up.
From watching your reports, I saw there were other egg harvests going around the state over a week ago. I wonder why the operation at Cutfoot started so late and ended so soon this year. What are your thoughts?"
A) Jerry, there’s no doubt that this year’s scheduling of the walleye egg harvest at Cutfoot was a departure from the norm. The overriding concern that drove the decision making process was making sure that there was plenty of dissolved oxygen in the water. The reasoning behind that concern and its influence on this year’s scheduling relates to a combination of factors including fish biology, weather and ..." Read Answer >> Why Cutfoot Walleye Egg Harvest Was Short May 1, 2019
Every spring, the MN DNR sets nets in a bottleneck of Little Cutfoot Sioux Lake to collect and fertilize eggs from the thousands of males and females making their yearly journey to their spawning beds.
The goal of this practice is to meet statewide needs for stocking fish in small lakes that otherwise would not have a self-sustaining walleye population, and the amount of eggs collected varies from year to year. In 2019, roughly 80 quarts of walleye eggs ..." Read >> Bowen Lodge Fishing Report April 30, 2019
So you’ve already rigged up your boat and you’re watching your calendar, counting down the days until walleye season. You might be thinking; “I wish there was someplace I could fish this weekend.” Well there is, if you want to.
Big Pike don’t wait around for warm water to spawn. In fact, they’re the first fish into shallow water as the ice melt occurs. They move into shallow, backwater bays and swim upstream into small feeder creeks to spawn while main lake areas are still frozen.
For most Minnesotan’s, knowing that doesn’t necessarily mean much because the statewide season for pike fishing is closed while the fish are spawning.
But on certain border water lakes, fishing for Northern Pike is an option, even during the spring spawning runs.
While there are other places to go during the spring spawning runs, Lake of the Woods really is the first place you should think about. The giant lake offers fish plenty of room to grow and because of that, provides anglers with some of the best opportunities to ..." Read >> Ice-Out Trophy Pike at Zippel Bay Lake of the Woods
"Sturgeon Anglers are having great success! Northern Anglers are having great success! The weather has cooperated nicely! Win, win, win!
We have had a great spring for projects and being outdoors! There have been so many opportunities in the area, if you ever felt the need to move North, now is a great time. There are many businesses hiring and spring time is a great time to house hunt!
The Corn Hole tournament on the deck yesterday was a blast! There is still a large sheet of ice on the lake, but you can see the gaps around Pine Island have opened up and the Warroad area is also breaking apart. There have been huge ..." Read >> Rainy River Sturgeon, Lake of the Woods Northern Pike Updates April 30, 2019
Well now that was a short summer! I’m glad I was able to get the boat out on the water for a couple days before the snowfall came to visit.
The first day had Andy Walsh and I checking out my new graph and doing a little fine-tuning. Anxious to put the boat in the water, there’s always a few things that I forget to do with each new season. Many times, it takes me 3-4 outings before I’m ready for the walleye opener and this year is no different.
Outing number one found me leaving the fire extinguisher at home, along with my new boat stickers. They were purchased, well in advance, but were sitting safely in my desk at home. Those miscues were remedied for the next trip, along with a few other ..." Read >> Greg's Guide Lines April 30, 2019
On January 16, 2019 I asked website readers a question. “If you could personally influence Minnesota’s DNR Commissioner to take action on one issue, what would it be?”
The overwhelming majority of email responses I received concerned panfish regulations, sunfish in particular. On this topic, 100% of the suggestions and comments were aimed at addressing their declining size. Suggestions for regulations aimed at improving and preserving size quality varied, but there were some common threads.
Discussion about walleye regulations were the next most widely discussed topic and there was a clear division between 2 groups; tourists who visit walleye waters infrequently vs “elite” walleye anglers who fish Minnesota lakes often.
The “elite” anglers demonstrated nearly unanimous support for a statewide regulation that would ..." Read >> Fishing Updates April 29, 2019
If you had a Sunday drive to observe the walleye egg harvest at Little Cutfoot Sioux on your schedule today, then hopefully this note will save you some gasoline.
I promised an update about scheduling of the walleye egg harvest at Little Cutfoot Sioux Friday and I got word from DNR Fisheries Staff on Saturday evening that the trap nets did not go into the water yesterday. The traps will be set up later today, Sunday April 28th, so the first walleyes should show up in the trap overnight tonight and be observable on Monday.
The harvest is going to be fast this season because the quota has ..." Read >> Cutfoot Walleye Egg Harvest Scheduled April 28, 2019
Q) Dave Allen wrote; "Hey Jeff, love your articles, very informative. New to Deer River 10 months ago and would like info on how to observe egg harvest at Cut Foot next week. Thanks in advance, Dave."
A) Thanks for the note Dave. Here's a link to an article I wrote about the Cutfoot Sioux Egg Harvest a couple of years back. In it, there's a map that shows you how exactly how to get there. Read >> Cutfoot Sioux Walleye Egg Harvest Location
While we're on the subject of the Walleye Egg Harvest at Little Cutfoot, here's an update I received yesterday.
Even though the ice is already out and the gear is being setup at Little Cutfoot, trapping of walleyes will be likely be delayed until at least ..." Read >> Cutfoot Sioux Walleye Egg Harvest April 26, 2019
April 27, 2019 "Catch, release and dead? How and how long you handle fish determines their fate."
Dale Schroeder wrote; “Hi Jeff. I was wondering if you had seen the article in Duluth's Sunday paper entitled "Catch, release and dead. How and how long you handle fish determines their fate" by John Myers?
Anyway, I found the article interesting and it plugs in to a number of things you have been saying about fish survival after being caught in deep water, etc. I know this is a busy time for you but I would be interested in your thoughts.”
Dale, John Myers definitely covered a lot of territory in this piece. In fact, I read the article once on Wednesday, again on Friday and once more just now, Saturday morning. I picked up something new every time I read it.
I found the article to be very informative and to the extent that I ..." Read >> QnA Catch, release and dead? April 27, 2019
On April 17th I wrote; “Earlier this winter, I marked April 24th on the calendar as my prediction for the ice-out date on or near Lake Winnibigoshish. Technically, I still have 7 days to be proven “right”, but it will have to be one heck of an interesting week for that to happen; I think.”
Despite the cold, gloomy weather that settled into the region a couple of weeks ago and forced my prediction off track, the past 7 days did turn out to be “one heck of a week!” In fact, conditions for melting ice have been so good that I actually did ..." Read >> Fishing Report April 25, 2019
"Join us today for another episode of Fish Ed! Host, Jon Thelen heads out right after a big storm rolls through the area he is fishing in.
See how he adapts to the conditions by using a Lindy Live Bait Jig and Wiggle Worming some great smallmouth bass.
Don’t let less than ideal conditions keep you off the water, just adapt to the conditions and have a great day on the water. Get professional tips and tactics on fishing tackle, Lindy Live Bait Jigs, and great Smallmouth Bass locations." View Video >> Wiggle Worming Smallmouth Bass
"We’re watching ice conditions on Kabetogama and as you see in our photo, the news is good. Today, ice covers most of lake, but the ice is already dark and sloppy. We’re thinking that it won’t last much more than 5 or 6 more days, a week at the most.
