Minnesota Fishing Reports
"Last Friday’s snow brought about 5 to 6 inches to the Central Minnesota area, but thankfully, it happened after the ice was able to thicken up from the cold temps during that week and previous week. We are seeing about 14+ inches of good ice in the area now.
I’ve been seeing smaller cars and trucks on the lakes around Big Lake, Elk River, Zimmerman, and Buffalo. This is allowing anglers to get to some of the deeper breaks on lakes. Walleye are hanging around these break lines and off humps during the daylight hours, sliding up as the light deteriorates.
They have been a little bit pickier this week wanting smaller baits with less aggressive approaches. The best luck has been a fathead minnow below a bobber rig, or a deadstick set-up.
Look for fish in the 12’ to 20’ regions and slide out from there. It’s best to have a few friends and check multiple depths until active fish have been found.
Panfish have ..." Read >> Central Minnesota Ice Fishing Report January 24, 2020
There's about 2.5 miles of open road now. Because of wet spots and saturated snow, they were unable to make an additional plow pass heading back toward shore. So there's still no access for "wheel houses", but snowmobiles and tracked machines should be able to use access.
It will be interesting to see how the lake reacts to the warm weather heading our way.
For More Information >> Contact KAB OUTDOORS or Call 218.875.2281
"Fish lake has a nice trail off of the dam. good crappie action, also tim at hi banks has plowed roads off of hi banks. Most lakes have 10 inches of clear ice or more, w. 10 inches of frozen slush on top.
Not much reports of much snow or slush anywhere. thanks for getting those reports out there!" Scott, Fisherman's Corner, 218-729-5369
"Dixon Lake Resort still has good plowed roads on the Third River Flowage of Lake Winnie. Big wide area with plenty of pullouts for your wheel houses as well as parking areas for you to wander into the snow with your portables.
Fishing has been pretty good here of late. Plenty of panfish and the northen pike have been in a frenzy here lately. We're getting a lot of nice ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Ice Update January 24, 2020
Fishing in the bays has been good most days and has been very good at night. A few people have been going out to the flats and they also have reported good fishing." — Terry Thurmer, Terry's Boat Harbor – 320-692-4430
Looking back, the commitment to purchase it turns out to be one of the smartest decisions we’ve ever made. That’s because while anglers all over the state struggle to get onto the ice, we’ve been moving our customers on and off Lake Kabetogama with ease.
To date, snowmobiles and lightweight snow machines with wide tracks are the only good way to move around on the lake. Last week, Voyageurs National Park staff attempted to plow open the ice road. They did get it partially opened but were forced to hold off when some ..." Read >> Kabetogama Ice Fishing Report January 22, 2020
"Lake trout anglers were greeted by excellent ice conditions and active lakers. Lakers as big as 15lbs were landed over the weekend. Anglers reported having the best luck in 20-40 feet of water with bucktails, wicked tinsel jigs and white/red core tubes. Multiple groups reported that lakers would fly in and crush the bait before even marking them.
Stream trout anglers too we’re greeted with very active ..." Read >> Ely Area Ice Fishing Report January 22, 2020
"Variable conditions seems to be the trend this season. This past weekend we had yet another snow storm which dumped approximately 10-12 inches in the Remer, Longville, Outing, and Walker area.
Travel has been best still with sleds or track machines. Colder temps the past few weeks have firmed things up on some bodies of water which were once heavy laden with slush, however there are still several lakes that unfortunately we would not advise to travel on until things improve, and with the "January thaw" approaching that might be a while.
If you are planning on traveling to the area, ..." Read >> Wheezy Outdoors Ice Fishing Report January 21, 2020
"On the south end of Lake of the Woods, ice conditions are excellent. Resorts are reporting 24 to 30 inches of ice most places being fished.
There are good numbers of walleyes and saugers being caught, and many of them are small, so anglers are having fun sorting through fish to get eaters and occasional trophy walleye.
Most anglers are fishing in 27 to 36 feet of water, gaining accdess via plowed roads. Resort rental houses continue to be moved constantly as operators follow the fish. Some of the ice roads now extend 10 miles or more.
