Minnesota Fishing Reports
We caught a lucky break last weekend when the big snowstorm veered off to the southeast. While ice development in other regions is being hampered by fresh layer of heavy snow, Kabetogama’s ice conditions are good and continuing to improve.
Kent Keeler has been out checking the ice and as you can see, there was barely a dusting of snow here on Kabetogama. Conditions were ideal for walking and checking out the quality of our ice.
By Tuesday, there was already 7 to 8 inches of good, clear ice in ..." Read >> Kabetogama Ice Conditions Update December 5, 2019
"The water depth here in Steamboat Bay at Oak Point Resort on Leech Lake, is shallow, less than 10 feet deep. Our bay usually freezes faster than other areas around Leech Lake.
On Tuesday, I went out and drilled 5 holes in the ice, half way out in the bay and found that we have 9" of good ice here. We had 8" of snow last Saturday, but that’s settled to about 4 inches now.
Our 1st customers come on the 10th of December, so that’s when we’ll hear fishing reports for the first time." Lee Nupson, Oak Point Resort 218-335-2993
There are times though when the opposite is true too. When crappies want a big meal, it can be hard to talk them into anything else. Bulking up can help you put more and bigger fish on the ice.
Join Reed Ylitalo for an on ice demonstration as he bulks up for more and bigger crappies.
View Video >> Bulking Up For More and Bigger Crappies
For me, the quote of the day at the December 3, 2019 meeting of Minnesota’s Panfish Workgroup was; “I’m not happy, but I’m less unhappy than I was last winter.” And as far as I’m concerned, Dave Thompson, owner of Fisherman’s Village Resort does have good reason to be less unhappy these days.
MN DNR fisheries staff rolled out the timeline for a plan that moves one of Thompson’s longtime goals, helping preserve quality sunfish populations in Minnesota is moving a few steps forward.
Minnesota’s “Quality Bluegill Initiative” came about after the MN DNR ..." Read >> Minnesota Quality Bluegill Initiative Update December 4, 2019
"The conditions on the south side of Upper Red Lake are pretty good. As of Sunday morning, ice thickness ranges between 8 to 12 inches, with most areas at about 10 inches.
Our road is staked about a mile out and we have been allowing ..." Read >> Upper Red Lake Update December 2, 2019
"It has unfortunately happened to all of us. No matter how experienced of an angler you are, every once in a while we all have a fish that gets hooked in the gill. Immediately we remove the hook and hope this doesn’t cause the fish any harm and that it doesn’t bleed.
Fish bleeding tends to be a worst-case scenario for an angler and we thought we could answer a few questions about the best practices for an angler when they face a bleeding gill.
Wired2fish contacted me to learn more about a few things. First and foremost, they wanted to know the best practices to help a bleeding fish after being hooked in the gill. How long does it take a fish to recover? Finally, does pouring soda on a fish’s bleeding gills actually work?
I decided take it a step further and ..." Learn More >> Pouring Soda on Fish Gills: Does it Actually Work?
"On the south end of Lake of the Woods, the majority of the big lake is iced over. The area was missed by heavy snowfall from last weekend's snow storm and that will help ice creation.
The forecast looks optimistic with the daily low temps forecasted in the teens and single digits. Resorts are monitoring ice conditions closely. Resorts have been out checking ice and in some cases starting to mark trails.
No ice fishing by resorts is taking place on the main lake at this time, but there is some Northern Pike ..." Read More >> Lake of the Woods Ice Update December 3, 2019
Anglers fishing during the winter season on Upper Red Lake will have a four-walleye bag limit, with only one walleye longer than 17 inches allowed.
The regulations, which became effective Sunday, Dec. 1, are the same as those of last winter but more restrictive than ..." Read >> Winter Walleye Regulation Red Lake
"Most anglers are gadget-minded, but functionality has to stand tall with those gadgets too. It is crucial to us that things work as designed and live up to the marketing hype. They have to look good, but they have to work as designed as well.
Since many do not have boats, they fish from the bank, and being able to carry gear including tackle, your cell phone, and maybe even a rain suit can be burdensome.
Finding the right bag that works well for bank anglers usually means it will also work well in our boats too. The top benefit is that it's durable and keeps everything dry. It's comfortable to carry too. No doubt every angler we know would like to ..." Enter for a chance to win >> Piscifun Wrapper Backpack Giveaway
"We will be opening on January 3, 2020 for the ice fishing season with our plowed access open to the public. We have not had any atv or snowmobile traffic to date. Feel free to call for current conditions, 218-246-2560. Thanks!" Rick and Kim Leonhardt Highbanks Resort
"We have our houses out on the ice at Third River of Lake Winnie. Ice thickness straight out from the landing is at 10 inches, but further east, down at the Clay Banks the ice is ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Update December 2, 2019
Making your bait easier for fish to see definitely increases the number that will come over to look at your offering.