If the warm weather trend continues, walleyes will probably be done spawning and beginning to migrate back into the lake by the fishing opener.
It’s really too soon to make a hard prediction about that, but we’ll ..." Read More >> KAB Outdoors Report April 24, 2019
"Kyle Peterson shows us a cool springtime crappie technique where a "new school" cane pole is almost a must to get a bait in their face, and just as importantly, pull them from the dense cover.
Crappies flood shallow water cover like bullrush beds, laydowns and brush piles once spring water temps push the 60-degree mark. They usually make residence in the thickest, gnarliest patches, making it difficult to get a bait in front of them let alone get them clear from the cover - this is where a telescoping rod comes into play.
Kyle demonstrates the ease in which he's able to ..." View Video and Learn More >> Targeting Spring Crappies With Long Rods and Plastics
There were differences all right, huge ones. Most notable were Little Pine (pictured left) and Hickory Lakes located just south of Aitkin.
On Saturday, the ice on both of them was dark and crumbly looking and I told the Hippie Chick that it wouldn’t surprise me to see a lot of water there on our ride home. Well on Monday, both of these lakes were wide open, not even an ice cube floating in either.
Before that, we had already recorded open water on ..." Read >> Fishing Update April 23, 2019
Wow. It’s hard to believe the fishing opener is only a little over two weeks away. I’m wondering if the lakes will all be ice free by then. I’m sure they will but at the time of this writing, April 22, it doesn’t look too good.
I wanted to get up to Upper Red Lake before the opener and give the crappie a try. Also, to try out the boat, as it hasn’t been in the water yet. It looks like it’s going to be a close call.
One thing to remember, if some of the big lakes still have ice, is to give the little lakes a try, as they usually warm up quicker and are ice free long before the larger waters. Another thing to keep in mind is river fishing. Rivers, generally good fishing all summer long, really shine early in the season.
I’ve a few more memories of past fishing openers to ..." Read >> Greg's Guide Lines April 23, 2019
Driving past one ice covered lake after another hardly conjures up images of spawning walleyes. But ice covered lakes aside, there they was a nice bunch of fat walleyes waiting patiently in the trap nets at the Pine River Walleye Egg harvest Station when I arrived.
Over the next few hours, the female’s eggs would be harvested, fertilized, cleaned up and shipped off to the MN DNR Hatchery at Brainerd, MN.
As I pulled into the driveway, I was struck by how modest the operation is. Everything that the MN DNR Fisheries Staff uses to complete the capture and harvest of walleye eggs is contained within a tiny one room cabin located on a small, 100 foot cabin lot. A steep stairway leads down to the dock on the Pine River, just few hundred yards from where it flows into ..." Read >> Walleye Spawning Egg Harvest At Pine River April 19, 2019
"This week, host Jon Thelen shows you how to actively find walleye with your electronics. Then Jon teaches you how to know exactly where to position your boat to be sure that you’ll place your offering in front of the fish, where they can find it.
The system is easy, Thill Pro Series Floats, paired with Lindy’s Live Bait Jig and tipped with a lively leech or night crawler is all you need.
Tune in for the tips and tactics about slip float fishing that will help you put more walleyes in the boat this season." View Video >> Aggressive Slip Float Tactics For Early Season Walleyes
Finding open water in the Grand Rapids area got a lot easier on Friday! In fact it amazed me how much ice disappeared in a single day. It left me wondering how much more will melt over the next couple of days.
We will be watching and I promise to share whatever we learn. But like many of you, we first plan to enjoy some time celebrating Easter with our family. I hope your weekend is filled with love, warmth and compassion and in the meantime, Cub Reporter Staff #003-IHBBFBB is singing out for the weekend! — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
"Mike "Ike" Iaconelli relies on both wacky and Neko rigging finesse plastics to get bit - they're arguably the most effective bass rigs for generating bites for anglers of all skill levels and produce even when fish are in a negative mood. Iaconelli shows us how to rig each, the differences between the rigs and when to fish them.
Both techniques make heavy use of stick worms and other thin plastics but the similarities end there. Ike favors the use of a weightless wacky worm when targeting bass in shallow areas with little depth change (think grass or gravel flats). He fishes the weightless wacky rig suspended and horizontally, allowing him to cover water more efficiently when searching for fish. Ike demonstrates his typical wacky rigging process, emphasizing the importance of ..." Learn More >> Wacky and Neko Rigging Bass 101 [When and Where]
Cub Reporter Staff #003-IHBFBB is on the beat this morning, heading west to check out the progression of walleye spawning runs in the Brainerd area. That means I don’t have a lot of time to sit at the computer today, but I definitely will have the whole story about that on Friday morning.
On Wednesday, I drove a loop around the east side of Winnie and then east past Bowstring. Long story short, there’s still a lot of ice out there, but it is deteriorating.
As the accompanying photos reveal, areas of flowing water like the Bowstring River are all ..." Read More >> Ice Conditions Update April 18, 2019
I don’t know why monitoring the progress of ice-out across north central Minnesota brings me such joy. Maybe it’s because I’m excited about the upcoming fishing opener, maybe because it feels good to watch winter melt away or maybe I’m just like all the other critters and get spring fever.
Last year, when I was driving around checking ice conditions, I made a special note to be sure that I’d remember to share something with you that I learned about human nature.
This is the time of the season when “seeing isn’t always believing”, ice conditions vary wildly from lake to lake. So if I wanted to, I could ..." Read >> Fishing Update April 17, 2019
2012 Lund Alaskan 2000 (20 Foot) Tiller, Camoflauge, 2012 90 HP Mercury OptiMax Tiller with Mercury's Big Tiller. 2012 Shoreland'r Trailer Single Axle With Brakes.
This rig isn't my boat, it's being sold by a private party, my nephew Chris Andresen. Still, I am very familiar with this boat and know that it's a good one.
You've probably already seen what I've had to say about my own Lund Alaskans and by now you know that I as far as I'm concerned, this is the ultimate "Working Angler's" fishing rig on the market anywhere. The price for this one is $19,000.00 and you can find detailed descriptions and photos here ..." >> Lund Alaskan For Sale April 16, 2019
"On the south end of Lake of the woods, the walleye season is closed until the MN Fishing Opener on May 11th, 2019.
The target now are both Northern Pike and sturgeon. Pike are staging for the spawn and are open all year long. Back bays are just opening up and will be full of pike soon.
A combo of big dead baits or slow rolling a spinnerbait, spoon or crankbait will be the go to methods. Lake of the Woods has a very strong population of trophy class pike over 40" long. All pike 30-40" must be returned with a 3 fish limit and one over 40".
On the Rainy River, both the Big Fork and Little Fork ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Updates April 16, 2019
"I had to get my licks in, long as almost everybody else was too. I’m referring to the great walleye bite on the Rainy River, which has now since closed and won’t open until the fishing opener on May 11.