Both jigging line and ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Fishing Update January 21, 2020
"We're on Stony Point in the central part of Leech Lake. The snowstorm over the weekend only made the ice conditions worse. We snowshoed the shore line on Saturday afternoon at Stony Point campground. The snow cover is 12-20" with 6-8" of slush under it. There's 10-14" of ice from shore out ~1/2 mile. No signs of any vehicles along the common access places; walk out fishing only."
"While stock jerkbaits catch bass right out of the box, there are times when simple modifications add up to more bites. Pro bass angler Randy Blaukat shares his top jerkbait tweaks to adjust buoyancy, hook short strikers, and adjust for larger fish and fishing around cover.
Randy prefers a suspending or slow sinking jerkbait during the cold-water months. If the bait is too buoyant, it'll float toward the surface. Blaukat counteracts this by using suspend strips (lead) with adhesive backing. He shares a few pointers on how to secure the weight to the belly of the bait using an abrasive, pocket knife and a dab of super glue.
When it comes to short strikers, Randy explains the importance of ..." View Video To Learn More >> Catch More Bass with These 4 Jerkbait Modifications
Getting good news about ice fishing in Minnesota's north central region hasn't been easy this winter. And just when conditions showed signs of improvement, another snowstorm brought us reason to doubt that a recovery will occur this winter.
In the Grand Rapids area, we received another 8 to 10 inches of fresh snow over the weekend. As you can see in the image of my front yard, that new snow lies on top of a couple feet of snow that was already piled up.
Fishing activity around the Itasca region was already low, so this development really can’t make things much worse; but it surely didn’t make things better either.
On a positive note, more snow on top of the ice could be helpful if we do receive a “January Thaw”. Theoretically, more snow could turn to more water which could help facilitate a more dramatic meltdown. For the moment, lets just hope that Mother Nature has something like that planned.
Over the next couple days, I’ll be gathering fresh reports from folks around the region. As always, you are more than welcome to contribute. Don’t wait for a gold engraved invitation, a few words about ice conditions in your area are always appreciated. — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
"The colder temps over the last week have really solidified the area lakes up in Central Minnesota. Most lakes around Mille Lacs, Sherburne, and Wright counties are seeing ATV traffic along with a few wheelhouses.
Ice thicknesses were in the 10 to 14 inch range on many of the smaller lakes I checked on Sunday morning.
Panfish have been steady across the smaller lakes. You really have to be mobile to find the pods of larger fish. Fish are still being found near structure such as weeds, timber, and rock piles holding larger boulders. Look for fish around the ..." Read >> Central Minnesota Ice Fishing Report January 16, 2020
"Dixon Lake Resort still have our roads open on the Third River Flowage of Lake Winnie.
Ice is at 18" with frozen slush and some not frozen slush. Seems like anglers are getting around pretty good off the main roads, but there are still plenty of pockets of slush out there, so cautious travel is advised.
Fishing was great the last two weekends. There were a lot of ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Report January 17, 2020
Wired2Fish's Ryan DeChaine faces such a situation on a small lake and walks through how to map an offshore hump using Humminbird's AutoChart Live and Zero Line SD Card.
Using Humminbird's AutoChart Zero Line SD Card, DeChaine uses a circular survey method instead of traditional transects to quickly and accurately map the structure. He then describes how to display and adjust bottom hardness data on top of the custom map; bottom hardness in conjunction with accurate 1-foot contour intervals reveals previously hidden spots on the ..." Learn More >> Custom Mapping Tips For Humminbird Users
Fish ED Video Devils Lake Perch January 16, 2020
Winter Perch are considered some of the best eating fish ever.
Jon shares many tips and tricks to help your next Perch fishing adventure regaurdless of whether it is too Devils Lake or any other perch lake.
"Ice conditions on Lake Kabetogama remain largely unchanged since last week. Ice thickness remains stable, varying between 10 to 15 inches and there’s just about the same amount of snow piled up on top of it. In most areas, snow depth is about 15 inches, but there are areas of deeper drifted snow as well.
There are still some new slush pockets forming around the lake. The slush has made travel by anything with wheels on the ice almost impossible. But travel by snowmobile and ATVs with tracks isn’t too bad.
Last week we mentioned being overwhelmed with calls from folks asking ..." Read More >> KAB Outdoors Lake Kabetogama Report January 15, 2019
"Ice conditions have improved dramatically this last week. Slush conditions too, have improved dramatically and is largely a non issue on the majority of lakes in the area.