We all know that “lighting up” an ice fishing lure can make a tremendous difference in terms of visibility. But we know too that just lighting up the lure isn’t the only thing that triggers fish to strike. The combination of colors, patterns and natural appearance provide convincing detail that give fish a reason to strike.
Jeff Sundin shares his thoughts about how combining light with subtle changes in colors and patterns helps him put more walleyes on the ice.
View Video and Learn More >> Subtle Glowing Colors Catch More and Bigger Fish Through The Ice
I know that there are folks who’d like to ice fish over thanksgiving weekend, so on Tuesday; I toured the area for a firsthand look at ice conditions. The drive was educational to say the least and revealed two, extremely differing scenarios.
Some of the lakes that I checked have solid ice ranging in thickness between 6 and 8 inches. These are shallow water lakes that have been frozen since the first major cold front that arrived a few weeks ago. Despite the recent period of warm, damp weather, the ice on those lakes was actually in really good condition yesterday.
Overnight temperatures have apparently been just cold enough to ..." Read >> Ice Conditions Report November 27, 2019
Our rental shelters are all spruced up and ready to go, now we just need some more ice in Winnie’s Dam Bay before we can get them out onto the ice for winter. Right now, there's still open water in the bay ne Winnie Dam. But don’t let the open area by the river fool you; most of the shoreline and protected back bays of Winnibigoshish are well frozen already.
In fact we already found 10 inches of good ice not far out from ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Ice Report November 27, 2019
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You can check in here for a chance to >> Win a $50 LandBigFish Gift Card. This giveaway ends Dec. 11, 2019. Good luck!
Do you remember the story I wrote last January about my >> ice fishing trip to Mille Lacs with Dustin Monson? In it, I wrote about how he’d taught me one of his favorite tricks for triggering strikes from what appeared to be lethargic, non-biting fish.
I adopted his “trick” and during that day, it helped me convert several “lookers” into aggressive striking fish. In fact I told Monson that his trick worked so well for me, that I wanted to whip up a quick video to share with you.
Well that video finally surfaced this weekend and I think you should be sure to watch it. Not only will it reveal his technique for triggering strikes from lethargic fish, you’ll get a kick out of what happens while he’s explaining it. I promise, the 3 minutes you spend watching it will definitely be entertaining! View Video >> Fishing Your Confidence Lure
"Ice Conditions - Despite as much as 10” of snow falling in the area, lake ice remains in good shape and is growing. Warm temps and rain has removed almost all the snow on area lakes. 6-10 inches of good ice is being reported on many of the area lakes. Ice cleats are a most for anyone looking to walk on the ice.
Panfish anglers have been finding panfish relating to ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report November 27, 2019
Anglers in north central Minnesota dodged an iceberg overnight Wednesday and into the wee hours Thursday morning. Snowfall amounts totaled only about an inch here in Grand Rapids and from what I could see, shouldn’t have much impact on the formation of ice over the short term.
Thanks to the meltdown that occurred earlier this week, the surface ice on most area lakes was already wet and slushy. The heavy, water-laden snowfall just sort of melted into the surface water and then re-froze as temperatures fell below freezing Thursday.
That’s good news for those of us whose recollection of the slushy mess we endured last winter. Too much snow stacked up on the ice before the ice was thick enough to ..." Read >> Itasca Area Ice Conditions November 22, 2019
But with milder temperatures this week, things are on hold because ice on the south end of Lake of the Woods is ice covered with scattered areas of open water.
There is some spearing taking place for pike this week on back bays such as Bostic Bay and Zippel Bay. Resorts have spear houses available. Regardless of where you fish, work through a resort for ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Ice Updates November 21, 2019
"Ice Conditions - Ice reports range from 3 - 10 inches of good solid ice. Reports of 4 Wheelers on a few area lakes have already been reported, but the majority of anglers are traveling on foot. Current areas and the deeper lake in the area largely remain ice free.
Walleye fishing has been nice and steady for many anglers. Anglers have been finding walleyes in ..." Read >> Ely Area Ice Fishing Report November 21, 2019
It’s been above freezing every day since Saturday and on Tuesday; the air temperatures reached over 40 degrees. By yesterday afternoon there was standing water on top of the ice on area lakes everywhere.