Sitting here, thinking that I’ll never make it up there this spring, a message popped up on my computer. Jesse Larcom was making the trip and wondered if I’d like to go along. Well heck ya! Count me in. Even though it was a last-minute offering, it didn’t take me too long to have things ready for the next morning. All that was need was a couple rods and some heavy jigs.
I had all the gear sitting on the tailgate of my truck and ready to go, when Larcom ..." Read >> Greg's Guide Lines April 16, 2019
Q) Mike Cotter wrote; “Hi Jeff, I'm coming up to Winnie for the 2nd week in June. I used to come up every year with my dad. He has passed and now I'm bringing my uncle up to show him some good walleye fishing. What we used to do is drift with Lindy rigs with a slip weight and a green or red hook with a bead. Is this still the preferred method in early June? Any help would be great. Thank you!”
A) Mike, Walleye fishing on Winnibigoshish was definitely good in 2018 and hopefully it will be again for your re-union this summer too.
Generally speaking the walleyes in Lake Winnie are and will still be susceptible to live bait presented using Lindy Rigs. The biology of lake itself has changed since your last visit and it may call for a few modifications to your former approach.
You’ll notice that since Zebra Mussels took hold in the lake, the water is much clearer these days. In clear water lakes, longer leaders tied on ..." Read >> Q&A Walleye Presentations For Lake Winnibigoshish April 15, 2019
The storm has passed, the snow is melting and Mother Nature’s spring “do-over” is under way.
On Saturday, we took a quick tour of the bridge at Little Cutfoot Sioux. The accompanying photo shows that there’s open water from the bridge out to the pipes where the DNR will eventually set up the egg harvest station. You can also see that Little Cutfoot was still ice covered and since we didn’t drill holes to check ice conditions, it’s hard to say how long it will stay that way.
On the west side of the bridge, there was open water for about ¼ mile and the bay between Williams Narrows and Mosomo Point Campground was still frozen too. But, there is another significant patch of open water on ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Ice Out Progression April 14, 2019
On Wednesday, subscribers to the “Insider’s News List” received an email about some cancellations that I needed to re-book .
I want to say thank you to everyone who replied, most of the dates are re-booked already and I really appreciate that!
There were a few folks who emailed to tell me that they wish they would have gotten the email and asked why they didn’t?
The reason is simple, we never add anybody to the email list unless they’ve asked to be on it. I know what a pain it is to sift through dozens of unwanted emails and that’s why we never share your information with anybody.
The “Insider’s News List” is available for free to anybody who wants to receive it, but it is an “opt-in” only list. When you sign up, you’ll receive periodic notices about last minute cancellations and occasional important news stories about fishing. Whenever there’s a fishing report of special interest, you’ll get a reminder about that too. If you’d like to subscribe, just click here or on the image and in less than 30 seconds and you’ll be included.
I dropped my truck off for service yesterday and had a low-level panic attack about not being able to get outside for a few days. But it looks like I was smarter than I thought, if I’m going to be trapped at home, this looks like a good day for it. The stormy weather hasn’t hit here yet, but I guess it will; we just don’t know about the severity of it until it finally arrives.
Sometimes Mother Nature has a heart and yesterday, she did walleye anglers on the Rainy River a favor by opening up the Littlefork River. With chunks of icebergs and debris floating down the muddy river channel, anglers have some incentive to stay inside and look at pictures from the past week. I’m sure there are a lot of them because during that time, the walleye ..." Read >> Fishing Report April 11, 2019
A quick trip to the Twin Cities and back gave us a chance to assess the progression of ice out along the US Hwy 169 corridor on Monday.
By all appearances, most Minnesota lakes are on track for an earlier than average ice out. In fact, many lakes to the south of Lake Mille Lacs are already ice free and dozens more will be by the end of this week. The photo of lake Washington (top left) near Mankato came from Chris Andresen on Monday, he’s got the dock in and is already preparing to fish down there.
As we drove the passages between bays of Lake Minnetonka, we saw ice that’s soft, crumbling and ready to give up any day now. As you can see in the photo of ..." Read >> Ice Out Progressions And Predictions April 9, 2019
"It’s not too early to begin thinking of Minnesota’s general fishing opener, which is only four weeks down the road. I’ve been slowly readying equipment and am anxiously looking forward to it. So far, an equal amount of time has been devoted to fishing rods, tackle, and the boat.
The first thing I do is check air pressure on the trailer tires. This is easy enough to do and can save you a little money in the long run. I learned this the hard way, wearing out a set of new tires in one summer. Yes, I fish a lot but certainly didn’t drive the miles needed to wear out two new tires.
I found that I was running my tires with too low of air pressure. Since then, the new tires have been kept pumped up at the required ..." Read >> Greg's Guide Lines April 9, 2019
Rain fell steadily on Sunday, small creeks filled with water as snow cover around Grand Rapids melted away. Another warm day today will move the needle even more and then Mother Nature is going to deliver a minor cold snap for a few days. That will help alleviate flooding, but it won’t be enough to re-freeze ice around the edges of the lakes.
I borrowed this paragraph from Bill Powell at Fred’s Bait this morning; “The conditions are changing pretty fast. I know there will be a handful of ice fishing enthusiasts trying to sneak out for a few days. But yesterday as I went to check traps something said I better pull my traps and call it good till open water season. There were a few little creeks that were getting deep on the snowmobile and the shoreline was a little soft.”
A lot of my friends declared this weekend to be the last one of their ice fishing seasons. That’s probably true for me too, so now I’m looking at options for what to do outside this week. In fact, we’re about to jump in the truck and take a ride down the highway to check conditions right now. So tomorrow morning I’ll post some photos about how “ice-out” is progressing around the area. — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
April 5, 2019 — "Pokegama Lake Walk-In Access For Tulibee?"
Thanks for the note Adam; I live in Grand Rapids too, so I definitely wish that I knew a good quick walk-to spot on Pokegama. Friends and acquaintances who use dark houses on Pokegama have told me that they do have random Tulibee sightings on Pokegama. From everything I’ve learned though, populations of them are low and getting in on a “hot bite” will be tricky.
I did a quick check of the MN DNR Fisheries Survey that was conducted in July 2015 to learn their assessment of the tulibee population.
“Tulibees are difficult to sample with our standard summer nets because they frequently school in the open water where our nets are not effective. Catch rates on Pokegama Lake have ranged from 0 to 8.2 fish per gill net but have not been above 0.5/gill since 1984.
The lower catches in recent surveys correspond to the illegal introduction and expansion of ..." Read >> Pokegama Lake Tulibee Fishing April 5, 2019
Ice conditions on Winnie were better than we expected on Thursday. The ice covering Tamarack Bay is still thick, probably 24 to 28 inches in most areas. Snow cover is almost entirely melted, the surface has drained dry and conditions for either walking or ATV travel are ideal.
Unfortunately, access at the landings is beginning to deteriorate, so we’re afraid that our ice fishing days are numbered.
From what we observed on Thursday, accessing the lake from anywhere in our bay near the dam will be tricky. We were already forced to close our road because of open water at the point, just up the shoreline from The Pines Resort. Mud and standing water prevented us from using the old dirt landing near ..." Learn More >> Lake Winnie Ice Conditions Better Than Expected April 5, 2019
Frank Erling wrote;
Q) "So, now that we're approaching ice out, when is the best time to fish crappies? I've heard "as soon as the ice goes out". To me that means the day after it goes out. And then I've heard water temps of 55 degrees, which could be a few weeks later. Would you help set the record straight?