Double ice is being reported on ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report January 15, 2020
Fishing has been up and down with the changeable weather. The toughest period was during one cold front that brought -31° air temperatures.
Overall though, there were some great walleyes and saugers caught this week. Anglers have had plenty of fish for fish frys and they've caught some trophy walleye, big sturgeon and jumbo perch. There's been an occasional pike, crappie or tulibee in the mix as well.
Most anglers are fishing 25 to 30 feet deep if they're on structure. They're fishing deeper over the mud flats, focusing on ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Report January 14, 2020
"Conditions seem to be improving in the last week. I’ve been on three smaller lakes minnow trapping and they are now frozen up good with no slush.
Billy and I walked out on a lake Saturday that on Tuesday had six inches of slush and it was healed up good and didn’t see any issues while we were fishing. I even got lucky and caught a couple dandy’s for supper.
We are getting lots of calls about where people can drive there trucks out with wheel houses and we don’t have many opportunities yet . But if you have track machines I don’t believe you will have to many problems now getting to spots that haven’t been fished yet this winter." — Bill Powell, Fred's Bait, 218-246-8710
Planning a winter trip to warmer climes? Then check out this article about fishing open water crappies during mid-winter.
"When I find crappie on deep swings in the winter, I will often catch them by penduluming, or tightlining a jig down the slope. The trick is to get it to swing down the bank without actually hitting and snagging up in the rocks. So I will reel it some, but most of the time I just keep my rod up at about 10 o'clock. Then, with a slight bow in the line, I will stutter the fall or pop the slack and get the jig to stay up and then let it start swinging again.
I do this over deep brush too. It works wonders on those brush piles that are right on a break. It's how I catch most of my crappie out of brush honestly. I hardly ever get right over the crappie. I sit off of them and "swing" a jig down through them. I have caught many limits out of big schools over the ..." Learn More >> Winter Crappie Fishing Secrets . .
Q) On January 11, 2020 Shannon Poppinga Wrote; "I live in South Dakota and fish the river and many NE lakes. We cast most of the spring and summer for walleye in some high wind days.
Currently, the boat that I have is a Ranger 618 tiller and my current engine is a Yamaha 90 HP with the variable RPM button to help get the proper power I need.
I am interested in a larger 20 foot tiller boat but I am concerned about not being able to use a larger motor on a 20 ft tiller to put the butt of the boat into the waves, be able to idle down slow enough so I can sit in one place and cast.
I was looking on the internet to see if I could find any info on this and stumbled onto one of your reviews of Lund Tiller Boats. I’m more interested in knowing if you feel I would be able to get a larger Mercury tiller motor to do what I need?"
A) Shannon, my history with 20-foot tiller boats goes back a long time, I’ve owned about 25 of them. These days, I have ..." Learn Morde >> Reader Asks About Mercury Pro XS 115 HP Tiller Performance
"Slush has been becoming more and more of a issue for every lake in the area. While it was mainly limited to bays, it has now spread to just about everywhere on the lake and every lake in the area.
Amount of shush varies from 3” to more then a foot. Snow conditions also varies from as little as a foot, to almost much as 3’ near shore.
Ice conditions have ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report January 10, 2020 HB DNR
When the ice gets thick and the snow stacks up, crappie location begins to shift. Heavy snow cover prevents sunlight from penetrating the ice, robbing oxygen from many early season, deep water crappie spots.
Crappies become more nomadic, moving shallower and hunting for food over soft bottom flats. Keeping your bait in front of feeding fish becomes one of the secrets to success during this period.
Jon Thelen shares some of his favorite tactics for catching crappies under thick ice and heavy snowpack. Learn More >> View Video Snow Covered Crappies
"The Department of Natural Resources is looking for passionate and dedicated college students interested in learning more about possible careers with the DNR through paid summer internship opportunities.
DNR summer interns will not only gain valuable experience and training, but will also ..." Learn More >> DNR seeks to fill up to 200 paid summer internships
Most of the affected areas remain accessible by snowmobile, unless they’re overloaded with too much gear.
We observed one angler attempting to travel while towing 2 ice fishing shelters in tandem and that resulted in the sled getting bogged down and stuck. If you’re planning to snowmobile on the ice, we’d suggest cutting back to the bare minimum amount of fishing gear.
