Minnesota Fishing Reports
"Our ice fishing wall of fame is beginning to fill up with images of nice fish and reports from our guests share a common theme. Fishing action on Bowstring has been a little slower this winter when compared to the past couple of seasons. But the lake is making up for a slower pace by providing anglers with fish of quality size.
The Crappie population, prone to being cyclic, is in a re-building mode right now. Fish from the very strong 2010 year class that remain in the lake are now ranging between 12 and 13 inches. Fish in that size range are typically less abundant, but certainly are well worth a little extra effort.
Most crappie fishermen know that these fish ..." Read >> Bowstring Lake Ice Fishing Update January 19, 2018
"With the cold weather we’ve recently experienced there was a noted absence of anglers out on the lakes. That has changed as of Tuesday. Warmer temperatures have made a big difference in the number of folks heading out onto the ice.
The ice is now in the sixteen to twenty inch range in thickness and that’s a good thing. Most of the larger lakes have quite a few ..." Read >> Frontier Sports ice Fishing Update January 19, 2018
"Close in combat in the heaviest of cover is what Denny Brauer hung his hat on during his pro career. Flipping and pitching jigs and his favorite plastic where the big ones live won him both a Classic and an Angler of the Year. The tools used have gotten better than when he won all those tournaments but he was front and center in the evolution of the Ardent Apex Flipping Reel.
Designed to be used flipping and pitching with pinpoint accuracy features a narrow arbor spool, a fixed line guide for more ..." Enter For A Chance To Win >> Ardent Apex Denny Brauer Flipping Casting Reel
On Wednesday, I showed up at the lake and was surprised to find a new, user developed plowed road. I followed it to the end and found myself in what’s become the community fishing hole. There was probably still room for one more setup, but I decided against trying to squeeze into that space.
Instead, I back-tracked a half mile, parked the truck and started walking. I drilled and checked enough holes to eventually locate some fish. But by the time I was finished, I had ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Update January 18, 2018
The report I got yesterday from Tyler at Nodak Lodge echoes reports that I’ve received from most folks who have been fishing on Winnie. Tyler wrote; “We have had a good perch bite on right now in areas like the Snaghole Bar and up on Horseshoe Bar too. Most of our guests are fishing in to 20 to 24 feet of water, but on the sunny days, some have been finding nice perch on the flats in 13 to 15 feet.
Some of our guests are still getting a few Walleyes on the big island and Southeast Island straight out of our resort. But the walleye bite has been slowing down recently. The majority of the walleyes have been coming as a bonus to the Perch fishermen.” - Nodak Lodge, Lake Winnibigoshish, 1-800-752-2758
"Out on Winnie we have 26 inches or so of ice. There was some more snowfall this weekend, but our guests are getting around, travel is still good just watch for the bigger drifts and avoid them.
Fishing stayed good right from last week’s 32 degrees then over the weekend with the -27 and colder. There have been a lot of nice big Northern Pike taken and a lot of nice ones seen as well. Panfish are moving into our area and guests are having steady ..." Read >> Lake Winnibigoshish Report January 17, 2018
"They say seeing is believing, so that’s the approach we took in this video. Jeff “Kolo” Kolodzinski pins the boat over a mega school of bass to compare his sonar readout to real-time underwater video of the bass below.
The goal of this video is to acquaint those new to, or building their LCD fish finder knowledge; understanding how gamefish mark is a major step in getting the most out of your time on the water by eliminating unproductive areas.
Sit back and enjoy looking at a MEGA school of smallmouth on sonar and an underwater camera at the same time." View Video >> Comparing Bass on Fishfinder Sonar to Real-Time Underwater Video
My very first guided ice trip took place thirty years ago and I really wasn’t quite sure what to expect. So, with that in mind, I asked my son-in-law if he wanted to come along to help, if needed.
Things went well and the only real concern to me was the fact that we would be leaving a “footprint”, meaning that evidence of exactly where we were would now be there for all to see. Would my clients come back to the same spot on their own?