A) Frank, the truth is that good crappie fishing can be found both at ice out and also later, as the water warms. The real secret to success lies in knowing where to find them during either of these periods, or any other time of the year for that matter.
The other truth is that for me, this period between ice out and spawning season is the time when I ..." Read >> Best Times To Fish Pre-Spawn Crappies April 3, 2019
I wish I could tell you that we have a weekend filled with gorgeous fishing weather on tap. But the more often I check the weather forecast, the more boldly rainy weather is predicted.
Let’s just imagine that the forecast is wrong and the weather is dry this weekend. Then you can definitely spend a little more time on the ice. The current ice conditions remain good, colder daytime weather combined with below freezing overnight temperatures have delayed melting this week.
The surfaces of most lakes in north central region are drained dry now, conditions are excellent for walking and if you’re careful, ATV’s as well. But I have not heard of, or seen anyone driving a pickup truck on the ice anywhere this week.
Reports of good perch fishing have come in from ..." Read >> Fishing Updates April 4, 2019
Bag limit remains but anglers can put larger walleye in the frying pan
While anglers fishing Upper Red Lake this spring will again be able to keep four walleye, a change in the size regulation will allow them to take one fish over 20 inches – making potential keepers out of considerably more of the lake’s walleye population.
Since May 2017, the regulation allowed anglers to keep four fish with only one over 17 inches. Adjusting the one-over size to 20 inches will put more mature females within the allowed four-fish bag limit during the open water season that begins Saturday, May 11. Under the new regulation, anglers will be able to ..." Learn More >> Upper Red Lake Walleye Regulation 2019
"Crappie fishing remains good to excellent for many anglers targeting them. Early morning seems to be the best time of day to be targeting them, as many anglers report limiting out before 10am. Also anglers that are hole hopping are catching more then anglers that drill and sit. Crappie minnows account for many of the larger crappies, but small plastics and waxies are catching fish too. White, red and orange have been the best colors." — Arrowhead Outdoors, 218-365-5358
Alan Kirkpatrick wrote; “Hi there Jeff, I was wondering what your thoughts may be concerning post spawn walleyes.
Q) Do you think that walleyes that become part of (the) egg/milt collection process such as the Cutfoot or Lake Vermillion hatcheries go through a longer post spawn funk than natural spawned out fish on lakes or rivers? Does the extra stress put upon the trapped fish, i.e. the handling & stripping potentially put the fish into a longer post spawn timeframe or do you think there would be no difference?
A) Alan, over the years, I’ve heard others describe the post-spawn period as a time when fish go into a "funk". Supposedly, they become inactive and lethargic as they recover from the rigors of spawning.
Gaining a thorough, firsthand understanding about “post spawn” walleye behavior has been tricky for me because like most Minnesotan’s, I’ve rarely had the opportunity to experience walleye fishing during, or immediately after the time that they actually are spawning. I used the term “rarely” because on certain occasions, Mother Nature has delivered spring weather late enough to force walleye spawning to ..." Read >> Post Walleye Spawn Behavior April 3, 2019
On April 1, Joe Kerstetter wrote; “Good Morning Mr. Sundin. I’m looking at making one last run out ice fishing. My target area is Round Lake in squaw lake area and some of the surrounding lakes. You have given a report for that area in the past. Do you know how well the ice conditions are in that area and if it even worth the trip. I’d like to try to make it my final trip of the year. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated."
A) Joe, Ice thickness on area lakes now ranges between 20 & 26 inches, snow cover is almost completely melted and the surface of most lakes is now dry. So over the next few days, there will be plenty of ice out on the lakes. The only limitation will be ..." Read >> Can We Find Fish-Able Ice This Weekend?
Western reservoirs offer great walleye fishing and April is a great time to get started. That makes this a great time to join Fish Ed host Jon Thelen as he heads to the Missouri River system to fish with guest Jim Klages for early season walleye.
Jon and Jim detail how to fish a Lindy Rig in a non-traditional way. Most anglers think of moving slow, .5-.8 miles per hour when Lindy Rigging, but today Jon shows you how to ..." View Video >> Missouri River, Early Season Lindy Rigging For Walleyes
"On the south end, good walleye and pike reports for the last week of March. The last day to leave fish houses on the lake overnight unattended was March 31. Some anglers still ice fishing with collapsible houses.
Pike action still hot and pre-spawn fish have the feedbag on. 12' hot depth with live sucker minnows or deadbait on quick strike rigs. Walleyes open through April 14, pike season open continuous. Auger extensions needed.
On the Rainy River, it's game on for open water walleye and sturgeon fishing. Boat ramps at Birchdale and Frontier open. More open water on ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Report April 2, 2019
A couple successful late-ice crappie outings found me satisfied enough to start putting away the ice gear. I even got the boat back in the garage and charged up the batteries. Now, it won’t take a whole lot more to get it ready for open water. I just love being way ahead of the game and that’s unusual for me, normally a “foot-dragger.”
Fish talk with Andy Walsh, my walleye tournament partner, changed to baseball, with me telling him “I’m going to a Twins game this spring, even if I have to go by myself.” Moments later, he responded by saying “how about opening day?” “Absolutely” was my hurried and obvious answer. A few more seconds passed, and he said “we’re in.”
I couldn’t believe he could ..." Read >> Greg's Guide Lines April 2, 2019
On Saturday, we drove over to the Fosston area where we met up with my friend Bob Bohland and his father in law, Ron Rupp. Crappie fishing was the plan and based on Bob’s past experiences, the timing should have been perfect. But on this trip, crappies were tough to come by. Instead, it was bluegills that commanded our attention on this trip.
As you see in the photos, the ice conditions were perfect for either walking or for driving an ATV. Almost all of the snow cover was gone and the surface was dry. Except for a very small patch of shallow water located at the access ramp, there was no sign of standing water anywhere on the lake.
I and Austin jones arrived first and decided to ..." Read >> Sight Fishing Crappies and Bluegills; No Foolin' April 1, 2019
On Lake Winnie, some of the ice in our bay near the dam is too thin to allow even ATV traffic on to the lake, so we’ve closed our landing. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still get on the lake to fish.
We’ve directed our customers how to access the lake using alternate routes that allow them to fish on Tamarack Bay.
We know that there has been a lot of ATV traffic on the big lake, but to the best of our knowledge, nobody is driving pickup trucks out there.
Perch action had been good before the big meltdown forced us off the lake for a while. In fact one of the last groups that were here went home with limits of good size perch. We know that those fish are still out there and as ice conditions turn favorable this weekend, we will ..." Read >> Lake Winnibigoshish Ice Update March 29, 2019
It’s beginning to look more like spring at the Rainy River. Water is flowing past the landing at Birchdale and the county has had a crew working on opening up the boat ramp. There were already some anglers pushing small boats across the ice and on to the river this Wednesday. The probability is very high that it’s going to be open for all boats by this weekend.