We’ve been overwhelmed with calls from folks asking about driving up with private wheelhouses. We have ..." Read >> Lake Kabetogama Ice Fishing Report January 9, 2020
I am seeing more hardened snow packed lakes in Wright and Sherburne counties this week, so it appears the dreaded slush has frozen with the below freezing temps at night. Ice thicknesses are in the 6 to 10 inch range and lakes are seeing some spear houses appear.
Panfish are biting well right now along the weed lines and up inside your oxygen rich areas, such as bays with inlets, which attracts their food sources. Crappies can be found roaming right up against the weed lines as well as off into the deep basins. Use a slow falling spoon tipped with wax worms or spikes right at the ..." Read >> Central Minnesota Ice Fishing Report January 8, 2020 .
"On the south end of Lake of the Woods, there's been lots of ice fishing happening this week. Overall, good reports with a mix of saugers and walleyes. Some very small fish, lots of eaters, some huge fish.
Most common depths 28-31 feet of water. Best colors gold, pink, glow red and UV glow colors. Use combo jigging line and deadstick with a live minnow.
Electronics very helpful. Watch for suspended walleyes. Rattles and noise within lures can be effective.
The Rainy River is frozen over, but there's been ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Update January 8, 2020
For now, snowmobiles are really the only means of transport that can be considered reliable. But we plan to do some plowing today in the hope that getting some water to flow will allow re-freezing in whichever areas that we can open up.
Bob Cass, a friend, spent the weekend at his cabin on Cutfoot Sioux and passed along some observations about his fishing trip.
Cass; “I have been here fishing since last Friday and using my snowmobile, I have been able to get around a bit; it is a wade track which helps.
Right now, travel conditions on McCavity bay are ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Cutfoot Sioux Report January 7, 2020
Q) On January 7, 2020 Brian Asked; "Have you been out on trout lake fishing? Or have you heard of anything about it. Also where is a good place to go if your walking out? Thanks Brian
A) Trout Lake was barely frozen, if at all, prior to the first snowstorm. I would be extremely cautious about moving very far from the shoreline in most areas of the lake.
Folks do walk out and fish the breakline from the public landing on the north end and also from the city park in the northwest corner near the school. It's a much longer walk, but some folks also access the lake from the east side, off of the dirt road by the old farm house.
I would be extremely hesitant to venture out into mid-lake structure and limit my travels to the first breakline off shore.
"We have had our hands full with the storm that got us last weekend. We finally got all our rentals out from slush and sunken houses. We are opening up new roads around slush areas.
Sorry for slow response from Mother Nature, but for this weekend, we are allowing only rental clients through Northwoods; there are no ..." Read More >> Upper Red Lake Updates January 3, 2020
"The only way you are getting around on Leech Lake is with snowmobile or tracked vehicle. You have to have something that will keep you on top of the snow.
I tried to blow an ice road with my small tractor and blower and broke through the ice. There's about 8" of slush and 3" of crusted snow on top of the ..." Read >> Leech Lake Update January 2, 2020
"The snow is causing lots of fun out on Winnie as it probably is on all area lakes.
Todd's been plowing and has gotten the ice road put back in this week. We had Fishermen's road plowed by a county truck so it's way better. The landing road is in great shape, but the Third River road is not plowed. The best access is to come in off of MN Higway 46 onto County Road 33 and then head down ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Ice Updates January 2, 2020
The news about ice fishing conditions has been grim so far this week. I've been behind the snowblower myself a half dozen times since we returned from Mexico on Monday and it's snowing again right now.
The heaviest part of the "snow belt" runs on an east-west line covering about 50 to 75 miles either side of US Highway 2, all the way from Duluth to ..." Read >> Ice Conditions Updates January 2, 2020
"I was able to make it out a couple of days over the past week. Slushy conditions seem to be the norm across most of the Central Minnesota and Metro areas.
The recent rain took off a few inches of the old snow, but Monday's heavy snow put it right back on the ice. Foot traffic is still advised, and you should always check conditions yourself with a bar and never go alone.
Ice is in the 4 to 8 inch range around the West Metro area with about 3 inches of slush on top. Wear insulated rubber boots with cleats if venturing out, it is slick!
Panfish lakes will ..." Read >> Central Minnesota Ice Update Shane Boeshart January 2, 2020
In this episode of Fish ED, Jon Thelen reminds us about an ice fishing presentation that integratres a unique combintaion of sight, sound and vibration.