Back in the working days, Monday through Friday, most of my fishing took place on weekends and on my return trip to the same lake, the following Saturday, I found the same group, fishing the same spot. You couldn’t blame them. I didn’t own the lake but it was definitely ..." Read >> Greg's Guidelines The Ice Ride Part V
"A nice bite continues with anglers catching all sizes of walleyes and saugers. Most of the action on the south shore is in 24-30' of water. Daytime bite continues thanks to stained waters of LOW. There has been a good morning evening bite in 15-17' as well. Resorts and outfitters keeping ice roads in good shape.
One two punch of jigging line and dead stick (hook/jig with live minnow under bobber) effective as is the use of electronics to mark fish. Jigging spoons in gold, glow, glow red and pink uv. Small rippin raps also good. If not fishing in a ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Report January 15, 2018
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like straying off-course in the fog, I don’t much like getting stuck in the snow either and I’m really not a big fan of slipping into the ditch on an icy road. Maybe that’s why I worried too much about the weather forecast yesterday and missed out on some good, late morning and early afternoon fishing.
We’d spent the morning hemming and hawing about the chances of wind-blown snow and blizzard like conditions on the lake. Although the predicted snowfall did arrive on schedule yesterday, the blustery winds that were forecast didn’t seem to be arriving. So at the last minute, we decided to go ahead and drive up to Lake ..." Read >> Fishing Update January 15, 2018
Mother Nature helped make up for Saturday’s sub-zero temperatures by delivering lots of sunshine and a light breeze. So even though the cold weather may have kept a few folks at home, it didn’t stop lots of folks from having fun on the ice.
Travel conditions on the ice weren’t too bad. We traveled by truck and did not get stuck and I didn’t see evidence of anyone else having big problems either. However, if you’re planning to travel off road in a pickup, you can forget about a smooth ride. The strong winds that accompanied Thursday’s snow storm produced tightly packed drifts that will definitely ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Report January 14, 2018
It’s no secret that anglers are moving more toward the use of Tungsten lures every season.
Denser than lead, Tungsten allows us to pack more weight into small lures, allowing faster drop rates, better control and improved contact with our baits.
But what if we could find some of our old favorites; time proven confidence baits made with Tungsten instead of Lead?
Guess what? Lindy has done it! They’ve taken the most well-known family of ice fishing lures, already famous for great drop rates and produced them in all new Tungsten versions.
The Lindy Fat Boy, Lindy Ice Worm and Lindy Bug are now offered alongside the already popular Tungsten Toad.
Now ice anglers can enjoy using these proven jig designs with the added advantages that Tungsten provides.
On Friday I took a tour of the Scenic Lakes Area located northeast of Grand Rapids. The swath of territory I covered was about 10 miles wide and 20 miles long, a reasonable representation of conditions on the backroads.
Conditions on the surfaced roads were slippery, but for the most part, better than I expected. Traveling on gravel roads was actually better, because they did not have the heavy ice buildup from traffic.
I was not comfortable attempting to travel on minimum maintenance or US Forestry Roads. Over the top of the original snow lay another 6 inches of fresh snow; just deep enough to ..." Read >> Updates January 13, 2018
Today’s report won’t take very long to read. On Thursday, snowfall in the Grand Rapids area stacked up to about 6 inches in areas protected from the blustery winds. Frankly, I never made it out of my own yard yesterday, so I’m behind the curve about how much drifting occurred both on the lakes and on the back country roads.
At the moment (8:00 AM), its -25 degrees at my house and if we’re lucky the predicted high could reach -1 degree. So for me, fishing is going to be ..." Read >> Updates January 12, 2018
In fairness, I have to be perfectly clear; she never actually spoke the words. But when I mentioned that I was going Walleye fishing yesterday, the look I got from the Hippie Chick conjured up a familiar phrase; “you’re not going to have fun without me, are you?”
Naturally, my thought was to say of course not honey, I can hold definitely off on the Walleyes until this weekend and then we can go catch them together. So I re-scheduled the scheduled walleye run and substituted a quick trip to the bluegill hole instead.