It will be interesting to see what affect, if any, the new catch and release only walleye regulation will have on traffic this spring.
According to the MN DNR, traffic on the Rainy River should not change much compared to previous years. That’s if you believe angler surveys taken before the new regulation was implemented. Those surveys indicated that less than 2% of anglers cited harvesting fish as their primary reason for fishing the river. In fact, the DNR News Release says ..." Read >> Rainy River Fishing Regulation March 28, 2019
"As big bass vacate their offshore haunts and begin flooding the shallows in preparation for their annual spawn, anglers are afforded a special opportunity. These fish are hungry and territorial which means lots of bites and lots of size. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend a pile of money to catch these fish. These fishing lures will catch plenty of bass without emptying your bank account.
Whether you fish it on a traditional Texas rig, a weightless Texas rig or a wacky rig, this stick worm will flat-out catch bass. Although it works throughout much of the year, the Dinger shines brightest in the ..." Learn More >> 5 Inexpensive Lures that Catch Spring Bass Anywhere
Ely Area, Arrowhead Outdoors Ice Fishing Report March 28, 2019
"Ice - 30 to 34 inches of good ice is being reported on many of the area lakes. There is 4-6 inches of ice on top that can turn soft or slushy on warm sunny day stretches, but rock hard on days that stay below freezing. Travel is very easy overall and air temps will determine if it a truck, 4 wheeler or by foot is the best way to travel.
Crappies - Interest in crappies has risen as spring like temps have come to the area. Reports have been hit or miss for many, but anglers that have stayed on the move and were able to locate crappies have reported some nice catches with some real slabs mixed in.
20-25 feet of water near ..." Read >> Ely Area Ice Fishing Report March 27, 2019
Anglers need a strong, unified voice. At least that's what we need if we want our views to carry any weight in Minnesota’s legislature and at Minnesota’s DNR headquarters.
That’s why I circled back around in the aisle when I spotted Gary Leaf working a booth, under the banner that said "Leading The Way To Minnesota's Fishing Future."at the Northwest Sportshow. Under the banner, a logo for MN-FISH Sportfishing Foundation-Coalition.
Leaf is respected as an advocate for outdoors issues in Minnesota. His group Sportsmen for Change was formed over a decade ago to tackle outdoor issues in Minnesota.
In his August 2010 Star Tribune blog, Kirk Schnitker referenced the term “outdoor militant” to describe Leaf. One quote from that blog says;
“Just why is going Minnesota outdoor militant good for the outdoors? Because Minnesota nice has gotten 90 plus percent of all our wetlands drained. Because it allows for bad politics and special interests to ..." Read >> MN-FISH Sportfishing Coalition; Leading the Lead-Able
I could hardly wait to get home from the Northwest Sportshow and find out if the entire hubbub about great perch fishing was true. With the help of a new friend, I’m happy to say that it is, at least it was on Leech Lake yesterday; here’s how it started.
“I’ve got Tuesday and Wednesday off and I have to fish” Josh Bullivant said. “The reports I’m getting are just too good and I don’t want to miss out on the best perch fishing of the year!”
When somebody tells you something like that, it’s only natural to drop a few hints that might encourage an invitation to tag along. So that’s what I did, I dropped a hint; I said “Can I come along?” Happily Josh said ..." Read >> Late Ice Perch Fishing Leech Lake March 27, 2019
"Pro bass angler Ott DeFoe breaks down how he uses a combination of side imaging, mapping and 360 Imaging to build a high-percentage milk run of spots before wetting a line. This is the exact step-by-step process that helped him win the 2019 Bassmaster Classic and it'll help you too.
Finding seasonal transition bass on reservoirs during the spring is a challenge for all anglers regardless of skill level. Ott takes us on a mapping deep-dive, explaining key locations to consider and how to configure and adjust the shallow water and depth highlight on his LakeMaster mapping to establish and stay on a working pattern.
DeFoe then takes to the bow where he uses Humminbird 360 Imaging to ..." Learn More >> Advanced Fish Finder Steps for Finding Bass Fast
On March 25, 2019 Mark Novara wrote; Q) Hi, looking at coming towards Winnibigoshish this next weekend. We live in upper michigan, are ice conditions ok? We are thinking of hitting Round Lake, or Pike Bay. Any information would be greatly appreciate. Thank you!
A) Mark, we are compiling fresh reports right now and based on what we’re hearing, you should expect to travel by ATV or on foot. But provided that you do not depend on a pickup truck to travel on the ice, you can expect to find good perch fishing when you get here. In fact, when I stopped at Fred's Bait in Deer River yesterday, they told me that the perch fishing has been great on ..." Read >> Itasca Area Perch Fishing Getting Great Reviews March 26, 2019
"On the south end, good walleye reports for those still ice fishing. Good catches are coming everywhere from 15 to 31 feet of water.
Gold, glow red and glow colors best. Mix up presentations, try rattle baits, minnow baits.
Deadsticking plain hook with live minnow consistent.
Pike action had been excellent with many fish over 40" caught again this week.
Some big walleyes continue to be caught on tip ups by pike anglers! Fish houses on ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Reports March 26, 2019
Are you sure that you really wanted to skip the link from the report at the top of this page, the one that says; "Itasca Area Perch Fishing Getting Great Reviews March 26, 2019"?
If you skipped it, then you kept a whole bunch of secrets from yourself. That's because there were too many updates to list them all on this page so I bundled 'em together in the March archives page.
Click on todays link for fresh updates from Lake Winnibigoshish, Leech Lake, Lake of the Woods, Cass Lake and more. >> Ice Fishing Reports March 26, 2019
"At Trails End Resort, Erin Charlton says; “It’s messy out on Bowstring Lake. There is very little snow cover left on the ice, but it is still very wet. I do see ATV’s and snowmobiles travelling around, but I think that ATV riders definitely still need chains. Track machines are moving freely from what we can see.
The lake was freezing again overnight, making all kinds of noises, so conditions will be rough this morning. With daytime highs reaching only the high 30 degree range, the meltdown should now be slow, increasing the number of fishing days available to anglers.
For most folks, fishing was ..." Read >> Bowstring Lake Report March 25, 2019
Late ice fishing is about as good as it can get right now. My last outing consisted of me and my brother, Joel, using a snowmobile to reach a productive crappie spot. There was just enough snow to keep the machine all lubed up and running good.
Now, lake conditions are favoring ATVs, as there has been a total meltdown and all surfaces are glare ice. It’s great travel and fish are being caught but make sure to wear ice cleats. It’s quite slippery out there.
I’ve slowly and hesitantly put away most all my ice gear, in early preparation of open water adventures. I do, however, have one rod bag packed and ready to ..." Read >> Greg's Guide Lines March 25, 2019
I’m home from the Northwest Sportshow at which several of you stopped by to inquire about whether or not you’d be able to make one final ice fishing trip into the area over the next week. I promised to gather some updates this week and I will, but generally speaking, I think you will be able to come.
I already learned during the trip home that the snow cover in north central Minnesota isn’t gone like it was in the Twin Cities. But it has been greatly reduced and friends report travel conditions on the ice are improving daily.