Lindy's Walleye Talker attracts fish by appealing to both their sense of hearing and vibration. Then the unique combination of colors triggers them into strking aggressively.
Join Jon as he walks us through the how-to's of attracting and triggering walleye strikes using the Wally Talker. View Video To Learn More >> Unique Sound and Vibration Helps Catch More Walleye 200
Whether or not the snow will impact travel conditions on Kabetogama is uncertain. But we do know for sure that Kabetogama’s ice is still in much better shape than most of the other popular walleye lakes around the state.
With 15 to 16 inches of good, solid ice, there were virtually no wet or slushy areas anywhere on the lake prior to the recent snow. Knock on wood, but so far, we have not run across any areas where water or slush appears to be causing a problem.
Walleye fishing has been productive for ..." Read >> Kabetaogama Ice Fishing Report December 31, 2019
"Here is the last fishing report for 2019! Happy New Year! Thank you for reading our fishing reports!
Walleye fishing was excellent for many anglers this last week.
Anglers able to get away from the crowds reported having the best luck. Jigging raps and spoons remain a popular choose, but glow demons fished under a deadstick or rattle reel continue to account for the majority of fish being caught. Key depth has been ..." Read >> Ely Area Ice Fishing Report December 31, 2019
You’ve probably already heard stories about anglers who were stranded on the ice during and after the big snowstorm on Saturday. There were problems on several large lakes, so I won’t single out any one in particular.
In most instances, rental operators and outfitters began digging their way out yesterday and will resume plowing, if and where they can today. Eventually, access will be restored on these large, popular lakes.
Anglers who like to fish smaller waters won’t be so lucky, at least not over the short term. Most of central Minnesota’s smaller, deep water panfish lakes already had deep snow cover and under that snow, slush had already become problematic. With another 8 to 12 inches of new snow, slush ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Report December 31, 2019
On December 25, 2019 Frank Bowstring wrote; "Merry Christmas Jeff. How do I listen to your podcasts from KAXE?
Merry Christmas Frank! You can access 2 weeks of archived programs on the KAXE WEBSITE. At their home page, just scroll all the way down to the bottom and click on the text link ARCHIVE, it will take you to this page >> http://dev.kaxe.org:8080/audio/index.php
Use the drop down menu to select the day/date and then use the next drop down to select the hour of that day. For the Early Bird Fishing Guide segments, click on any Thursday and then select the 6:00 AM hour and scroll in to about 6:20 AM. You can use the same procedure to access and listen to any of the most recent broadcasts. — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL
"This week on Fish Ed, host Jon Thelen chases Jumbo Perch.
Winter Perch are considered some of the best eating fish ever. Jon shares many tips and tricks to help your next Perch fishing adventure.
Grab some Lindy Perch Talkers and get in on the action, they are biting now all across the ice belt!
View Video and Learn More >> Fish ED Perch Fishing Tips and Tricks
Ice thicknesses in Tamarack Bay ranges from 12 to 15 inches, with light snow cover. We have not plowed any roads to date and have not begun allowing pickup truck traffic out of our landing. But transportation by ATV or snowmobile is very good and we are open to ice fishing for folks who can travel using snow machines.
The perch action here in the bay continues to be very good and recently, there are a fair number of walleyes showing up in the daily mix too. If the progression tracks the same way it did last winter, it won’t be long before the walleye ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Report December 24, 2019
There’s still evidence of widespread slush under the snow, but the recent spell of warm weather allowed the snow to settle. In areas that have been fished heavily, trails are packed down and have re-frozen. In in-travelled territory, the snow depths have condensed down to about 6 inches.
I saw numerous ice fishing shelters and folks have apparently ..." Read >> Grand Rapids Area Ice Fishing Update December 24, 2019
"Northern Pike - With warmer temps this last week, tip up fishing for pike has become very popular with anglers. Large suckers and smelt were a popular choices. Shallow bays and weedlines continue to be the key area to focus on for pike.
Walleye anglers are finally able to enjoy a nice stretch of stable weather and strong jump in the walleye bite and size of ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report December 24, 2019
I got a text from my neighbor Mike Silvis this weekend. His son Will and a friend had returned from their first unsupervised ice fishing mission to one og the popular panfish lakes near Grand Rapids.