Maybe it was the dark Grey sky; maybe the warm weather caused it or perhaps the effects of the approaching storm brought it on. Whatever the reason, the Bluegills were on the ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Report January 11, 2018
"After several weeks of very cold weather, the warm- up we are now experiencing has brought more anglers out on the ice to try their luck.
Ice thicknesses of 12 to 16 inches are most certainly a product of the bitter cold we’ve endured lately.
Reports of a good walleye bite on several of the area lakes have been coming in since Sunday and it has only been getting better. Most of the fish were being caught in the 20 to 26 foot depth range.
Crappies have been a bit casual when it comes to catching a limit but still enough fish made it to the topside of the ice to make for a good meal. Pike fishing has been fairly good as well. The main excitement in the area has been the ..." Read >> Frontier Sports Report January 11, 2018
Walleyes, during winter, seldom get as much attention from me as Panfish do. That’s partly because I spend so much time fishing Walleyes during summer that I like a change of pace during winter. But it’s also partly because I like the faster pace that Crappie, Bluegill and Perch provide; usually.
But when the Panfish are lethargic, an action oriented ice fisherman like me sometimes has to re-think my thinking. That’s especially true when I start receiving text messages like the one I got from my friend Bob Cass yesterday.
“We were out fishing on the big lake this weekend and the Walleye action was great, particularly from 8:30 to 10:00am and again between 3:00 and 6:00pm.
We caught 20 Walleyes on ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Report January 10, 2018
OH and one more comment about that note from Bob Cass, the Foo Flyer that he mentioned is one awesome Walleye lure. In fact the Foo Flyer is one of my all-time favorites and I use them frequently.
The Foo Flyer also happens to be one of the lures that produce best results when the operator knows the “trick” to making it perform at its peak. So a few years ago, we produced a video in which the Foo Flyer was the featured presentation. It provides an excellent tutorial about how to trigger Walleye strikes at time when they might resist other presentation.
Even if you’ve seen it before, it is definitely worth your time to revisit the video >> Foo Flyer Presentation for Walleyes.
"The arctic temperatures have moved on for now; fishing is good and fish cleaning houses are busy! Rental operators and resorts are permitting trucks and sleepers on the lake via their plowed ice roads.
Walleyes continue to spread out and resorts and guides are making the push to deeper water. Dead sticks still hot in most areas with Sauger but Walleye still preferring jigging. Spoons or lures with a rattles always a good bet in gold, glow, and pink.
The bite for walleyes continues to be very good in ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Report January 9, 2018
Yay! Finally, a reprieve from Mother Nature. The recent super-frigid temps kept me off the lakes for a few days and I didn’t even mind it. Imagine that. Back in the day, when working fulltime, I’d pretty much force myself to go, no matter what the weather, just to “get my licks in.” However, now every day is “Saturday” for me. How sweet it is!
The recent warm spell has fish cooperating very nicely. I think they’re happy with the warm-up as well. At least they’re biting a lot better than before.
I’m finally driving out onto a few of the lakes but still taking a good deal of safety precautions. My most recent adventures have been on Big Bowstring Lake, where ice was measured at ..." Read >> Greg's Guidelines January 9, 2018
Q) Last week Kevin Scott emailed; "Hello Jeff ! Hope all is great and you're keeping warm! Say, you mentioned you were gonna be either in a magazine or on TV in January! Can you update me? Thanks!
A) Kevin, sorry for the tardy reply, but it's been a busy year and I had to strain my brain to remember it all myself. Your question is a good one because it helps me deliver an answer to one of the most common questions folks ask me all year long which is; "What do you do during the off-season?"
I think that evidence of what I did with my “free time” is going to be pretty easy to find this year. Let’s start with TV because the new season of Lindy’s Fish ED TV show begins this weekend. Occasionally, Jon has me ..." Read >> Sundin 2018 TV and Radio Appearances
I can’t say that I’ve been very anxious to leave the office during the mornings this week and Thursday was no exception. But by 1:00 PM the sun was shining, the wind was calm and at -3 degrees, the air was warm enough to be manageable. If I wouldn’t have gone fishing, I would have felt guilty for letting that gorgeous afternoon go to waste. So I did the responsible thing, I packed up the truck and headed for the lake.