In one way, I’m disappointed; I had my snowmobile and all of my fishing gear ready to go and we had planned a run to the lake on Tuesday. But with sketchy ice conditions and more warm weather coming, we decided to ..." Read >> Grand Rapids Ice Conditions November 20, 2019
Nate Altendorf was there over the weekend and provided a great video report about both the ice conditions and fishing action on the big lake.
Altendorf; "With stained water and limited mobility, I can't get to the fish. I have to use a presentation that brings the walleyes to me and that's why I ..."
View Video and Learn More >> Early Ice Walleye On Upper Red Lake November 20, 2019
For me, getting the most value out of every piece of fishing gear is important. That’s why many of the fishing reels I use during summer, double as ice fishing reels during winter. All I do is remove the reel from my summer rod, put it on one of my shorter ice fishing rods and I’m ready to fish; almost.
In my particular case, the line I love for summer fishing is not really suitable for ice fishing. My summer line is tough, it has an exterior coating that allows me to work lures in weeds or rocks without getting too dinged up. But when it gets cold that tough exterior coating works against me, it tends to feel “stiff” and gets coiled up, making finesse presentations difficult.
Beyond that, the 4 or 6 lb. test lines that I use in summer is ..." Read Article >> Re-Spooling and Recycling For Winter Fishing
To say that the scenery around Lake Kabetogama changed a lot this week would be the understatement of the decade. On Monday, we were looking at open water across the entire lake. By Tuesday morning the thermometer reading was -11 degrees and the entire west end of the lake was ice covered.
Now that the lake is locked up, we’ve got one eye on the ice and another on the weather. If the temperatures remain cold and snowfall isn’t too heavy, we really might be able to get an early start on the ice fishing season.
All of this cold weather has piqued folk’s interest and the phones are already ringing. They’ve asked how soon we’ll be ready to ..." Read >> Lake Kabetogama Ice Update November 13, 2019
Just 7 days ago I wrote; “In the Grand Rapids area, it’s still a lot easier to find open water than it is to find an ice covered lake. But the odds of stumbling into frozen water are increasing by the day.”
But on Tuesday, the tables were turned 180 degrees. In my travels, all but the most stubborn, deep water lakes in the Itasca region were frozen over. Even notoriously late freezing waters like Pokegama, Deer Lake and Woman Lake were losing the battle against this blast of cold air.
In fact by Tuesday afternoon, the only places I could find open water were deep, spring fed lakes like the ..." Read >> Grand Rapids Ice Conditions November 13, 2019 1114
Wired2Fish's McKeon Roberts and contributor Grant Prokop ice fish the big lake during a rare occurrence of fishable ice during the 2018/2019 season.
This VLOG chronicles their exploratory adventure off the north shore and the steps taken to ultimately find and catch several lake trout."
View Video >> Ice Fishing the LARGEST Lake in the World
Q) On Tuesday, Dr. Jim Davey wrote; “Jeff, (last week) you mentioned you were going to pick up a K-Drill. Why that particular drill? Have you had experience with other drills? I saw a video the other day about the Ice Bee made by Rapala. Have you any experience with it? The video looks good.
A) Thanks for the note Dr. Jim; yes, my new K-Drill arrived here this past Monday.
Let me preface my answer by saying that I’m not actually using the electric to replace my gas auger; I just wanted to add a lightweight and convenient alternative to my arsenal of ice gear. Most of the stand-alone electric augers on the market are really good too, and if I’d been in need of a full-scale replacement, I might have ..." Read >> Why Did You Buy A K-Drill?
"It never fails, the mid-day action starts to slow down, I reach for some lunch and wham, a nice walleye whacks my lure.
No matter how fast the action is, or not, you have to have bait in the water before you can catch a fish.
For me, making sure that I have the right bait in the water has gotten a lot easier lately.
Here’s a nice little video testimonial about Lindy’s Glow Spoon. In it, you’ll hear my thoughts about why this lure has become one of my all-time favorites and why it’s the first lure I tie on at every new fishing spot." View Video >> Jeff Sundin's Go To Ice Spoon
In the Grand Rapids area, it’s still a lot easier to find open water than it is to find an ice covered lake. But the odds of stumbling into frozen water are increasing by the day.
On Tuesday, I drove north toward Marcell and found several lakes in the later stages of ice development. The scene depicted in the accompanying photo was a common one, shallow bays are frozen, while mid-lake sections remain open.