“Will has entered a new phase in his life. First, pick the lake, then pack the gear and buy the bait (plus the food too. Then drive to the lake with his buddy, check ice for safety, catch fish, buy the fixings for fish tacos, then clean the fish, cook the fish and share the meal with those that didn’t go. And most importantly, cleaned up and put gear away.”
Obviously, those are the words of a proud papa and I’m thrilled that Mike ..." Read >> A Son's First Solo Fishing Adventure December 23, 2019
The ice continues to get thicker; it’s now over 12 inches practically everywhere and in certain areas 14 to 16 inches of solid ice can be found.
Anglers who travel by ATV and Snowmobile can go just about any place they like on the lake. While most snowmobile trails remain closed, snowmobilers do now have limited access to ..." Read >> Lake Kabetogama Ice Fishing Update December 23, 2019
On our way home from Lake of the Woods this Thursday; we thought it might be fun to try fishing for crappies. Thinking about lakes that were more or less on the return route, we settled on making a stop at Bowstring Lake.
Before we left Baudette, I got in touch with Bill Powell at Fred’s Bait in Deer River. He cautioned about an ice ridge on the south side of Bowstring that ..." Read >> Bowstring Ice Conditions December 20, 2019
"Recently, we had quite a bit of snow fall in the Northwest Metro area which put a good layer of insulation on the area lakes, but with last week’s frigid temperatures, I felt confident in walkable ice.
“Spuddy” and I checked five lakes in the Sherburne and Wright County areas, all of which had varying ice thicknesses between two and six inches. The smaller shallower lakes had a consistent layer of clear ice across them and the larger, deeper lakes, had clear ice out to about 400 yards and got thinner and cloudier as you approached the deeper drop-offs.
During early season, I like to stick to ..." Read >> Central Minnesota Ice Fishing Report December 20, 2019
"Our ice conditions are very favorable for this coming weekend and next for christmas break. We are at 16 inches of ice and have plowed past the crack that has had us stuck for two weeks. This recent cold front really helped.
We are staged out in the mud at 15 feet of water with ..." Read >> Upper Red Lake December 20, 2019
"We are starting to plow on the main lake and we are finding 11-16 inches of ice. We are still having to cross a lot of cracks and numerous news one formed this past couple of days with the subarctic air.
We will not be open to vehicle traffic (this weekend) due to the large amount of cracks and will be allowing our ice road to heal. We will be open on the ..."
We’ve avoided plowing roads so far, because the Mississippi River channel was slow to freeze. But if conditions continue to improve, we’re hoping to get some roads opened up before Christmas.
We have put a few of our rental shacks on the ice already and the early season perch fishing is off to a great start. We had groups on the ice this Saturday and they didn’t have much trouble catching limits of nice ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Perch Fishing Report December 15, 2019
To this point the snowfall that’s been stacking up in other areas around the state has missed us. We have very little snow cover and the ice is getting thicker by the day. That’s not good news for snowmobilers who are waiting for trails to open up. But after the slushy conditions we enjoyed last winter, we’re happy to wait a little longer for the snowmobile trails this winter.
There is enough snow to use your machines on the ice though; we have about 3 inches of fluffy powder on the lake right now.
By Friday, we found about 10 inches of clear ice everywhere we checked. That was enough to give us the green light to ..." Read >> Lake Kabetogama Ice Report December 15, 2019
"I’m pretty impressed with how good the daytime action has been for walleyes on Leech Lake.” That was the assessment I got from Josh Bullivant at Trappers Landing on the south side of Leech Lake last Friday. “Perch fishing hasn’t been bad either”; Bullivant said.
Bullivant; “The ice thickness is something like 11 to 12 inches out in front of ..." Read >> Leech Lake Ice Update December 15, 2019
The Ice Fishing Innovations Rod Case is the heaviest duty, hardest working rod box that I've ever seen. I got mine a year ago and used it throughout last winter and it is absolutely rock solid!
In response to a reader question last January I wrote a review. In it, I said; “That rod case has traveled with me to lake of the Woods, Upper Red Lake, Devils Lake, Kabetogama and a half dozen smaller, local lakes.