Some anglers are moving around Lake Winnibigoshish, Cutfoot Sioux and others using ATV’s. Others are parking close to shore and walking out to ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Report March 25, 2019
Yesterday was the first day of spring, today is the first day of the Northwest Sportshow in Minneapolis and for me, the ice fishing season should be over; but I hope it’s not.
It’s true that I’ll spend the next 4 days talking with folks about fishing lures and presentations for the upcoming open water season. But during that time, I’ll secretly be hoping that when I return home, ice conditions will be good enough to allow me a couple more “hard-water” panfish trips.
Reports of improving ice conditions and decent fishing action are adding fuel to the fire, but first, I better pay attention to business and make sure that the 2019 version of the Northwest Sportshow is successful.
You can help with that by coming down to the show and stopping by the Lindy Fishing Tackle booth #835. We’ll chat about some fishing strategies that will help you catch more fish this summer.
The show location is at the Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Ave. So., MPLS. 55403. Show Hours are Thursday 1:00 PM – 9:00 PM, Friday Noon – 9:00 PM, Saturday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM and Sunday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. For more information go to the official site >> Northwest Sportshow
"I’ve spent last two afternoons on the ice with snowmobile checking conditions and have been quite surprised how good conditions are.
I’ve only run into one small area of slush and that was on south end of Bowstring where in last half mile close to shore the snow hasn’t settled yet but out on the main basin there isn’t much snow left and it’s beautiful conditions. The south landing road might become a issue quickly because of all the snow it has quite a base on it and is hardly plowed wide enough to meet in some places.
The other lake was a small one but that also had settled down and frozen hard I could snowmobile or walk on top very nice.
Snowmobile or tracked atv are going to be best for a few more days because of the snow around edges of the lakes getting soft in afternoon.
We have good lively waxies and euros that are ordered every week “for some reason our phone is ringing off the hook wondering if we do”. — Bill Powell, Fred's Bait 218-246-8710
"On the south end... Good reports for those still ice fishing in 24-31'. Gold, glow red and glow colors best.
Try downsizing presentation. Deadsticking plain hook with live minnow consistent. Morning and evening bite continues in 15-20'. Pike action strong with many fish over 40" caught again this week.
Some resort fish houses still available, many of the resorts are done ice fishing for the year. Lots of snow on lake, slush in spots, best to stay on resort roads or trails. Fish houses on ice through March 31, walleyes open through April 14, pike season open continuous. Auger extensions needed.
On the Rainy River, strong current in ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Updates March 20, 2019
I’m back from Lake of the Woods and for me, the winter walleye fishing season is over.
While I was storing the snowmobile and pull behind ice fishing shelter on Thursday, I ran mental images of the post season play-by-play highlights. We did have to do some extra travelling this winter to get away from north central Minnesota’s slush and deep snow. But thankfully, we were rewarded for driving all of those extra miles with lots of good fishing.
Checking my messages yesterday, I found one from Alan Duit who wrote; Q) “Good morning. When you were fishing at Lake of the Woods for walleye, were you fishing just off the bottom or were you seeing the fish suspended 4-5 feet off the bottom?
A) Alan, we fished at ..." Read >> Lake of the woods Walleye Fishing March 15, 2019
This morning on KAXE Radio's Morning Show, I mentioned that now is a good time to stock up on ice fishing lures that will come in handy later, during the open water season.
One of the lures I mentioned, Lindy's Tungsten Fat Boy, piqued the interest of co-host, John Bauer. In response to his comments, I promised folks who were listening to the show that I would put up a photo of the lure, so here it is.
While I’m at it, I’ll share the condensed version of my comments about ice fishing lures and why you should be stocking up on them now, while the ice fishing season is almost behind us.
Fishing for suspended fish, especially panfish, calls for heavy lures, they are much easier to control and allow anglers to keep the bait in front of the fish more easily. The problem is that most of the heavier summertime fishing lures ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Lures For Open water
"Pad stems offer great bass fishing potential in the prespawn and spawn periods in the form of vertical cover in cold but warming waters. When anglers mention lily pads, they typically envision broad flats and ponds blanketed with greenery. But don’t overlook the dormant period when winter reduces the plants to their spindly stems.
“They’re not as attractive because they’ve been beaten down by winter, and they don’t look very good, but I’ve caught a ton of fish in those pad stems when they’re trying to move in and spawn,” said Bassmaster Elite pro Keith Combs. “Growing up, I used to fish team tournaments on a couple different Texas lakes that had little clusters of pad stems, but also big bulkheads, boat docks and stuff. In those scenarios, I think pad stems are ..." Learn More >> Target Pad Stems for a Spring Bass Fishing Bounty
For walleye anglers, Lake of the Woods is one of the few destinations available until open water fishing seasons begin to open. That combined with the fact that the south side of Lake of the Woods has escaped the huge problems with slush that have plagued lakes in many areas this winter, means that everyone who wants a walleye dinner has been fishing there.
We’re just like everybody else, so when we wanted to gather some walleyes for a meal, we headed up there too.
Friendly, is the best term to describe fishing conditions on Lake of the Woods this Tuesday and it was the first time in a long while that I’d use it. The sun was warm, the breeze was moderate and … I’d say it’s about time! Finally, a day spent outside, on the lake instead of being hunkered down inside a portable fishing shelter.
We traveled by snowmobile and that helped us find some semi-quiet territory to fish. But we could see plenty of vehicle traffic on the ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Report March 13, 2019
Anglers on Mille Lacs Lake will be able to keep walleye during open water fishing for the first time since 2015. An improving walleye population has been protected by conservative fishing regulations in recent years, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
Mille Lacs anglers will be able to keep one walleye between 21 and 23 inches or one walleye over 28 inches from Saturday, May 11, through Friday, May 31.
“It’s good news that anglers get to keep some walleye this May, but we are being cautious,” said Brad Parsons, DNR fisheries chief. “These regulations represent a careful balance between ..." Read >> Mille Lacs regulations for walleye and other species announced
"Lake Trout - Lake trout anglers have become few and far between as snow continues to pile up this winter. For many anglers heading out, they are limited to where they can fish, by where the road is plowed. Best reports have been coming from anglers fishing with snowmobiles. Main lake points, humps and saddles in 30-50 feet of water, have been producing lakers. Blade bait, bucktails and tubes have all been catching fish, but blade baits have really shined this last week.
Stream Trout - Rainbows and Splake are showing up more in 15 feet of water or less. Some anglers have reported catching rainbows as shallow a 3 feet on one lake. Waxies, spawn bags or rippin raps have accounted for the majority of trout being caught.
Crappies - While interest in crappies jumped this last week, very few anglers ..." Read >> Ely Area, Arrowhead Outdoors Ice Fishing Report March 13, 2019
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the presence of zebra mussel larvae in Red Lake in Beltrami County after studying samples gathered last summer by biologists from the Red Lake Nation.
The DNR has been working in partnership with the Red Lake Nation for over 10 years to monitor zooplankton in Red Lake and will continue to work closely with the tribe to respond to this discovery.