This time, I decided to test another lake from my list of waters that I haven’t fished before.
Like many of the lakes you’ve seen me describe in ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Report January 5, 2018
"It happens every winter, just when you think that cold weather shuts down the panfish action, the “January Thaw” sweeps in to deliver another hot bite for Bluegills.
The action won’t last forever, but while the bite is on, it’s a blast! This week on Fish ED, Jon Thelen shows why knowing when to get out on the ice can help you get in on super mid-winter panfish action." View Video >> January Thaw Bluegill Action
The cold weather may not be a lot of fun, but it has played into the hands of anglers who prefer to access their favorite lakes with vehicles. While it’s true that no ice is completely “safe” ice, the travel conditions on most Itasca Area lakes are very good right now.
On Wednesday, I had a couple of hours to fish, so I headed west, thinking that I would drive to one of the lakes that already had significant vehicle traffic. I stopped at Cohasset and walked into 1000 Lakes Sports to check up on what’s been good lately. After first getting some ribbing about falling behind on fishing reports over the Christmas holidays, I was rewarded with ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Report January 4, 2018
"All the spots that I have been A good 18 inches of ice. Fishing has been a little slow. They are catching some crappies in deeper water. A few walleyes on top of the shelves 22 to 26 feet on the north end. Snow is 5 to 7 inches and in some places less so getting around the lake in 4x4 or ATV is not a problem at this time. So far all the public landings are passable that I have seen last week. So it is good and remember there is NO ice that is totally safe." - Darv Oehlke, Bowstring Shores Resort. 218-832-3101
"We have around 13" of ice in Cutfoot, but very little in the gap between Cutfoot and Winnie; That IS A NO GO ZONE!
We saw a truck on the lake today, but wouldn't recommend that yet. Neighbors were out on Bob's Bar last weekend and when a truck drove by, they felt the ice move up and down. It sounds like there's over 20" of ice out on the middle humps of Winnie out from the Birches landing. There's 6 inches of snow on top of everything." Bryan Harris, Eagle Nest Lodge 218-246-8701
"Avid ice angler Jesse Tintes provides some helpful insight on what to consider when choosing an ice rod and reel for walleye.
There are several on-ice applications that require different rod types, actions and lengths but Jesse explains what to look for in a good all-around walleye ice fishing rod and reel. Questions to ask yourself are. Do you fish outside or in a house? Do you sit, stand or kneel? Do you actively fish spoons and jigs? Do you mainly use a set line such as bobbers or dead sticking?
Consider this guidance before making a purchase." Learn More >> Choosing Good Ice Rod For Walleye Fishing
With nearly all of the back country roads and public landings remaining accessible, travel by pickup truck is fast becoming the primary mode of transportation. That said; anglers who prefer travel by snow machine have just enough snow cover to make that enjoyable too and conditions are reasonably good for anglers who’d rather walk into remote lakes.
My experience in the Grand Rapids area is currently limited to panfish, and the action has been ..." Read >> Grand Rapids Ice Fishing Update January 3, 2017
"The ice is at 22 inches now and we do have about 3 to 5 inches of snow on it. There are heavier drifts scattered here and there. Fishing action is picking back up again after the super cold weather has passed.
We’ve been seeing some nice northern pike and getting quite a few pan fish. Some of our guests are catching sunfish and crappies along with the perch. The Third River road is open, but it is not plowed during the winter, but there have been enough people traveling on it so it’s packed down pretty good." - Dixon Lake Resort has shelter rentals, including sleepers. Reservations 218-659-4612
"Sub zero temps making great ice. In the Pine Island, Bostic Bay, and Morris Point area there is an average of 18 inches of ice and are letting out most all vehicles and houses. In other areas, ice thickness varies more so it is good to call ahead. Most resorts update Facebook pages as info changes.
Overall for the south shore fish have spread out as is traditional this time of year yet with all the cold temperatures anglers are still managing to pick through different sized fish to find limits of keeper walleyes and ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Report January 3, 2017
After a couple of very successful years hosting the Masters, I decided to hire someone to keep an eye on the cabin while we were out fishing all day and had the perfect guy in mind. We’ll just call him Rip.