Every time I’ve opened the cover, my rods ..." Read >> Ice Anglers Christmas List December 13, 2019
"As much as we're always on the water, the Wired2fish crew is always on the go. Whether we're deer hunting, turkey hunting, kayaking or hanging out at a tailgate with buddies, it seems like we're always outside.
When I got the chance to test the Dakota Lithium Power Box 10, I immediately began thinking of all the applications it would have in my life. I had never heard of the company before and I've never owned something like this, so I really had no expectations. I went into this review pretty blind.
Todd and I have been using it a lot lately and have been quite impressed by how versatile it is. Quite honestly, I never thought I'd ..." Learn More >> Dakota Lithium Power Box 10 Review
"I have been ice fishing for 50+ years and still enjoy it, but believe that technology and social media are going to destroy it.
I remember when starting to ice fish all those years ago and having just a radio flyer sled, ice spud, a few tear drops and a pole with a plastic reel on it.
I guess people now don't have time to ice fish; but (do) have money. You can drop $3000.00 for a live scan ice fishing system, buy an $8,000.00-$20,000.00 ATV or snowmobile and check all of the social media sites for the hot lakes before you go ice fishing.
I believe that I'm ..." Read Article >> Is Technology Destroying Ice Fishing?
"The fishing has been great on the south side of Red Lake since the low pressure passed through; the bite really picked up.
From what we’re seeing and hearing, we think that the shallow bite on shorelines has probably been the best. The afternoon bite right now really picks up around noon with this moon phase. And with the full moon, the night bite has increased as well.
Typical colors for Red Lake are working well, we've heard that ..." Read More >> Upper Red Lake Ice Fishing Reports December 11, 2019
While I was sorting through ice fishing reports on Tuesday, I stumbled into some comments from conservation officers in the greater Grand Rapids area. Slush, and problems related to it, was mentioned several times in their reports.
Ordinarily, I’d have my sights set on fishing small waters for panfish right now. But those same conservation officers reported that the majority of slushy areas were related primarily to the deeper water panfish lakes.
Because of the timing of this year’s “freeze up”, it might actually make more sense for anglers in the Grand Rapids area to ..." Read >> Ice Fishing Report December 11, 2019
"Ice conditions have varied extremely across the Northland. Conditions range from smaller lakes laden with slush and heavy snow having roughly 6”-9” of ice, to larger lakes having scant snow cover and moderately fishable ice in upwards of 5 inches.
Although ice conditions have room for improvement, the fishing has been rather exceptional. The early season Walleye bite ..." Read >> Wheezy Outdoors Report December 11, 2019
"On Winnie we have 9 to 10 inches of good ice. Obviously temps are negative now, so there's more ice in the making as we speak. Spearing has been productive with clear water, however slowed with this cold snap. Lots of jumbo perch being seen thru the spear houses." - Tom & Jessica, Becker's Resort 218-665-2268
"Too much snow on the ice and not enough ice to be able to plow a road. We have good ice but really tough to get around now. There's about a foot of snow on the ice so making ice is going to be slow going for a while. We have customers here and they are using 4 wheelers with chains but it is really tough getting around." Lee Nupson, Oak Point Resort 218-335-2993
"Ice Conditions - Ice conditions continue to improve slowly this last week. Anglers are reporting 8-12 inches of good ice on many of the area lakes. Slush remains a non issue despite several inches of snow this last week. Permanent houses have begun popping up on many area lakes.
Walleye anglers have been enjoying steady fishing during the evening hours and after dark in ..." Read >> Ely Area Fishing Report December 10, 2019
Many resorts already have some ice fishing houses on the lake. There are others watching ice conditions in the areas they fish to decide the right time to begin moving their shelters out. There's very little snow on the ice right now and below zero temperatures this week will help speed up the process.
There are some ice roads opening up to ATV and snowmobile traffic. Check with your favorite resort or outfitter about access prior to coming up.
As expected, the ice fishing action has been ..." Read >> Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Report December 10, 2019
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
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 Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Red Lake Nation and Bureau of Indian Affairs signed a new 10-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) today that outlines continued cooperative management of the walleye population in Upper and Lower Red Lake in northwest Minnesota. The signing took place during a ceremony in Red Lake.
“Red Lake Band members are pleased that our walleye have come back and our fishing community is revitalized,” said Darrell Seki, chairman of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians. “We are committed to ..." Learn More >> Red Lake Fishery Agreement
"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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
"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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