Lakes in various stages of ‘freeze up” obviously provide lots of opportunity for taking pretty pictures. But that’s not the only reason I take these “ice-watch” driving tours. For me, watching the process unfold provides a lot of information about where and when I can get onto “safer ice” for my first fishing trip.
What I’ll be watching for over the next several days are lakes that ..." Read >> Ice Watch 2019
Join Fish Ed host Jon Thelen as he talks about the versitility of the Lindy Glow Streak!
This isn’t just an ice lure, it is equally as effective in open water too. The Glow Streak's hybrid design employs a single tail hook combined with a razor-sharp treble hook to ensure good hookups.
The unique swimming action combined with internal rattles and glow stick technology will put more fish on the ice or in the boat for you this season!
Learn More >> View Video Jigging Lures For Both Ice and Open Water Fishing
“Population trends support harvest during ice fishing season
Winter anglers on Mille Lacs Lake will enjoy a walleye harvest this winter for the fourth season in a row, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Similar to last season, anglers will be allowed to keep walleye on Mille Lacs starting Sunday, Dec. 1, with a limit of one walleye between 21-23 inches, or one fish over 28 inches.
“It’s good news that anglers will be able to harvest walleye again this winter,” said Sarah Strommen, DNR commissioner. “We’re encouraged to see evidence that our conservative approach to Mille Lacs is paying off, allowing continued walleye angling opportunities on this renowned fishing lake.”
Anglers are expected to ..." Read News Release >> Mille Lacs Lake Ice Anglers Allowed 1 Walleye
When I ordered my new K-Drill last week, I never dreamed that I’d be ready to use it so soon. But it looks like by the time it arrives, I’ll be un-packing the box while I drive toward the lake to use it for the first time!
Depending on where you are when you read this, you may or may not be surprised to hear that ice is coming fast to the northland. In fact, it will not surprise me if we begin hearing that folks are walking out on Upper Red Lake at the same time other folks are walking into the woods for the deer opener next weekend.
At Mort’s Dock on Upper Red, Bill Lundy says; “Ice is coming pretty quick now!! After Monday looks like it’s below freezing for as long as we can see.” The accompanying photo makes it look like ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Report November 4, 2019
If you haven't already done it yourself, then you've probably at least heard about fishing for "Green Backs". Those giant walleyes that people catch on Lake Winnipeg during the ice fishing season used to intrigue me to no end! That is until I finally got to go up there and see for myself what all of the hubbub is about.
Here’s a video that came about last winter while we were testing a new ice fishing lure. At the time, the Lindy Glow Streak was in the middle stages of development and we already knew that it was going to be a winner. We had been catching fish with it everywhere we’d tried them. The purpose of the Winnipeg Trip was to find out whether those big Green Backs would ... View Video >> Big Walleyes and What They Like to Eat
One key thing that they can control though is color.
Learn why Jon Thelen believes color is more important to successful walleye fishing during winter than it is during the open water season.
"Without a doubt, this is the earliest point in any season that I’ve seen pictures of anyone already ice fishing. But an acquaintance, Craig Oyler was actually on the ice in South Dakota, catching fish yesterday.
Closer to home, my own reconnaissance didn’t produce any news as dramatic as that. But I did see signs of an early ice fishing season headed our way.
Most if not all of the small, isolated ponds were already frozen over on Wednesday morning. Some of the smaller, shallow water lakes had ice forming along their shorelines as well. And by yesterday evening, images of ice forming around the edges of Upper Red Lake had begun showing up on the internet.
Obviously, it’s a little bit early to ..." Read >> Ice Updates October 31, 2019
I love fishing for sunfish, I could do it every day and never miss fishing for any other species. You may not be that passionate about them, but whether you spend a lot of time fishing for sunfish, or rarely do it at all, I’ll bet we still have something in common.
Whenever either one of us does fish for sunfish, we’d like them to be big ones!
Minnesota’s Quality Bluegill Initiative probably hasn’t been on your mind lately, in fact you may not have even known that there was one. But it’s been on mine and I was just beginning to wonder when I’d hear some fresh news about how it’s progressing.
Just yesterday, I ..." Read >> Minnesota's Quality Bluegill Initiative October 2019
For many, gathering fish for a meal is the primary goal and when it is, catching them in deep water really isn’t a problem. As long as we capture what we need; put ‘em in the cooler and head home for the fish fry, it doesn’t matter whether we catch them shallow or deep. In fact you could say that catching fish in deep water isn’t a problem at all.