Zebra mussel larvae, called veligers (VELL-uh-jers), typically indicate the presence of a reproducing population of ..." Read >> Upper Red Lake Zebra Mussel Larvae Confirmed
One of my recent trips had me trying my hand for jumbo perch. The weather, although not all that cold, wasn’t the best on this day, due to strong winds. It was brutal, trying to fish outside, without a shelter.
Longtime fishing partner, Brad Brown, and I doubled up on my snowmobile and made our way to a proven big perch spot. The resort had closed the ice road to vehicles, because of deep snow, slush, and flooding, but it was open to foot traffic, snowmobiles, and atvs.
I was a little leery, at first. Would we be getting stuck? Making our way onto the lake, I was delightfully surprised to find that we could ride on top of the crusted, hard-packed snow. Like a roller-coaster ride, we drove over numerous “snow moguls” as high as 4’. It was easy getting around.
Brad set up in a likely looking spot that had fish below him, while I searched other areas. Not wanting to set up a shelter, I found a high snow drift that offered ... Read >> Greg's Guide Lines March 12, 2019
MN DNR Enforcement said that they sympathized with us about having such tough conditions on the ice this winter. But they have no plans to extend the March 18th ice shelter removal deadline in the northern zone.
The way we look at it, we had to get it done sooner, not later because the job was only going to get harder if we waited. So we chipped away at clearing the slush and snow from our plowed roads and removed the last of our rental shelters this past Friday.
Pulling the shelters early wasn’t much fun because history tells us that these early spring days often provide the best perch fishing of the ice season. It’s ironic that just last week, some of our guests got into a really nice school of ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Report March 10, 2019
Yesterday evening, he sent me this photo, along with a note that says; “Here’s the supply at L&M Supply in Bemidji, MN. I had to get a couple more with them now being 25% off.”
I know that we’re closer to the end of the season than we are to the beginning, but like Austin, I too stock up on ice gear at the end of the season. In fact, I just rounded out my selection of ... >> Ice Lures For The Open Water Season
On Friday "TR" wrote taking me to task about my comments regarding ice out.
He says; “Ice decay is influenced by a whole host of climatic variables and physical attributes, including the angle of incidence of the sun, how much reflectivity is on the surface of the lake (snow vs ice), the amount of infrared waves that are absorbed by the ice that can be converted to heat, how much sun vs cloud cover, air temperatures, presence of currents, and a number of other variables.
The temperature of the water underneath the ice is a minor variable, as that water is at or very near 32 degrees. The 39 degree water that you describe is the deep layer, because it ..." Read >> How Ice Melts March 2, 2019
On Thursday, Sheldon Mack wrote; “I share your thoughts regarding a relatively shallow ice sheet (Read Report February 28, 2019) under our current snow pack. But I wonder if you are giving too much credit to the shallow ice and the warmth under the ice while not giving enough credit to the importance of sunlight in regards to ice out dates.
(The) long term forecasts for the Itasca County area show very few melting days in the next two or three weeks. I am not convinced that significant ice deterioration can begin until the snow is substantially reduced."
Sheldon, There's no doubt that more sunshine and warmer weather would make the ice melt faster; that goes without saying. But let's not lose sight of an important consideration; if the lake is ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Update March 1, 2019
Did you know that Grand Rapids’ average daytime high temperature for February is f 26 degrees? That’s what it says at the U.S. Climate Data Website and unless I missed something, the daytime high in Grand Rapids has never reached that “average” one single time this month. In fact I think it’s been below zero more than it’s been above zero.
Personally, I don’t care that the weather has been cold; we have plenty of gear for staying warm. But what concerns me is that he slush on area lakes is spreading and the snow just keeps piling up. Unless the weather warms and this snow melt soon, folks are liable to miss out on some awesome, late winter ice fishing.
Admittedly, there’s no way to predict whether or not March will be any better, but I will happily ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Updates February 28, 2019
Q) Tim Roche wrote; “NEVER MET YOU BUT YOU SEEM LIKE A REAL NICE FELLAH, I AM A 40+ YEAR VETERAN OF FISHING WALLEYES ON RAINY LAKE AND OTHERS, QUESTION: IN THE WIGGLE WORM ARTICLE YOU SAY (that you use) 4 LB. MONO, NEVER EVER Braid. DO YOU MEAN YOU USE MONO FOR ALL FISHING? BEST REGARDS AND I USE LINDY TACKLE TOO.” TIM ROCHE
A) Tim, there are many times that I do use braided fishing lines. My Musky & Pike rods are spooled with braid, so are some of my Bass rods and I do occasionally use braid for Walleye, deep water jigging for example. But 90% of my walleye fishing gear is spooled with monofilament line.
For wiggle worming and most other shallow water jig fishing I use ..." Read >> Why Not Use Braided Line For Walleye Fishing?
"We take a detailed look at Humminbird's capable ICE HELIX 7 All-Season pack, which does true double duty as a technology-packed LCD ice fishing fishfinder as well as an open water unit. One box and all the accessories needed to make a seamless transition from soft to hard water and vice versa.
As Wired2Fish's McKeon "Keys" Roberts notes, this is a cost-effective and convenient solution for the year-round multi-activity sportsman. The included gimbal bracket, power cable and highspeed transducer install with ease and the heavy-duty carrying case comes equipped with ..." View Video and Learn More >> The Do-All Fishfinder Solution for Ice and Open Water
Q) On October 12, 2018 Bill Franzen wrote; "Jeff, I've got an ice armor suit that's about 10 years old. How would you compare the suit you're referencing in your report to the ice armor?
I've looked online and find no real description of cold weather info. Is it for Minnesota open ice fishing and is it durable? There are no reviews on line so I'm reaching out to a fisherman in the know; please advise. Thanks Bill
A) Good morning Bill, the timing of your note is interesting because I just ordered myself a new Arctic Armor suit on Wednesday and expect it to arrive in a few days. Admittedly, the IDI Gear website could ..." Read >> Arctic Armor Ice Suit October 12, 2018
Given the recent weather, it's understandable that my phone isn’t exactly ringing off the hook. It takes a hearty soul to make a day on the lake fun right now and folks, who aren’t already on my calendar haven’t been in a rush to get in on this cold snap.
Because I do still have a handful of trips on my schedule, I feel obliged to get out on the lakes and have a look around. The least I can do is to keep myself up to speed about lake conditions and hopefuly fish locations too. That way I have a fighting chance of making these next several dates fun for my customers.
Since I was heading out solo anyway, I decided to combine the search for places to catch fish this week with the search for places to ..." Read >> Fishing Report October 10, 2018
During late fall and winter there are several species of fish that migrate into deep water. Crappies, one of the most popular deep water inhabitants, are particularly vulnerable to fishing pressure during this cold water period.
For some anglers, locating and catching fish in mid-lake deep water basins is easier than finding them in shallow water cover. The good news is that once located, crappies are willing biters and for most anglers, fairly easy to catch. The fish’s willingness to strike allows an angler to make quick work out of catching “a limit” of fish. The fast action makes it tempting to lock into a position, catch lots of fish and ..." Read >> Crappie Fishing In Deep Water October 5, 2018
Canton, Ill. — Jeff Kolodzinski is a man on a mission — a Marathon Man out to break a record he already holds. On September 11 and 12, 2018, at Giant Goose Ranch in Canton, Illinois, he will attempt to catch more than 2,143 fish on hook and line to break his own world record set in 2011.