Rip was one heck of a cook. As a regular member of our Little Bear Lake deer hunting crew, I got to witness this firsthand. The man was incredible. All he had to do was keep the cabin warm (we had a barrel stove for heat), serve up a piping hot breakfast, and have dinner waiting for us upon returning to “base camp” each evening.
The first year went smoothly, with delectable appetizers being served before each meal, which was always something special and often a ..." Read >> Greg Clusiau "The Ice Ride" (Part IV)
Happy New Year Everybody!
The beginning of every new year always makes me happy because it means a fresh season, filled with new opportunity.
In terms of the website and fishing reports, the beginning of a new year means that there's some extra administrative work to do too. So right now I'm tidying up some old pages, gathering some fresh reports and preparing to add some new pages.
Please be patient with me while I get everything whipped into shape and I promise that there will be more fresh updates posted in just a few hours.
In the meantime, I'll tease you with this image of one of the fabulous Walleyes that David Wangen caught while fishing on Lake Winnibigoshish this weekend. More about that coming soon!
"James Friedrichs Wrote; Jeff, I’m preparing to re-spool my ice fishing reels and I’ve been looking for advice about which line to use. I have 3 friends who are avid ice fishermen, all 3 are successful, all 3 use different lines and all 3 have offered different advice.
Q) What do you think is the best way to rig up for Walleye, mono, fluorocarbon or braid? Also, do you suggest using leaders or swivels, how do you rig up your ice gear?
A) James, your question is timely because I happen to be asking many of the same questions. Supplies of my “go to” fishing line (more about that later) recently became unavailable and when I started searching for a replacement, I too was bombarded by an array of advisors whose advice left me with more questions than answers.
The confusion in part is because choosing a fishing line is subjective, what works for one, can be a nightmare for another. So understand that my answers are based on the fishing scenarios I encounter most often. In the end, your fishing situation(s) may lead you to ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Line; Which One Is Best?
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
What is barotrauma? Simply stated barotrauma is “injury caused to the body by changing air or water pressure.” In humans we know this as “The Bends”- a dangerous condition that divers experience when they come up too fast from deep water. Believe it or not, something similar happens in fish.
For example: When an angler angles walleye at the bottom of the lake, those walleye are experiencing a certain amount of pressure (air & water). When the angler yanks them up to the surface, that pressure is drastically reduced. This means that their gas filled cavities rapidly expand. This is particularly a problem for fish due to the presence of their ..." Read >> BAROTRAUMA AWARENESS
That's right, this is a fabulous boat and I love it! But it’s getting close to the end of the season and it's time to make room in the shed for ice fishing stuff, that means that my boat is ready for a new home and you can get a free fishing trip for helping sell it.
You, or someone you know can cash in on big savings by picking up this rigged, ready and fully trained in luxurious fishing boat for $15,000 below the retail price.
If you’re reading this page, then you already know that I like to ... Learn More >> Lund 208 ProV GL Tiller For Sale
Q) Brandon Watson wrote; "Hey Jeff; How is it determined what lakes are stocked with fry and what lakes with fingerlings. Also, what is the benefit to each? Thanks!"
A) Brandon, survivability is the primary benefit of stocking Walleye fingerlings. Panfish, especially Sunfish can be devastating to a freshly stocked batch of Walleye fry. It is the larger size of the fingerlings that protects them from being destroyed by small predator fish.
Fingerlings are also used for supplemental, early fall stocking of some lakes where natural populations of Walleye need a boost. There are other instances where using fingerlings would be desirable too and one could ask; "Why not just forget about fry stocking and use fingerlings for all of our stocking needs?" The problem is that Mother Nature complicates things and growing Walleye fry to fingerling size is ... Read >> Walleye Management; Stocking the Stockable
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?
For Sale: 2016 Lund 208 ProV GL Tiller, Mercury Verado 200 HP "Big Tiller"
2016 Lund 208 Pro V GL Tiller, 2016 Mercury Verado “Big Tiller”, 2016 Dual Axle Trailer.
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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