But releasing fish that are reeled in from the depths, now that's a whole new ball game. It can be a big problem, especially when the fish are hungry and the angler believes that they ..." Read >> How Barotrauma Affects Released Fish October 23, 2019
Learn More >> View Video Reed Ylitalo on Panfish Jigs
"I can tell you that for her, that one nice day on Saturday was hard earned and well deserved. Over the past few months, the weather has done nothing but work against the two of us. It’s been cold, windy and sometimes wet every time we’ve had a chance to fish together. She could have bailed out on any of them, but she never did.
Throughout the fall, I was on a mission to discover fresh territory and checking out “new lakes” isn’t always the best way to catch a lot of fish. She knew that, but never wanted me to go suffer those blustery days alone, instead she came along and endured whatever crummy weather Mother Nature deemed necessary to dish out.
She did have one stipulation on Saturday though; “I’ve spent enough time exploring, this time I want to ..." Read >> Wishing It Would Never End October 28, 2019
I’m lucky; I get to fish all summer and all winter, so I’ve always got something to look forward to, the next season is always just around the corner. Even while my boat is still hooked up to the truck, I’ve already started organizing the ice fishing gear for an ice season that will be upon us in short order.
Throughout the guiding season, I’m frequently asked about what I do in the winter time. Writing, photography, producing web content and videos is what keeps me busy during the hard water season.
I’ve noticed that the folks at Lindy have begun publishing some of the work that we produced last winter. So if you’ve been curious, here’s a sample of what “going to the office” looks like for me during the winter. >> Ice Fishing Lures: "Lifelike Profiles Matter"
We found that by lifting up gently on the jaw and holding the mouth closed for maybe 5 seconds before returning to the water resulted in the vast majority of the crappies swimming off rapidly for the depths and not floating stunned on the surface. Try it and let me know what you think.”
Thanks for the tip Loren; I applaud the fact that you two have done some thinking about barotrauma. The fact that you’ve cared enough to come up with ways to help mitigate part of the risk to the fish is admirable. To be sure, fish that swim away quickly after being released do definitely have a “better” chance of ..." Read >> Releasing Deep Water Crappies October 23, 2019
"It's been a fantastic week of fall walleye fishing on the south end of Lake of the Woods. Walleyes in good numbers are being caught all across the south shore. Most popular depths are 14 to 24 feet of water.
Anchoring up with a jig with frozen shiner is the ticket. Jig colors in gold, pink, glow, orange or a combo of these colors working well.
The Rainy River yielded strong reports this past week and through the weekend. Good numbers of walleyes were being caught, along with some really big walleyes that ..." Read >> Rainy river Reports October 22, 2019
"Well, it’s been a good ride and by that, I mean writing a weekly outdoors column for over 30 years. For that length of time, I’ve had a Monday-by-noon deadline continually hanging over my head. I wondered many times, how I was able to pull it off, especially when it was basically a hobby.
Don’t get me wrong, as I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun, writing about countless fishing trips and meeting some of the best anglers in the business.
I think my first ever article was for the Hibbing Tribune, when I wrote about walleye fishing wizard Tom Howell. Back in the day, Howell was releasing more big walleyes than you could shake a stick at. Many eight-pound fish found their way back into the waters of ..." Read >> October 22, 2010 Clusiau Bids Farewell To Readers
I got a kick out of a question from my friend Jim Jurvelin yesterday. We were floating down the river at the time, having a relaxing afternoon when he said; “I know a lot of folks must ask you this, but do you ever get tired of fishing?”
I grinned when I gave him my answer, “Well Jim, I just finished working every single day for a stretch of 6 weeks, if I got tired of fishing, I could have just stayed home today instead of fishing with you.” We chuckled about that for a minute because the question was sort of an open invitation for my wise crack answer.
Seriously though, it was the truth and it’s easy for me to say no, I don’t get tired of fishing and I don’t think I ever will. It can never get boring because there’s too much to ..." Read >> Fishing Report October 21, 2019
I’ve been running Lund Alaskans for a long time now; in fact I picked up my first one 17 years ago, in 2002.
Right from the beginning, I’ve loved the balance of utility and comfort that the Alaskan provides.
As far as I’m concerned, these boats are the fisherman’s equivalent of having a 4X4 pickup truck for the water. They have allowed me to go anywhere and do anything without sacrificing the comfort of my fishing customers.
Throughout the years, I’ve watched the folks at Lund steadily improve the Alaskan. Every year they’ve updated this or relocated that until now, in 2019 I can honestly say that every single thing about this boat represents the perfect ..." Learn More >> Jeff Sundin's 2019 Lund Alaskan For Sale
"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
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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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