But Kolodzinski is not doing it for a spot in the record books. He’s doing it to introduce people and families to fishing and to increase awareness and financial support for the Fishing For Life, a non-profit, tax exempt charitable organization whose Next GEN program finds mentors for children of families in need.
A special focus within the program, serves families of ..." Learn More and Watch Live Video Feed >> Kolodzinski, Guinness World Record Holder Attempts To Break His Own Record
"Side imaging sonar reveals an entirely new underwater world to anglers interested in learning the technology. It produces highly detailed readouts of the water column and bottoms off both sides of the boat; this has some major benefits, one of which being discovering sleeper or hidden spots missed by most anglers.
Jeff "Kolo" Kolodzinski demonstrates this perfectly. While driving to one of his "known" spots, side imaging reads a bottom composition change - it's a hard spot covered with fist-sized rocks and some larger boulders mixed in. Of note, there's no appreciable change in depth, so mapping doesn't ..." View Video >> How to Use Side Imaging to Find Hidden Spots
On Tuesday, I wrote; "Referencing Bemidji Area Fisheries Manager, Gary Barnard's comments about Upper Red Lake Walleye bag limits, I found it interesting that he used the phrase "A Lot of Walleyes" to describe the 4 fish bag limit.
I can honestly say that for me, a 4 fish bag limit is fine. I have more than ample opportunity to catch enough fish to eat and I can usually accomplish it within a reasonable amount of time. But that said I still do not view a bag limit of 4 fish as “A Lot of Fish.”
Even the current statewide bag limit of 6 fish doesn’t stretch very far for folks who travel long distances to fish, or for those who have to wait for long periods of time between fishing trips. I suspect that folks who provide most of the tourism dollars to Minnesota’s economy come to our state because of “the promise” that they can take some fish home to eat. That is if they can ..." Learn More >> Walleye Bag Limit Poll
On March 27, 2018 Tim Olson wrote; “Jeff, following the discussion about muskies and musky stocking, I see some folks referencing a supposed relationship between muskies and a decline in Northern Pike populations and/or spawning success. Are you aware of any direct relationship between the two? Also, I’m wondering about your take on the new pike regulation that will allow a 10 fish limit for northern Minnesota?
A) Tim, pike and muskies not only spawn at different times, but also spawn using very different habitats from each other. Pike begin staging near their spawning grounds before the ice melts and will be the first fish to ..." Read >> Muskies, Stocking and Ideal Habitat March 28, 2018
Reporting back with an update about last week's Q&A regarding pre-mature loss of battery voltage in his Ice Helix 7, Steve Sykes wrote; "Thanks for your help, it worked! Battery lasted all day long and I actually still had 70% battery life after a full day of ice fishing." Click >> Review Original Ice Helix 7 Q&A Here
"There's still uncertainty about side imaging technology and if it's worth it. We let the imaging do the talking and let you decide based on fishing style and budget.
The goals of this video are to 1) prove that side imaging technology produces highly detailed pictures far off to the sides of the boat, and 2) help you decide if this technology is right for your fishing situation. To accomplish this, we filmed on an ultra clear lake and drove a shallow rock flat covered with boulders and also containing sunken boats and tires. An in-boat camera was focused on the fish finder screen while a drone flew overhead (synched with in-boat camera). Jeff “Kolo” Kolodzinski simply drives the structure and ..." View Video To Learn More >> Is Side Imaging Fish Finder Technology Right for You?
Steve Penkoske Wrote;
Q) "Jeff, What kind of trailer do you prefer, a bunk or roller?
A) Steve, if I was assured that every landing I would ever use had water depths adequate for floating my fiberglass 208 ProV, I would absolutely prefer bunk trailers.
Bunks provide better support for my hull and given that I have enough water to float my boat, the bunk trailer is an absolute dream to load. Hands down, the bunks are a better way to go, when and if they suit your needs.
They do have one drawback and it’s a big problem for me because not all of the public access sites at the lakes I fish provide water that’s deep enough to provide adequate flotation.
That's why I still ..." Read >> Bunk Trailers vs Roller Trailers; Which Is Best?
Pete Mayer wrote; "I read your article on Thursday about controlling a tiller boat in big waves, it makes sense, but not all of us are lucky enough to have a boat like yours. So my questions are do you really need a tiller boat and what would you do in these situations if you didn’t have one?"
Answer) Pete, you’re right, I am extremely lucky to be able to ..." Read >> Boat Control Tiller vs Console October 20, 2017
Okay lets cut to the chase. If you've ever asked a question about using side imaging, how it works or why it works; then you need to watch this video. This is the most comprehensive turorial about using side imaging technology that I've ever seen.
Wired2Fish teamed up with Jeff “Kolo” Kolodzinski of Humminbird to create this detailed video about understanding how and why this technology works. Kolo breaks down how to read and interpret what side imaging, down imaging, and two-dimensional (2D) sonar are showing you, and how they can improve your fishing. We filmed real-time drone and underwater video of ... " View >> Understanding Side Imaging Technologies
"I’m just like you, I wish that I could visit my favorite lake any time I want and catch oodles of big Bluegills. I’d like to bring a bunch of them home too, that way I could fix a big family fish fry for every special occasion.
The problem is that if I fish there too often or bring home too many fish, my favorite lake won’t remain favored very long.
It’s a fact of life and we’re going to have to come to grips with it; as a group, we are extremely effective predators and we’re getting better all the time. We have the equipment, the knowledge, the leisure time and the communication skills to harvest fish faster than our favorite lakes can produce them. We literally have the ability to ..." Read Article >> What Is The Value Of A Sunfish?
Fish ED New Video March 2, 2017 "How Zebra Mussels Affect Fish Location"
"Exotic Zebra Mussels have invaded countless lakes across the Midwest.
Kurt Anderson Asked; what do you mean by the term “Death Cloud”? I saw your fishing report dated February 27th and in it, you said; “I was surprised that the action stopped before sundown, but it did. By 6:00 PM the screen of my Humminbird was painting images of the “death cloud”. A) Kurt, I coined the phrase “Death Cloud” before I ever ... Read >> What's The Death Cloud?
Helping your fellow fishermen and women stay abreast of the ice conditions in your area is good for everybody and it's easier than you think! Fishing Reports Minnesota is the Facebook counterpart to this page and it's open to the public. So be like me, become a duly deputized "Cub Reporter" and post your own pics and comments. It's good for fishing! Click >> Fishing Reports Minnesota
Fishing The Fall Turnover In Natural Lakes - Jeff Sundin
... "This probably means that for most fishermen, "The Turnover", I mean the absolute scientific event is probably not really what influences fish locations and feeding patterns during the cold water period.
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 - Fishing Blue Books, LLC 715 Byington Ave, LaPrairie, MN 55744 218-245-9858
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